I choose to give this product 2 out of 5 Gold Teacher’s Stars!
Puppetools is a website/service dedicated to changing education by advancing the principle of play in teaching and learning. The founder of the website promotes the use of puppets as a tool to make learning fun for children.
As a homeschool parent, I am always looking for fun and imaginative ways to present learning materials. I was initially very excited about the concept of puppetools as I have long used puppets in my teaching. As a former preschool teacher, I often made puppets with my students and we had many fun times learning new things with the puppets we made. I found it to be an engaging tool that was of a tremendous value.
So why am I only awarding 2 stars to this product? I think that I was a bit disappointed in the value that is received at the site for the amount of money that is required to use this service. A one year subscription is currently $99, although that can be used by up to 30 people. It would be a better value if you used this service as a co-op and split the costs among the co-op members. There is also a trial subscription rate that is $20 and gives you access to the site for 60 days. I think that is perhaps too pricey for the average homeschool family. The founder has made mention of offering a one year subscription for individual families for $20, but it is not in effect yet. I think perhaps this concept would be better suited to a CD Rom or book. I would have no problem paying the $20 for a product like this if it were in this form. But as of now, this is only offered as a website/service.
There is a lot of information at the site for the subscribed user. The information explains the theory behind using puppets through play for the purpose of learning. And you will find patterns for 37 different puppets. They have not provided more patterns as the idea is that you should be creative and design your own. However, there are lots and lots of pictures of different puppets that can help to give you ideas if you need them. There is also a forum where users can exchange ideas and support.
If you are completely befuddled when it comes to enhancing your learning through play and puppetry, then you may want to consider a subscription to this service. Creativity does not come easily for some, and puppetry is a great way to introduce play and fun into your studies.