Pros: Very five-finger interactive, rat-a-tat-tat-tat sound chip,cute
Cons: Difficult for most preschool-aged hands
Folkmanis gave me four birds and these woodpeckers are the best. The creativity made it possible to have a family of little woodpeckers and a dad.
Folkmanis Puppets excel in creating amazing puppets. Their line includes very simple puppets, small finger puppets, and really large drama-seeking puppets, all replicas of an actual animal or a fantasy creature. They have a caterpillar puppet that goes through metamorphosis and turns into a butterfly. In preparation for a program on birds, I bought a book and puppet combination that teaches kids about woodpeckers.
Whats so cool? The Folkmanis Woodpecker Family Puppet sits in a brown soft pile nest. Three charming little woodpeckers wait in the home nest for a parent to bring food. This nest, as well as the puppet ensemble, is dramatic and fun. The wiggling babies are cute with red caps and black and white markings. They wiggle and squirm. The Folkmanis full-sized puppets make it possible to use all fingers while animating a puppet. These three baby woodpeckers sitting in a nest can each wiggle. You can use four fingers to make the birds and a small branch on the side of the nest move.
BUT, thats not all that comes with this Woodpecker Family. There is a dad. The adult male has spotted wings, with white under sides, a long beak, and pronounced black and white markings. The adult is separate from the nest, although it arrives attached by a cuttable plastic cord. The adult puppet works as a finger puppet. Small hands will have difficulty animating each bird but most children in elementary grades and older will have no problems.
OK, so now you have a nest with babies and a male woodpecker. Both female and male woodpeckers share responsibility for caring for the nest. This male can be reattached to the nest at the small branch with Velcro.
Attention to Detail In the distance, a sound captures your attention while walking through the forest. It is the rat-a-tat-tatting of a woodpecker. If you push a button on the back of the nest, the sound chip creates the familiar drumming sound. This is my first Folkmanis puppet that makes a sound. Very cool addition, but one that needs to be kept away from very young children.
The puppets are made of polyester fiber and polyurethane foam and the surface is washable. Air-dry the wet puppet. The sound chip can be removed from a small compartment thats closed with Velcro. It also comes with a tag that provides both information and a folktale adapted from Native American (Lenape). Facts of interest:
• More than 200 species all over the world
• Woodpeckers eat insects found under the bark
• They hear beetles and use their beaks and long tongues to capture larvae
• Their drumming sounds are to attract a mate or defend territory
• They dig holes in tree trunks for nests.
This is only some of the information provided on the tag. The folktale is about how Woodpecker helps sugar maple.
Folkmanis puppets create great opportunities for teaching about wildlife and this little nest and family provides young learners with opportunities to act out stories and to learn more about woodpeckers. The quality of this particular set of puppets cant be beat, possibly by any other in the series.
While sitting in my office a colleague was completely immersed in a phone call until she heard rat-a-tat-tat-tat. Her head popped up, phone to ear and eyes full, Whats thatno, not you (to the person shes speaking to?) Oh, they are so cute. I have to get off the phone, my boss just brought out the cutest puppets. Can I try? The moment deteriorated from there. But, kids fall in love with this little set even more than some slightly warped adults who still enjoy kids toys. How many Folkmanis puppets do I have? Not enough!