School Readiness Funding 

Training Package: "Using Puppets for Social And Emotional Learning."

Yes! We are on the 2021 and 2022 School Readiness Funding Menu (Kindergartens, Victoria).  

There's certainly a lot of fun in this training.  Participants learn about the magic of puppetry and how to make a puppet "come alive". 

A puppet package is provided for your centre - each puppet, being carefully selected to address specific learning goals.  (You can use your own if appropriate). 

But it's not just a day of playing with puppets...

Participants develop an indepth knowledge relating to emotional and social development and the challenges that some children face. They learn how to promote the skills, behaviours  and knowledge that underpin emotional regulation and healthy social interactions. The knowledge gained on the day can easily be applied to other sessional activities such as book sharing and pretend play. 

This training package can be delivered in a number of ways. 

You may choose to:  

  • OPTION ONE: Host a five hour session at your centre for all your staff.  (You can invite other services in your area) THESE ARE MOVED TO ZOOM during Covid lockdowns

  • OPTION TWO: Host the training for your centre via Zoom. This option allows you to split the training across two sessions if you wish and to eliminate presenter's travel costs.  

  • OPTION THREE: Send one, two, three or more educators to one of our face-to-face training days. These are held in Hawthorn, Melbourne. (Dates for the first four training days are below.)

  • OPTION FOUR: Have one, two or more of your educators join in on our online training series (via ZOOM) - 2 X 2.5 hour sessions. (Dates below).

For each option, you receive: 

  • Training materials, resources and programming to view, print, use ( provided on a USB stick or downloadable link)

  • Three follow-up sessions (online or via phone)

You may also choose to purchase: 

  • A puppet package for your centre (6 puppets chosen for specific purposes to complement the training)


Melbourne-based training day: $385 (inc GST) per person. *** (see dates below).

A training day (5 hours) hosted at your centre or via Zoom for up to 30 people: $1980 (inc GST).  Travel costs and an overnight  charge may be charged if you are situated beyond East Gippsland, Victoria. Where possible, travel costs are combined with other services in your region. 

Online training (Zoom):   $385 inc GST per participant for the sessions online. (Or $1980 for the whole centre's staff). 

The puppet package (6 puppets and puppet programming on a USB)  is available for $450 (inc GST). These are posted to your service prior to the training or sent to the Melbourne training venue. 

*Some costs may vary according to your needs. Please contact us for a specific quote 

The presenter: 

Lucia Smith is a speech pathologist with over 25 years of experience working with children across a range of settings. She has always taken loved incorporating the magic of puppets in her work and has enjoyed sharing this knowledge in her workshops and conference presentations. 

Lucia is the creator of many popular resources used in early childhood and school settings, including "Social Sam" and "Social Puppets." 

Throughout the training, participants: 

  • Learn how to use hand puppets in a way that is engaging to children (“making a puppet come alive”)

  • Explore the three types of puppet use applicable to the early childhood setting

  • Explore theories of emotional intelligence and its development

  • Learn how to model emotions using a puppet in order to promote a rich emotional vocabulary

  • Learn how to demonstrate emotional regulation using a puppet

  • Explore the Social Puppets program and discuss how implement it within a centre (this is received free with the training)

  • Learn about how to use the Social Sam program (this program is provided free along with the training)

  • Explore current theories of social development and the levels of social understanding necessary for developing successful peer relationships

  • Learn about why children vary in their social and emotional capabilities

  • Learn about Theory of Mind, deficits in Theory of Mind, and how to promote it using a puppet

  • Learn how to set up play-based learning with puppets to further reinforce social and emotional learning

  • Learn how to use a calming puppet

  • Learn the Tommy Turtle calming strategy (for regulating anger, frustration, etc)

  • Learn how to adapt the above learning to other modes of play and book-sharing


Thursday 12th May 2022    9.30 - 3.15 Booked out

Friday 13th May 2022        9.30 - 3.15 Booked out

Thursday 14th July 2022 9.30 - 5.15

Friday 15th July 9.30 - 5.15 

Each training day is run at The University of Melbourne (Hawthorn Campus) in Melbourne.  Places are strictly limited due to Covid 19 restrictions. 


NOTE:  These training sessions book out quickly.


This first training series is delivered in two parts. The next series will run on the following dates/times. You will need to join in on both. Spots are limited to 20. 

Tuesday 24th May 2022. 2.45 - 3.15 pm (AEST)

Tuesday 31st May 2022. 2.45 - 3.15 pm. (AEST)


NOTE:  These training sessions book out quickly.