Learning Science Through Puppetry

Learning Science Through Puppetry

By Irma Smegen – Speel je Wijs

Hand-puppets can be a wonderful tool to motivate and inspire young children during scientific activities. Hand-puppets connect science to the fantasy world which children love. With hand-puppets you can create curiosity and interest for science in a playful way

During their research, children think of solutions and answers, make hypothesis, brainstorm, connect ideas, search for the right material to use, try and fail, retry and improve, design and develop, and by doing so, they help the puppets. On the other hand, the puppets help the children, they deepen their research by asking questions and stimulating them. This way Science and Puppetry leads to an interesting cooperation.

As part of the CASE Erasmus+ project, eight primary school teachers in the Netherlands implemented Science and Puppetry in their schools. In 2015 Irma’s book about this same topic was published in Dutch language. Over 500 books are sold, approximately 200 teachers were trained and even more visited congresses to get inspiration. Since then many schools and preschools in The Netherlands and Flanders use Puppetry connected to STEAM as part of their curriculum.

In 2018 Irma was invited as a speaker and workshop leader at STEAM congresses in China. All schools and preschools she visited made a start with combining Puppetry and STEAM and since this year Irma’s book is available in Mandarin language as well. STEAM-puppetry has an educational effect that is so large, even the puppets can´t count that high!

In the workshop we will share and show some examples. Of course, this will be a hands-on workshop in which you will get tools which can be used in your classrooms the following day. Please bring your own hand-puppet if you have. If not available, please bring a lonely sock.

As Einstein said: “Because playing is the highest form of research.”


Bring a hand-puppet. If not available, use a SOCK or you can draw a face on your hand with a marker