Kids First

Kids First, a coalition of individuals and agencies concerned with special needs children, was established to promote the understanding and acceptance of people with special needs. Kids First has chosen the Kids On The Block puppet shows and materials as the vehicle to help reach this goal. Kids First volunteers manipulate the puppets-affectionlaty known as “The Kids”-and enact the scripts created by The Kids On The Block organization.

About Our Visits and Shows

About Our Visits
Whatever topic(s) you choose to have Kids First address, each of our visits will follow three steps.
  • Puppets lively and nearly child-size will perform a show that deals with the topic(s) you have selected. Within the show’s script, the puppet characters will emphasize the similarities among people even while they fully recognize the differences. In place of myths and conceptions about disabilities and differences, the puppets foster understanding and acceptance
  • After each performance, the puppeteers-in character-encourage questions from the audience and answer the children’s questions in an upbeat and candid manner. Children ask questions easily of the puppet characters.
  • We will give you, as teacher/group leader, a packet of materials that offers suggestions for activities to help children fully understand the subject of the script. Disability simulations, discussions topics based on action in the script, art projects, and creative writing ideas-these are among the activities. In each packet is a list of pertinent children’s and adult’s books, sources of audio-visual and teaching aids, and names and addresses of organizations interested in the topic.
Through the combination of performance, question and answer period, and use of the educational activities, Kids First provides a rich learning experience.
About Our Shows
  • Kids First enactsscripts and provides materials that The Kids On The Block organization has designed. Most are appropriate for youngsters ages 7-12.
  • Kids First makes no charge for the puppet shows or the accompanying materials for Tippecanoe County groups.
  • Because of the interactive nature of the Kids First puppet shows, audience size is limited.
  • A group of 25-75 children is ideal, but Kids First will perform for groups as large as 100.
  • Should it be necessary, Kids First puppeteers are happy to schedule multiple performances at one site.
  • Scripts are short enough that Kids First puppeteers can present two topics at one visit.
  • Depending upon which topic(s) and script(s) are chosen, a Kids First performance last between 15 and 45 minutes.
  • Our coordinator is pleased to speak to adult groups about Kids First.
Our Show Topics
Kids First offers puppet shows on:
  • Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Blindness
  • Bullying
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Deafness
  • Down Syndrome
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Recovery from Stroke
  • Name Calling/Teasing (age 6-12)
  • Prejudice (ages 10-14)
  • Severe Burns
  • Coming Soon…ASTHMA


Our Facebook page
The Kids on the Block, Inc. originated in 1977 in direct response to US Public Law 94-142, which required that children with disabilities be educated in the least restrictive environment. For many children, this meant being included in a classroom with their non-disabled peers. Mark Riley, who represents a child with cerebral palsy, was the first puppet character created to fill the need of children with disabilities to have their non-disabled peers understand and accept them. Through Mark Riley, the children learned about cerebral palsy and began asking questions directly to Mark. The Kids on the Block, Inc. was launched because of this enthusiastic response from the children. Now internationally acclaimed, Kids on the Block has continued to grow over the years and offers programs on disabilities such as spina bifida and visual impairment, medical differences such as childhood cancer and HIV/AIDS; educational differences including learning disabilities and ADHD, and social concerns including sexual abuse prevention, and alternatives to violence.
Kids First is proud to be one of these troupes.