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Two unique products from The Creativity Institute (www.creativityinstitute.com) are helping to introduce more and more children to the imaginative fun found in putting on puppet shows. By bundling puppet scripts with a companion cast of puppets, this online child-creativity resource offers an easy way to get children involved in creative pretend play.

The Creativity Institute's Old MacDonald Puppet Set comes with Farmer MacDonald, seven barnyard animal puppets and a scripted adaptation of the familiar song. The song can be acted out with anyone (or everyone) in the room singing the song or with the puppets performing along with any prerecorded version. Up to eight children can perform the skit at one time, though it can really add to the fun when the cast is smaller and the children take on double roles. (Imagine the giggles when the pig quacks by accident.)

The Aesop's Fables Puppet Set packages together five animal hand puppets that frequently appear in Aesop's stories: a Lion, Mouse, Fox, Rabbit and Turtle. The set also includes, at no additional charge, Creativity Institute adaptations of four Aesop's Fables stories that have been modified and contemporized without losing their original story line or moral. The adapted scripts include “The Mouse and the Lion,” “The Hare and the Tortoise,” “The Fox and the Grapes” and “The Fox Who Had Lost His Tail.”

Creativityinstitute.com also has a page devoted to helping parents and children develop their own script ideas. The page offers links to several sites on the Internet where visitors can find existing scripts of classic comedy routines, as well as children's stories that can be easily adapted to the puppet stage. The Creativity Institute page also offers a list of “director tips” for staging puppet show productions. These include such basics as how to make a puppet walk and talk. For example, most people instinctively work a hand puppet's mouth by closing it on a syllable, which is the opposite of how someone talks. It makes for a better show if a puppeteer can learn to open the puppet's mouth on each syllable instead.

In addition to the scripted sets, The Creativity Institute sells other animal puppet combinations, including farm, zoo, woods and swamp animals. There are also colorful people puppet sets, with groupings varied by family unit, occupations and ethnicity.

No production is complete without a venue, so creativityinstitute.com carries an extensive line of puppet theaters, including tabletop and floor models in wooden and tented styles . Along with stage curtains, many have outer surfaces made of marker or chalkboard that can be decorated with artwork and text to suit the production.

The Creativity Institute is an online store that offers toys and information dedicated to helping parents enhance creative development in children, from infant through school age. The store handpicks each educational toy based on its potential for bringing out creative potential in children and includes such items as puppet theaters, toy musical instruments, art supplies and building blocks. The founders of The Creativity Institute are Gwynn Torres and Sid Berger, both former advertising creative directors who've raised five creative children between them.

About the Author

Sid Berger and Gwynn Torres are former advertising creative directors who had raised five wonderfully zany and significantly creative children between them. Together, they founded The Creativity Institute to help parents and teachers boost creativity in children of all ages.


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