Learning & Activities


How to Make Puppets

How to Make Puppets

Children of all ages like to play with puppets. With help from us, they can learn how to make puppets.  They're a great outlet for a child's imagination, and encourage creative play. Unfortunately, buying them at the toy store can get very costly very quickly, when they can cost $6-$15 or more each. Instead of breaking the bank, why not learn how to make puppets at home with readily available materials?  You'll save a ton of money, you'll do some recycling, and the kids will have an endless supply of puppets to make and play with over and over.

There are lots of different types of puppets you can make at home; below are a few different kinds. Once you get started, your imagination will kick in, and you'll be making puppets out of lots of different things that you once thought of as useless. The important thing to remember when you're learning how to make puppets is to let your imagination have free reign. There is no right or wrong; it's all about what will captivate and delight your child.

How to Make Puppets

How to Make Styrofoam and Drinking Straw Puppets

You'll need:

  • Clean Styrofoam trays (colored trays make especially cool puppets)
  • Scissors
  • Drinking straws
  • Pens, or markers
  • Tape
  • Yarn, construction paper, and anything else you might want to use to decorate your puppets

Step 1: Wash your Styrofoam tray well with soap and water; dry completely. Using a pen or marker, draw the outline of your puppet on the tray. It can be an animal, a person, or anything else you'd like.

Step 2: Cut out the outline and decorate your puppet.

Step 3: Tape a drinking straw to the back of your puppet.

How to Make Paper Bag Puppets

Yes – the old standby; a paper bag puppet.

All you need is a paper lunch bag, and things to decorate your puppet with. (Pens, markers, felt, construction paper, confetti, etc.) The only limit is your imagination.

Step 1: Lay the bag flat, and decorate to resemble an animal, person, whatever you'd like. If making an animal, the fold on the bottom of the bag is a good place to glue a tongue sticking out.

Step 2: Slide your hand into the bag and put on your puppet show. It's that easy!

How to Make Finger Puppets

The last type of easy puppet is a paper finger puppet. The supplies are simple, and they're perfect for little hands. Gather the following supplies:

  • Thick, sturdy paper; card stock would work well
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons
  • Anything else you'd like to use to decorate your puppet

Step 1: Draw an outline on the paper. Draw in the finger holes. Cut out the outline and the finger holes.

Step 2: Draw in the details, and decorate however you'd like.

These puppets are especially suited to preschoolers, as they only require fingers to operate. Once you help them slide the paper onto their hands, they can make their puppet walk, run, dance, or jump simply by moving their chubby little fingers.

Learning how to make puppets can be an activity for the whole family. Clear off the kitchen table, cover it with newspaper, pile all the supplies on the table, and get to work. When you're all done, take pictures of each family member with his or her creations, and then pair up to put on puppet shows for each other.

You'll be talking, belly laughing, and just enjoying each other's company. Set aside some time soon to teach your child how to make puppets; you'll all have a good time! 

Ideas For Using Your New Puppets

Once you've made your new puppets, there's plenty you can do with them! Simply making them come alive with your hands is fun, but your kids will soon want to do more than just that. Check out some of these fun ideas for things to do with your new puppets.

Have your kids put on a puppet show! Puppet shows are a lot of fun. The story that your children tell can be whatever they want it to be. Their puppets will be the main stars. If you want to go all-out, construct a proper stand for your children to hide behind while they put their show on. They'll love being able to tell and act out their own story!

Your kids can have their puppets interact with each other. How does each puppet feel about every other puppet? Are they friends? Family? Sworn enemies? Your kids will love coming up with relationships for their puppets, and then acting those relationships out.

Have your kids make up fun backstories and personalities for their puppets. What is a given puppet's favorite thing to eat? Watch on T.V.? What sort of job do they have, or what job would they like to have? All of these questions are a lot of fun for children to answer. Encourage them to make all of their puppets unique.

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