Puppets have many careers. They are doctors, teachers, advertisers, entertainers, and friends. Puppets are fun. They are fun for the performer and for the audience. This makes them a great tool. Therapists use them, comedians use them, teachers use them, and even advertisers use them. Though most puppeteers target children, puppets are sometimes used to teach and entertain adults. They work. Both children and adults are drawn to a puppet show.
While working in the elementary school library I used puppets to teach character building, how to react to bullies, and to teach Dewey Decimal. We used puppets to build self-esteem. In the classroom puppets are used to play out social situations. In media puppets have been used to sell everything from mops to cars. Therapists use puppets to help people deal with crisis situations. Churches use puppets to teach. Libraries use puppets as entertainment.
Puppets are famous for their work. Remember Lambkin, Barney, Bert and Ernie and the rest of the Sesame Street gang, the Miss Piggy and Kermit and all of the Henson family of puppets, Rudolph, Frosty, and the Little Drummer Boy. Even full movies like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Puppet Master movies, Chucky movies, Gremlins, and Lord of the Rings series all used or starred puppets on both the adult and the child's level. The puppets made us laugh, be afraid, cry, dance, but most of all they helped us understand the world around us and learn lessons in a fun way. Today we see more puppets used in advertisements than in the past.
There are skills needed to use a puppet professionally. Things like moving the mouth when words are spoken and not moving the mouth when no one is talking, or looking at the audience and not at the ceiling. Puppets use body language as much as a script to talk more than people do. Standing up straight instead of leaning 'like a fallen tree' is hard to learn. But even with all of this and more, a small child can work a puppet the first time it covers their hand well enough enjoy and entertain friends.
Puppetry is a skill that is fun to learn, fun to use, and fun to see. Try on a puppet today and see what happens. Just put one on your hand and it will come alive to be used as you need, even if that is just the need to put a smile on your face or the face of someone you are with.