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“It is my belief that puppets are truly messengers of love.”
Essie sharing puppetry with children.

Why Puppets?

When entering a child’s room, I introduce myself saying, “Hi my friend, I’m Essie, the Puppet Lady. I brought some pals with me today who’ve come a long way to meet you! Can I show you some of them?” At this moment the child is ‘in charge’ at a time of their lives when they are often powerless due to what has transpired – either throughout their own illness or the illness of a loved one. As I take the puppets out of their little basket, I generally use very soft voices as they ‘introduce themselves. And the celebration of the child begins.

  1. I begin by asking for spiritual strength.
  2. Always speak to the child, not above the child.
  3. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with putting on a puppet show simply bring along a book. Improvise with the puppets as you read the story.
  4. Remember, the puppets have no agenda—they are not judgmental. Puppets are empaths. They can laugh. And they can cry.
  5. Validation- sometimes that is all you need to give to a child.
  6. At times just sitting back and listening to the child communicate through the puppets might be all that is necessary.
  7. Give feedback. Puppets provide validation. The words, ”I know,” might make a big difference.
  8. Respect the moment a puppet enters the child’s space. All should be right with the world for in that moment, you are there just for them.
  9. Remember to laugh, be silly, have fun and spread joy. I’ve had children say to me, “You know, Essie, those puppets aren’t real.” I simply responded, “I know they’re not real, you know they’re not real, but maybe, for the next few minutes we can make believe they are. Is that alright with you?” This is yet a powerful reminder to the child that they are in charge.
  10. There are no grey areas with children. They are honest and straightforward. Honor the sacred place you have been invited. Be ever mindful that you enter a child’s heart from the love in your own heart and love will always carry you through. Love is what brought you here. Combined with your kindness, grace and compassion, you are already on your way. Blessings!