Puppet Power

Maxi the Taxi Dog is brought to life on screen by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and the artistry of Sesame Street puppeteer Martin Robinson. Maxi’s primary mode of communication is through facial expressions and body language, giving children a chance to practice interpreting nonverbal communication while watching the story.

In order to bring Maxi off the screen and into the classroom, each child participating in the program will use  their own Maxi hand puppet. Puppets have long been identified as beneficial tools to assist children with the development of language and communication skills, self-esteem, emotional expression and decision-making. The Maxi puppet enhances these skills in the Taxi Dog Program, and provides the opportunity for each child in the classroom to practice social emotional learning Definition:the processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions in a nonjudgemental, safe environment. It’s also just plain fun!

Click for more information on the research supporting puppets in education and play-based learning.

Video workshops with Martin Robinson are integrated into the lessons to help teachers and students learn the essentials of puppetry, and get everyone comfortable having a puppet on their hand. Watch Martin go over some of the basics of puppetry in the video above.