This little Snow Leopard Cub wowed my 4 year-old friend as well as her Grandma! The little cub’s big blue eyes invite you in for a conversation. She slipped on the puppet and had a cuddle while negotiating moving its mouth. Grandma stroked the tail and said, “It looks real!” The realism of Folkmanis puppets helps engage kids in their role play as they try on the puppet and start to eat, play and talk. My friend was a little shy but the puppet provided a venue to talk behind a character. I love that Folkmanis is always teaching the next generation about beautiful animals that are endangered as the Snow Leopard is. My little friend listened intently about how the mama prepares her cave with lots of fur before her baby is born. When I told her the baby is called a cub,  she said, “Just like a tiger!” Kids soak up these facts as they are learning in context with the animal puppet. Puppets are an amazing resource for encouraging kids to talk, role-play and converse with others, building essential language skills.

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