Hand Puppets as a Tool in Education and Therapy

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

The aim is to understand the power of puppets as the scapegoat that experiences the behavior we want to change, the ignorance we want to erase or the fear we want to eliminate.

We make of the puppet a character that can suffer, feel neglected, shy or ostracized. This character can have awful behavior, cheat, hit and steal, be afraid of the dark, of dentists and operations. The puppet can be silly, ignorant and ask questions of all sorts.

Students learn how to adapt the problem to the stage. Rather than talk about it the problem and the solutions unfold as events happening in the present and experienced on stage. The audience sees the conflict, the emotions that arise in both puppet and puppeteer, and the solutions allowing them to learn through empathy and a direct immersion in the problem rather than being lectured about it.

We can use the puppet:

a) As an aid in learning how to overcome a psychological obstacle such as fear, anxiety, doubt, low self esteem etc.

b) As an aid in education: the puppet character in the role of the one that does not understand, asks repeated questions, etc.

c) As an aid in modifying behavior: the puppet in the role of the one that breaks rules, behaves violently, is disrespectful or destructive etc.

  • I have the experience of decades training students who want to become teachers, drama or art therapists, and drama teachers at several academic colleges in Jerusalem. Click here for my CV.

Above: Overcoming fear of injections. A student at David Yellin College of Education.

Training includes 3 stages:


Students build a hand puppet out of cheap materials ( old socks, cloth, rubber foam).

They learn basic techniques of puppet animation: How to use voice, body posture, gaze, speech, expression of feelings. Students explore the range of movements needed by the puppet to show actions and emotions.


Students learn the techniques of playing two different and separate characters that are together on stage and interact with each other (each one has a voice, intentions, wishes and emotions of their own.)


The the problem or conflict has to be dissected into parts, the situation in which both the puppet and the puppeteer finds themselves in, the relationship between them, the causes of the conflict and the resolution.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO Work by drama students at the EMUNA Academic School of Education, Jerusalem.

Above: Students at the Drama and Arts Departments of Emuna, Efrata and David Yellin Colleges of Education.

For whom?:

Drama teachers

Kindergarten teachers

Special needs educators

Drama therapists

Puppeteers and actors

Educators in general

Where do I teach?:

  1. 2020-2021 In the Dvora Tsafrir School of Puppet Theater and Storytelling:

טלפון 03-7419938

פקס 1533-7419938

אי מייל - dvora@puppet-school.org

2. Private lessons in my studio.

3. Online via zoom to one or more people.

Languages: Hebrew, Spanish and English.

Contact me: patod3@gmail.com

(972) 52 7453802

Full CV: click here.

Other courses are available, check in the website.