ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Indigenius Crafts: Literacy and Puppets

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Indigenius Crafts: Literacy and Puppets

We recently found out about a really inventive and fun set of puppets! 3 Bags Full Finger Puppet Pouches are available through Indigenious Crafts from Bolivia and we think their design is really unique and creative. They'll provide hours of open ended play and can be used as a learning tool to incourage early literacy, support oral language development, and inspire imagination and storytelling! Available in six different designs, each Finger Puppet Pouch set includes 8 animal finger puppets in a knit carrying bag. A scene is painted on the front of the bag; puppets are snapped into the scene for story telling. The bag is some place to store and carry your puppets, as well as a story board. I really like how some more unsual settings are provided such as the Artctic and Jungle.We received the Woods set to play with. My four year old knew just what to do with it the second it was unwrapped. The detachable strap lends the set to be easily carried around like a purse. Meaning that it's very portable and is ideal for taking out and about to keep your child occupied while on the go. The puppets are a quiet toy that can entertain and be played with anywhere; their small size means that a few more things can be tucked into the bag as well.
The bag itself is thick and plush feeling. The inside is lined and I was really impressed with the quality of construction. The painted scene is colorful and bright; the bag "scene" remains flexible and not stiff where the paint has been applied. The whole thing really has a clever design and it all zips closed.
Eight knitted finger puppets come with the set, ours included a bat, turtle, swan, porcupine, cardinal bird, squirrel, skunk, and bear. As you can see they are perfectly sized for little hands; I could get them on easily too. The materials are soft and I like their tactile feel, I think this may be the only time it's fun to "pet" the skunk! They come with very cute details, like the little knitted feet on the cardinal. The eyes are sewen on so you don't have to worry about parts coming off. Up to five puppets can be attached to the bag with snaps at once. Little fingers can easily work the snaps. It is a wonderful interactive toy for parents to play with their child. It easily lends itself to creating oral stories, as the child has a hands-on visual for them to base their story on.

Children are full of creative stories, but they often need props to help get them started. During this play session my daughter was full of a tale about a red bird that lived high up in a tree, who wanted to play with her friend the turtle. Together we came up with how Birdie could play with Turtle, who can't fly up into her tree. It really got us talking and provided all sorts of opportunities for her to develop oral language skills and use her imagination. It's also a good time for me to model correct language usage for my daughter, for example using pronouns and tenses correctly.
One of my favorite ways to use our 3 Bags Full Finger Puppet Pouch is to combine it with reading storybooks. A booklist to use with each of the six Puppet Pouches has been compiled to help you. Below are several books that the Woods Pouch can be used with. I have starred three of our personal favorites to read and play with puppets afterward.

** Bear Wants More, Karma Wilson
** Elusive Moose, Joan Gannij
Let's Play in the Forest, C. Rueda
Life in a Forest, Carol K. Lindeen
Looking Closely Through the Forest, Frank Serafini
** Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, Lois Ehlert
Scaredy Squirrel, Melanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel Makes A Friend, Melanie Watt

For another example of how to use the Finger Puppet Pouches, here is a short clip of the Farm Pouch being used with the classic song, "Old MacDonald Had a Farm"

As you can see there are many great ways to use them! Making a purchase of a 3 Bags Full Finger Puppet Pouch will not only give your child a unique toy for play and learning but it will also help promote fair trade crafts. This provides a way for indigenous families to support themselves, something we can all support!

3 Bags Full Finger Puppet Pouches are available through Indigenous Crafts from Bolivia, who's motto is: We Sell Fair Trade Crafts, Seeking to Improve the Lives of Indigenous Families. Here is a little bit of the story behind Indigenous Crafts from Bolivia from Sue Berlove:

"Indigenous Crafts from Bolivia began with my dream of connecting with an artisan group from a developing country, purchasing their crafts and selling them in Canada. The idea appealed to me because it seemed practical, tangible and achievable; it was a way to combine my enterprising skills and helping values. I actually realized this dream in 2004 when I travelled to Bolivia with a small group of Canadian women. My travel companions encouraged me. My Spanish lessons paid off because I was able to communicate with the group leaders. I returned to Canada, with my suitcases full of the crafts I had purchased from Ayni and Artesania Sorata. With the proper documentation in hand to pass through customs, I launched my new and unique import business!"
We hope you will check out Indegenious Crafts from Bolivia and their 3 Bags Full Finger Puppet Pouches, they would make a wonderful holiday or birthday gift. With so many different choices, there is sure to be one that will stimulate your child's imagination!

Disclousure: This is a compensated post and a product was provided. The experiences and opinions expressed are personal and unbiased by this relationship.


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