Beauty is the lead character in Puppet Stories, a series of puppet shows and books developed at the Two Oceans Aquarium. You can buy these three books, available in English and Afrikaans, for R55 each at the Aquarium’s ticket office, or online here (books must be collected from the Aquarium).
Dear Puppet Stories fans: moms, tots, teachers and learners!
Educating thousands of children from all over the world at the Aquarium, and at the many schools that I visit around the Western Cape, has been such an enlightening journey. I’d like to welcome you to my journal of experiences, where I will share the lessons and loves that I have encountered on this journey.
We’ve come a long way from the humble beginnings of Keep the Beach Clean, where I first featured along with all my ocean friends, to I Love Turtles, with the coolest turtle ever, Hatch, to this year’s I Live Smart, in which I was joined by my new smart friend Geo.
Geo and I have had so much fun teaching children about how to save our oceans, whether it is on our travels, at the beach, or at home. We have ventured to many new towns and farms in the stormiest of weather as well as in the scorching heat of summer! Seeing all those faces brighten up when we appear makes it all worthwhile. The same goes for those who visit us at the Aquarium – toddlers, school children, travelling kids, their moms and dads, nannies and teachers …
Oh, good news, guys! With the help of the Aquarium’s Environmental Education Centre, we’ve expanded our educational fun by implementing early childhood development (ECD) activities in the AfriSam Children’s Play Centre as well as in the lessons that our teachers take to schools. The new craft activities, puppet shows, toys and lessons make the most of children’s listening, touching and seeing learning styles. So now we have loads of fun new ways to teach about principles like cause and effect – and we’ve incorporated texture recognition and fine- and gross-motor skills into our new ECD materials, too!
Don’t you just love to read? So do I! That’s why I’m so glad that we can send a part of our puppet shows home with all our little fans through the Puppet Stories storybook series – turns out our young readers love these books a lot. Our storybooks accompany the puppet shows and allow for repetition of the lessons, which helps a lot with remembering stuff. And I just love being able to teach tots new words, broaden their general knowledge and develop their vocabulary through the books, too.
So far, the Puppet Stories outreach programme has completed 305 school visits and put on a show for 29 042 Western Cape learners. And we’ve sold more than 20 000 books!
We visit so many different schools and that’s not always easy, but then again challenges are learning curves and for us they always turn out positively. It has also made all of us so much more appreciative of life and, as long as we can inspire children and hear them roar with laughter, we are happy. The benefit of interacting with young children is a new sense of energy for grownups … it also keeps adults on their toes and forever happy, forever young!
You can buy all three books, available in English and Afrikaans, for R55 each at the Aquarium’s ticket office, or online here (books must be collected at the Aquarium).