In my last post I showed you how to make your own puppet theater. Yes, the post was in Swedish but I hope you could follow along by looking at the pictures inshallah. I would just like to give you some ideas how and why to use a puppet theater.
Firstly, when you set up a theater with your kids the will play different roles in the act. The play could be spontaneous or perhaps you decided a specific theme and characters. This is a perfect way to learn your kids about Islam or anything else important to them. Playing a role in a theater (or any other time when kids play) gives them a better understanding of the person they act as. Teaching children about the history of Islam or the biography of prophets is not always easy. Or any other aspect of the Muslim life, hajj for example is not easy for even adults to understand how it’s done. It will be easier for children to understand something from the past or future if you take that situation and let it happened here-and-now, as this make the “event” or person more graspable. So let’s make a theater of it!
1. If you as a parent plan and organize the play or theater always let the children’s interests be the base. If they find it interesting and fun it will be easier to get them involved, you get the idea.
2. If you need guidance, pick a book or something else to guide you. I really like and recommend products and books from Learning Roots.
3. Decide theme, person or event. Prepare the children what you are going to do. Read or tell them about the subject and the story and then plan how you are going to do the play.
4.You might need to buy some materials or make them yourself. I made the theater from an cardboard box and the other material I already had at home, so this was a very cheap project. Dolls to the theater could be made out of toilet rolls and a round wooden / styrofoam ball (google “toilet roll people” and you will see what I mean).
5. Be creative! Yes, I know it’s hard to be creative if you don’t even know how to begin. Here is my tips to get started: Use something concrete to start the play or activity. It could be a puppet theater like ours or a smaller version made out of a shoe box. It can be a carpet or blanket you gather at, turn down the lights a bit to create a special feeling for the activity.
6. If the children are small you might have to play a BIG part in the theater, but the older they get it is easier for them to take full responsibility for the play.
7. AND, afterward try to talk the children about the play. What happened in the play? Who did what? Why did they do it? What did you like/dislike? What do you think they felt? Of course there are more topics to discuss but these are just examples to get you started.
If you have any more tips or ideas you are welcome to write a comment about it : )