Remember, Puppets Are Tools, Not Toys

Getting part of a puppet team or ministry is exciting and rewarding and is the privilege. Really important to keep your purpose in mind and what you want your team to accomplish. Occasionally when a puppeteer forgets, they may take a look at puppets as toys and treat them as such.

When children receive toys that they didn’t work for or earn, they can certainly take the capsules for granted. When that happens, them tend to get abused and abused. The same is true for teens and people. If you need to work and save up to get something, it means more than having something given to you. Most puppeteers don’t choose the puppets for the team; they just use them and if you are not careful can commence treating them like toys. 

I’ve seen puppeteers bite things with their puppets, punch something or someone with a puppet issues hand, throw out puppets about in a careless manner, step on puppets, tug too much when putting them on, and pound them in the head trying to get them upon their hand. That kind of behavior can ruin sock puppets or mar the look of them so they don’t look great during a performance. If almost all of your puppets show the marks of being roughed up, it’s a subtle take note to your audience that you don’t take this seriously.

Major rules we give to new puppeteers is they are to never bite anything with their puppet. Most puppets have a cardboard lining in their mouths and when you bite something with the puppet it sets a crease in the cardboard. Once that crimp is there, weight reduction get it out and the puppet may be disfigured as a consequence, its mouth won’t close properly, or the oral cavity will appear crooked. We all lost the use of a good puppet early on in our ministry because its mouth was messed up by biting something.

To help maintain proper treatment of the puppets, continuously stress that puppets are tools and not toys and games. Think about a father or master craftsman. Just how do they treat their tools? Most often, they get good care of them because of their investment and the high cost of replacement. Really cheaper to pay for something in good working order by taking attention of it rather than abusing it and having to buy another.

That is the same with puppets. They can be expensive, but if used properly, provides years of service. We still use some puppets we purchased over twenty years back and in addition they still look and work great. By taking proper care of your puppets you are being wise stewards of what God has entrusted to you and will free up funds for other important parts of ministry.

Timothy Brown has over twenty-five years of experience in working puppets and pointing puppet teams. He and his wife have ministered with puppets in church buildings, camps, parks, nursing homes, and a variety of other venues. Along with working puppets, he has also taught puppet courses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *