Charlotte Montessori Blog

Mountain Marionettes

Wedesday we had a special performance for the entire school!

Susan VandeWeahe is a puppeteer located in Cedar Mountain, NC. She designs and hand builds her many puppets. She offers various workshops for preschool to grade school aged children that focus on learning the fine art of puppetry. She has camps where children can learn how to build their own puppet and learn how to manipulate them. She even has a tea party setting for children to enjoy a fun and “fancy” meal with the company of some very lovely puppets.  Her website is:

You never know with the age of our children how they will perceive these shows. To be honest, the puppets are bigger than some of our toddlers! We gathered into Ms. Formon’s room, she was so kind to host everyone, and sat on her carpet. The tile half of the room had been set up as a stage with bright lights, speakers, and black curtains to hide the puppets. There was excitement forming from the 3-6 students and an unsure vibe from our toddlers, especially the youngest ones in my class!

Susan began the show by first bringing out one of her puppets to show everyone how they worked. This was in an effort to allow the youngest children to realize that the puppet are controlled by her and relieve their minds to what was about to happen. The main character of the performance was this sweet old lady who lived in the mountains of North Carolina. She was a guide to introduce us to all the fun characters and animals that live in the mountains with her.

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I really enjoy her hair.

As soon as Susan turned off the lights and began the music, the children in my class forgot that it was a puppet and that they had just met it. Two of my children were super concerned with what they were seeing. The other children laughed at the sight of this puppet “walking” around in their classroom.

Susan did a fantastic job of having different styles of mountain music set to characters. She mentioned that she designed the characters to fit the music. The first character was a small puppet “man” that could detach his head and limbs. He would swing his body around the classroom and get a LOT of laughs from the children, and teachers… Ms. Elizabeth was crying from laughing so hard!

After the first character performed, the youngest toddlers became use to what the show was about, however they remained a little unsure of the old woman puppet…. It was probably the hair.

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When the entire show was finished the toddler classes moved outside for some much needed gross motor, while the 3-6 children were able to ask Susan questions about her puppets.

It was SUCH a fun performance and we are all so excited to see her again next year!