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The Best Puppets - 2021

Last updated on July 21, 2021
Best Puppets

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Our Picks For The Top Puppets

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Our Take
  1

Melissa & Doug Barn Buddies Hand Puppets, 6-Pack

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Melissa & Doug

Barn Buddies Hand Puppets, 6-Pack

Overall Take

Friendly, Cuddly Farm PalsThese well-made puppets fit both kid and adult hands and will spark imaginations for hours of playtime.

  2

Lacroky The Muppet Show Kermit The Frog Puppet

Lacroky

The Muppet Show Kermit The Frog Puppet

Overall Take

Familiar, Beloved and GreenYou will definitely want to introduce this huggable and classic “celebrity” puppet to your family!

  3

Cate and Levi Fleece Sock Hand Puppet

Cate and Levi

Fleece Sock Hand Puppet

Overall Take

Give it a HandThis dog sock puppet has a simple design and appealing face that will make kids reach for it time and time again.

  4

Fun Express Multi-Ethnic Diversity Collection Puppets

Fun Express

Multi-Ethnic Diversity Collection Puppets

Overall Take

The More the MerrierThis set of diverse characters is perfect for kids to share with their friends and works well in classrooms.

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Guide written by Danielle Smyth
Last updated on July 21, 2021

Old-fashioned toys can’t be beat. Hand puppets, for instance, are wonderful teaching tools that help children with their communication abilities, motor skills, self-confidence and hand-eye coordination. Puppets also fire up the imagination and aid with emotional and social development.

You’ll find several major styles of puppets available, including finger puppets, mitt puppets and sock puppets. You’ll also find common themes when shopping for puppets, such as animals, popular TV or movie characters and different professions: nurses and teachers, for example, are often represented in puppet form. Puppets are usually made from soft materials like cotton, velour and polyester, with some offering plush, stuffed profiles.

These educational toys also make terrific gifts. Plus, they’re not usually very expensive and do not require batteries. Puppets are made for different age groups, and most will specify the appropriate age in their product descriptions.

Some puppets are washable, while others can only be spot cleaned; check the product description for details. You will pay more for licensed characters, but most puppets and puppet sets are less costly than many other toys with more limited uses.

The Best Puppets

1
  1

Melissa & Doug Barn Buddies Hand Puppets, 6-Pack

This Barn Buddies set features six adorable hand puppets made from soft, washable plush material. They're perfect for teaching about farm life and will provide children (and their parents) with hours of imaginative, rewarding play.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Melissa & Doug
Model
2
  2

Lacroky The Muppet Show Kermit The Frog Puppet

Everyone loves Kermit the Frog! This flexible and fun character hand puppet looks just like the original Jim Henson creation. He comes with a moveable mouth, measures 23.6 inches and is made from 100% polyester microfiber for easy cleaning.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Lacroky
Model
3
  3

Cate and Levi Fleece Sock Hand Puppet

This cute-as-can-be dog hand sock puppet is warm and welcoming. It's made from 100% USA-produced polar fleece and designed for telling stories. Kids and adults alike will love its bright colors, great hand control qualities and durable softness.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Cate and Levi
Model
4
  4

Fun Express Multi-Ethnic Diversity Collection Puppets

This collection features eight soft plush 14-inch puppets in a variety of hair colors and skin tones, all with embroidered features, sewn-on clothing and working mouths. They're good for small hands and for teaching values like friendship.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Fun Express
Model
5
  5

Cate and Levi Reclaimed Wool Dog Puppet

Each one of these reclaimed wool hand puppets from a family-owned Canadian business has a unique color combination, with no two alike. They are 12 inches tall and come in 15 different varieties from elephants and butterflies to unicorns.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Cate and Levi
Model

Our Puppet Buying Guide

Old-fashioned toys can’t be beat. Hand puppets, for instance, are wonderful teaching tools that help children with their communication abilities, motor skills, self-confidence and hand-eye coordination. Puppets also fire up the imagination and aid with emotional and social development.

You’ll find several major styles of puppets available, including finger puppets, mitt puppets and sock puppets. You’ll also find common themes when shopping for puppets, such as animals, popular TV or movie characters and different professions: nurses and teachers, for example, are often represented in puppet form. Puppets are usually made from soft materials like cotton, velour and polyester, with some offering plush, stuffed profiles.

These educational toys also make terrific gifts. Plus, they’re not usually very expensive and do not require batteries. Puppets are made for different age groups, and most will specify the appropriate age in their product descriptions.

Some puppets are washable, while others can only be spot cleaned; check the product description for details. You will pay more for licensed characters, but most puppets and puppet sets are less costly than many other toys with more limited uses.

DWYM Fun Fact

When the TV show “Sesame Street” was testing its concepts with Head Start children, it found that while kids were watching humans, their attention wavered. However, that wasn’t the case with Jim Henson’s Muppets, which transfixed young ones.

Children can really open up to a puppet, sharing information they might not otherwise divulge to an adult. Clever parents and caregivers can use puppets to help their kids in this way, all while encouraging learning and creativity.

Puppets are often used in therapy to help people visualize the thinking process and create an avenue for expression. Because puppets sometimes look human without being human, they can personify and reflect emotions or behaviors in a safe way.

The Puppet Tips and Advice

  • It often makes sense to buy more than one puppet, so the original one will have another “friend” to communicate with. You will find many that are sold in sets, which can be more cost-effective — and fun!
  • Sets of puppets can be easily used to put on home puppet shows, which kids and adults both love.
  • Hand puppets are not just for play. Caregivers use puppets to read stories, and professionals use them in classrooms, daycares, and other settings.
  • Puppets are lightweight and portable and are great to bring along on car trips and vacations and into waiting rooms.