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Talk to My Hand: Using Puppets to Navigate Emotions

by Ruth A. Wilson and Deborah L. Schein
July/August 2017
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/talk-to-my-hand-using-puppets-to-navigate-emotions/5023674/

Caitlyn tipped the wheelbarrow and poured the water on the ground. Roger erupted in anger. He was planning to wash a stone he had just found in that water. He yelled at Caitlyn and kicked the wheelbarrow. A teacher quickly intervened, asking the two children to talk about what had just happened. Both Caitlyn and Roger tried to explain their actions by blaming the other for ‘being mean.’ The discussion wasn’t going anywhere until the teacher held up one hand, moved her fingers, and said, “This is a puppet. His name is Charlie, and he wants you to talk to him about what just happened with the wheelbarrow.” 

Charlie (the puppet) now had the ­children’s attention. Caitlyn talked first. “I just wanted to pour the water out, and Roger got mad about it.” To this Roger replied, “I had a stone in my hand and I wanted to wash it. Caitlyn shouldn’t have poured the water out.” Now it was the puppet’s turn to talk: “Well, it looks like you have a problem. Any ideas about how we could solve this problem?” The teacher looked on in amazement as the two children took turns talking to the puppet (which was really just ...

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