Moving the power of play into the lives of
children, parents, and teachers using Puppetools®
--our universal play language (UPL)

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The Power of Play-Based Communication

A key feature of Play Language is its ability to adapt to any age level and subject, not through a tightly defined lesson plan covered by the teacher, but through its ability to create captivating moments of conversation through play and communication.

Research and anecdotal evidence reveal that play drives a child’s sense of control and empowerment because it feeds and reinforces the inherent strength a child naturally embodies. The role of the playful adult is to nourish the child’s curiosity by asking questions and having exchanges that serve to build the intellectual capacity of the child. Once a child has been engaged playfully, learning, say, of the alphabet, cursive writing, reading and numeracy comes naturally with context, not mind-numbing drill and the migraines that arrive when the child and the family worry that they are failing.

Learn More about Our Puppetools® Basics Course

The Art of Playful Teaching and Learning: Using Play Language to Transform Communication with Children
Play is a powerful force in human nature, a form of energy brimming in the minds of children of all ages. This course provides parents, educators and caregivers with practical tools that engage and sustain that power through playful communication.
By applying a simple process of play-based paper media, adults can bring a limitless world of handheld ideas into learning spaces, big or small.
The result is a form of playful communication that bubbles up in the playground of the mind and takes on a life of its own. It's fun, creative, and surprisingly productive.
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Discover Puppetools Basics

Enroll in our Puppetools® Basics course and learn the art and applied science of play-based learning and communication.

Why Play-Based Communication?

Play-Based Education is all about leaving room for kids to build, connect, and navigate on their own.

The kids follow their playful impulses, and the adult follows and takes cues from the children’s response. This is how the child builds meaning, context, confidence, and self-expression. Many great philosophers have advocated for play in learning, and many current day education pundits champion play’s virtues, but the topic of play is so easy to recommend and so vast that it is hard for the average parent and teacher to wrap their heads around it. And that is why a foolproof, practical, communication methodology for mainstreaming play into learning space is sorely needed.

What Does It Mean to Follow Play?

Observable patterns can be recorded by the teacher and student assistants whose sensibilities are sharpened like those of field biologists studying ants and bees. Immersed in play, we become students of nature-- the nature expressed in kids at play as they learn. By following Play, we are guided by a force of nature, not psychology text-books. It's fun, informative, and a godsend for parents, teachers and kids who have, for far too long, been held hostage in the trappings of academics.

How Does Learning Through Play…Work?

Through play, learning becomes natural and fun. Learning becomes free of stress, control and authority. Play is a pathway to a more humane and enlightened culture of learning and teaching. Learning is accelerated because children can follow their own individual roadmaps, and still return to the group to share what they are learning. There is room for collaboration and room for self-navigation; there is no need for the 30-child horse race.

The benefits to the parent and the teacher include the freedom from teaching, and the freedom to accompany, journey, and share. The days of factory lockstep can be seen in the rear-view mirror; the evolution of the ‘learning habitat’ is just ahead, welcoming, inclusive, and shaped by the energy of young minds.

Don’t we all deserve a little freedom and joy in the short time we have with our children? Play delivers a catered feast of this gift. The play-informed mind grows in the individual child like the rings within a tree trunk, and can be documented in a hybrid of hard copy and digital portfolios. In time, these personal papers map a detailed journey of productivity for the individual child and family, and set the stage for lifelong learning.

Thanks to play, a rich foundation of research, discovery, and life-long learning evolves in school which adults can access and contribute to in their roles as learning coaches and care-givers who no longer need to carry the weight of curriculum as the sole deliverers of the daily education menu. Instead, they follow a life-affirming principle that helps them to navigate and share their knowledge and wisdom with the children in their care.  The vast majority of teachers start out with a strong wish to love and guide the young. Play is the way to nourish and sustain that ideal.

Under the civilizing influence of play, behavior problems-- especially those that evolve to terrorize and do harm to our society -- do not grow and become the exception. Positive energy-- social, intellectual, reflective-- leads the way. As more kids are reached and included in the world of play-based learning, it becomes clear that play produces consistent and predictable results, not just in the productivity of learners but in the way teachers are perceived in the public eye. Play is all about harnessing and leveraging brain power and contributing to the empowerment, health and well being of children, clearly a result that we have universally hoped for and, on the pathway of play, we should rightly anticipate every day.
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