Monday, August 15, 2005

Fun With Finger Puppets

When babies are developing, there are several very easy and important things that you can do as a parent to help the process. For example, singing simple songs that frequently repeat the same phrases is a great way to help your baby develop crucial language skills. Another way to have fun with your baby while boosting development is through finger play. Even very young babies are attracted by bright colors and love to follow motion with their eyes, while older babies will make attempts to reach out and grab your hands or the objects you are holding. This makes the use of finger puppets particularly effective with babies.

Finger puppets are very inexpensive, and can be bought at most toy stores, hobby shops, children's second-hand stores, or online puppet stores. You can also check craft books or craft websites to learn how to make your own simple finger puppets. Since you will be using the finger puppets to entertain your baby, make sure that you buy puppets that can fit adult fingers. The size should be noted on the packaging, or you can ask a customer service representative for help. You can buy finger puppets individually or in sets.

Since babies aren't very discriminating when it comes to early toys, you really can't go wrong in terms of the types of finger puppets that you buy. Colorful animals would work very well, as would people puppets, especially fairy tale characters such as princesses, kings, and queens. In general, try to stick with cute designs rather than scary ones (such as monsters).

The actual finger play time with the puppets can take almost any form that you want. You don't have to have a whole routine set up for this. One of the best things to do is have a CD of children's songs playing in the background. Then you can sing along to the songs and have the finger puppets dance to the music or you can have the puppets act out the song if the lyrics contain actions that are easy to mimic. Another thing you can do is simply talk to your baby through the finger puppets, just as you would with a hand puppet. This is also a great way to get an older brother or sister involved in safe playtime with the baby. Whichever route you choose to go, don't be self-conscious about it. Just have fun and enjoy the opportunity to make your baby smile. Eventually, you might find that your baby actually looks forward to the finger puppet sessions.

In this day and age, there are a lot of fancy, expensive toys for babies. Before you go out and spend a lot of money on an electronic gizmo, take a look at some simple toys such as finger puppets. Finger puppets allow you and other members of your family to interact with your baby in a constructive and fun way. The next time you go shopping for baby, bring home a few finger puppets and discover new ways to bond with your little one.


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