Objects in storytelling

The Gift

A resource for telling stories with children!

In this series of videos Sean brings the world of Object Theatre to Early Years. He explores and demonstrate how everyday objects can be used to tell stories. These exercises explore what characteristic and movement is implicit in the objects and how they can help us tell stories to children.

To turn on English subtitles click the ‘subtitle’ button on YouTube clip.

Playing with everyday objects

Children naturally explore objects through all their senses. The exploration of different everyday objects and materials will help them to better understand the world around them. These exercises demonstrate various techniques to help us play with objects in new and exciting ways. Sean uses objects such as a small bucket, gloves, a sponge, a shoe, a funnel and a sheet for the exercises. You could find some of these to follow along, or view the videos first.

To turn on English subtitles click the ‘subtitle’ button on YouTube clip.

Exercise 1

How does it move?

Exercise 2

Exploring the object

Exercise 3

What can it be?

Exercise 4

Combined objects as anthropomorphic characters


Exercise 5

Telling stories with multiple objects

What objects can you find for storytelling?

gift intro

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

George Bernard Shaw

Learn More...

We found so some exiting online resources about objects for you to explore in the videos below - Object Theatre activities to do at home and exciting research that reveals how babies perceive the objects around them.

Object Theatre At Home

with Helenandjohn

For the Beverley puppet festival in 2020, artist Helen Ainsworth explains the basics of object theatre and will show you how to bring to life some household objects, transforming them into a fabulous menagerie! Music by: Ketsa and Shaolin Dub. Helen Ainsworth and John Mowat are a creative duo who have collaborated together for over 5 years. 

Learn more about Helenandjohn..


What Babies See?

Fascinating research by Linda B. Smith about how babies see objects and the world around them in this article and video form APS ( Association for Psychological Science). The research helps us to understand how babies perceive objects they encounter in the first two years of this lives. Linda has taken a new approach to this line of inquiry by trying to see the world through children’s own eyes.

Learn more about this research...

Artist Biography

Sean Myatt is a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, School of Theatre Design, and is a puppetry specialist. He has over 30 years experience as a puppeteer and performer, working nationally and internationally, leading puppetry teams within the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics and acting as a consultant for high profile shows and events, including Kate Bush’s 2014 show Before the Dawn.

Sean has been a practicing puppeteer for as long as he can remember. His work encompasses traditional and contemporary puppetry with a research interest in performing objects. Sean is currently a Senior Lecturer in theatre design at Nottingham Trent University, where he graduated in 1987.