I received a sample to facilitate this review, however all opinions are our own!
Oh, y’all. The most adorable little puppet from Trudi waddled its way into my house and we are in LOVE.
Isn’t this mama and baby penguin pair PRECIOUS? Isaac is a huge fan of penguins, so he took over this pair right away. Mama Penguin is a full-hand puppet with a pouch to carry her baby penguin, who is a finger puppet. Aside from the obvious that penguins don’t have pouches for their young, this puppet is great for acting out stories with your little one. We are HUGE fans of Tacky the Penguin, so we have been using these penguins to play-act scenes from the book.
Isaac is still learning to say a lot of new words to communicate his ideas effectively, so we use Mama and Baby to help make it fun to practice. He gets one puppet and I get the other, and we take turns having a conversation through the puppets. We also use them to sing songs! We are pretty big fans of the 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed song, so we made up our own version for the penguins, and we do the same with other familiar songs.
With Ian, I am using the mama and baby puppet to do a couple of different things (some of these, Isaac gets to do, too, in his own developmentally appropriate ways!):
1. Let him be Mama and I’m Baby. When I listen to him be the mom, I hear what he hears from me. This helps me a ton in understanding where he’s coming from sometimes, and helps me think through my own words and actions more, so I can change what I need to change!
2. Role-play to learn new skills. Ian is learning new and better ways to demonstrate his feelings, but this is taking time. Role-playing with puppets gives us a chance to practice! So, for instance, we can role-play what we can do to handle frustration without hitting, kicking, or pushing anyone.
3. Tell Stories. Ian is my story-teller. It is fun to give him new tools and props to tell stories and watch his imagination take off!
4. Play language games. Sometimes, Mama gets silly and only speaks in rhymes. Or Baby can only repeat exactly what Mama says. Or even better: Baby will name something and Mama repeats the name, but in another language. Mama also starts nursery rhymes and Baby listens for the pauses to say whatever word comes next. Now and again, Mama says words and Baby always changes the initial (or final) sound to a different one: Mama says, “Penguin!” and Baby responds, “Menguin!”
5. Do Math! Mamas and Baby Penguins sure do like to figure out problems and solutions together. Maybe they need to go find pebbles for their nests, or catch and eat 10 fish, or even use just the right shapes of pebbles to make their nests cozy.
These penguin puppets are soft, durable, and fun. I would use them with a small baby, even. Trudi makes a couple of other animal mama and baby pair puppets, including a hen/chick, koala/koala baby, and owl/owlet. Each lends themselves to a variety of creative play for children of all ages.