Manipulative Monday: PUPPETS!!!!

You'd think with having school cancelled through Wednesday due to the Colorado floods that I'd have more time!  I'm just getting in under the wire for the Manipulative Monday Linky Party!!!

Thanks to Lindsay at "Pursuit of Joyfulness" for hosting this linky party!

I decided that my focus today would be puppets.  ALL of my puppets are at school. . . . where I can't go.  All of the school janitors are basically guarding the doors until the buildings have been deemed safe.  So, I found some images on-line of a couple of my favorite puppets.

I LOVE puppets.  My student teacher couldn't get over how many puppets I have (7 big bins, organized according to size and function).  They are motivating and inspiring.  AND the are great for solo singing.  You give a student a puppet and it's no longer them that is doing the talking or singing- it's the puppet.  It's a great way to get those introverted or shy/hesitate kiddos to come out of their shell.  I've noticed they work GREAT for my students who have autism, it's a great connector for them.  AND don't forget that the older kiddos love them too.  A couple weeks ago after all school movement my 5th graders were checked out during a high concentration portion of my lesson.  I looked down and there was my mouse puppet from Mouse Mousie.  Well, the mouse taught the rest of the lesson.  The next time I saw them the first thing out of their mouths was "can the mouse teach again?"  They remembered the rhythmic element that we were working on because the mouse was a motivator and a connector.  Am I going to use the mouse in every 5th grade lesson now?  Goodness no!  Will I pull out another puppet for them soon?  You betcha!

I'll never forget, it was in my first three years of teaching in Oregon, a colleague reinforced with me how important it is to have a musical connection for everything you do.  For that reason, the majority of my puppets have musical names.

This is Crescendo:
He gets his name for a couple reasons.  The first being that his mouth looks like a crescendo (or decrescendo) marking, from the side.  The other is related to one of his uses.  One of the songs I use him with is "5 Little Monkeys Swinging from the Tree".  On the part that goes, "along came an alligator quiet as can be and snapped that monkey right out of that tree," I find a nature crescendo occurs.  Am I going to label crescendo with my preschoolers?  No.  Kindergarten. . . . maybe?  First grade, yes!

This is Pianissimo:

He is SO soft and cuddly, and so incredibly shy.  He lends himself naturally to being quiet and reserved, hence his name.

This is Accent:
Accent was originally named "Half Note," by my dear friend and colleague who taught in Oregon with me.  Well, the problem was Greg taught pe.  Half Note is one sound on two beats and for me, having his name be Half Note was confusing because it's name would have been two sounds.   When we moved back to Colorado (as not to offend Greg), I renamed him.  His name represents the articulation of a dog's bark.

These were my new find last year:
These are called Puppets on a Stick.  To be honest, I haven changed their names from their original names.

And then my 5th graders last year loved them SO much, that a couple of them bought me the blue fish from the set below:
Me being a puppet hoarder, I had to quickly buy the full set.  The blue one's name is Russell, after the triplets that bought it for me!

Tomorrow is the birthday of my MOST FAVORITE person in the whole world!  My Granny.   Here we are when I was 2:
She passed in 2008.  Noah got to "meet" her (he was 1 when she died) but she never got to meet Hannah, who shares her middle name (Evelyn.  Love Granny but I couldn't name Hannah "Gladys").  She's main reason why I was able to attain a Bachelors and Masters Degree.  From me attending elementary school through my own teaching of elementary school she NEVER missed a single concert of mine (except when I taught in Oregon).  She bought me both my flutes and both of my piccolos.  She also paid for my Kodály training.  But most importantly, she is my hero, one of my best friends and a person that I aspire to be like.  She always paid things forward.  

In her honor, everything in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store will be 15%, tomorrow through Thursday (September 17-19).  I just recently posted a couple of new vocal exploration files.  
  1. Autumn Vocal Exploration Bundle
  2. Vocal Exploration Cards for Halloween
  3. Animated Vocal Exploration PowerPoint for Halloween
  4. Halloween Vocal Exploration, Bundled Set

I am working a Halloween bundle, that I'm really excited about.

Tomorrow is the 2-4 Linky Party.  I hope to attend, but with no school (still until Thursday) I'm hosting another 6 year old boy at my house.  We'll see if anything is standing by the afternoon, lol!

Happy teaching!


  1. I shared this on our KMEK page as well as my Level 3 facebook page. We just started a puppet fundraiser for KMEK, so your timing on this (along with your ideas on how you use the puppets) is perfect!

    1. OMG, I am a puppet-whore (horrible term, I know!) I absolutely love them!!! I have a gazzillion- finger puppets, hand puppets, full size puppets. I didn't even touch the Melissa & Doug ones and I barely touched the tip of the iceberg with the FolkManis. The puppets on a stick are SO much fun! Start building your collection now, it'll be huge before you know it!!

  2. I have a few. So far I have the Folkmanis bee, snail, and chick. I also have a cat, two fish for high and low, two oven mit hand puppets.

    It is going to be really dangerous having the Folkmanis puppets available for sale at our KMEK workshops. I spent almost $40 at the last workshop!

    1. I know! They are addicting and exspensive. I have the bee and snail too! Some of my other favorites are the turtle, mice (I have two), kitty cat and the rabbit in a hat. I have more. .. I just bought the wolf, bunny and bear! Yikes!

      Good thing you're doing so well on Tpt! It'll cover some of your puppet exspense! :)

  3. I LOVE your puppet ideas! I saw thouse puppets on a stick a little while ago and laughed so hard. I need to buy some. I love that you have the crocodile as crescendo! Thank-you for sharing!

  4. I love the puppets on a stick! I think that a set will be making an appearance in my classroom very soon.

  5. Where did you get your puppet on a stick?

    1. I got them online, here's the link:

      Educational Insights, I believe, also has the sea life ones too! :)


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