Using puppets with children is SO much more than just fun! Here’s why:
- Puppets help to build language skills.
- Puppets helps to build confidence – talking or singing through the puppet or to the puppet can be less invasive for a quiet or shy child.
- Puppets help to build social skills.
- Puppets help to build fine motor skills and gross motor co-ordination.
- Puppets help to build creativity and imagination.
- Puppets can help to awaken a child’s sense of humour!
- Using a puppet as a prop will help children to learn elements of music.
- Using puppets is emotionally fulfilling.
- Use puppets as a learning tool.
Here’s How to Make a Variety of Puppets:
Easy Finger Puppets
Use felt tip pens or permanent markers to draw a face on a:
- Sticking plaster – wrap around finger, you can add a hat by cutting out a small circle of card board with a hole in the middle to fit the finger.
- Old glove – use a white glove or a disposable glove, draw faces for each finger of the glove.
- Peanut shell
- Ping Pong Ball – cut out a finger sized hole with scissors
- Tennis Ball – make a hole big enough for 2 or 3 fingers (better for an older child)
Box, Tube and Plastic Bottle Puppets
- Puppets can be made out of card board boxes or card board packets, card board rolls and plastic bottles – anything that will fit over a child’s hand.
- Decorate puppets with paint, felt tip pens, crayons, coloured paper, fabric, wool, googly eyes etc.
- Make hair by gluing or taping cotton wool, string, wool, material cut in strips, a scrunched up tissue, lichen etc.
- Arms can be made by cutting two slits in opposite sides of the box, container or plastic bottle, slot in a card board strip making sure it is long enough to show two arms out either side.
- Legs can be made by stapling or gluing on legs made from cut out card board.
Paper Bag Puppets
Use felt tip pens, crayons or paint to draw a face on a paper bag, or stick on googly eyes, plastic bottle top for a nose and cut our coloured paper for a mouth. Twist the corners of the bag to make ears.
Use a permanent marker to draw a face on the sole of a white sock – you can draw faces on a pair of white socks. Fun hand puppets and then fun to wear on the feet as well!
Use ice cream sticks – use a felt tip pen or permanent marker to draw a face.
Wooden Spoon Puppets
Use a permanent marker or paint a face. Use material to make a scarf or skirt and tie around the spoon.
Scissor Shape Puppets
Outline a picture of a person, cut out using scissors. Draw a small circle (to fit a finger) close to the bottom of each leg (but not too close as the leg might rip). Carefully cut out each circle. Place one finger through each hole and make your puppet dance!
Empty the matches from the match box. Separate the match box from the lid that slides and use the inside box – draw a face on the back of the box – slide the lid back on the box and play
“peek a boo!”
Children can use desks, tables and chairs as stage props for their puppets to peep around or over.
Make your own stage out of a large cardboard box – decorate the box by painting or covering with material, you can even make your own curtains by sticking material on each side of the box. Place the ‘stage’ on a table.
Teaching Ideas with a Puppet
During shared reading Tessa uses a puppet ‘Freddie the Frog’ who helps her to read. Freddie sometimes gets a little bit confused and reads wrong words or reads to the wrong punctuation
e.g. reading with no full stops. When Freddie gets things wrong the children model the correct way. This helps to make the children more aware of errors they make and helps them to self-regulate when they are reading. Children love it when Freddie the Frog reads with the teacher – they become more engaged and involved in reading and love the responsibility of correcting his errors.
Enhance Songs with Puppets
- Five Little Ducks
- Five Little Speckled Frogs
- The Little Green Frog
- Flipperty Flop
- Humpty Dumpty
- Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?
- Monkey Medley
- Here is a Beehive
- My Bear is Cuddly
- I’m Standing Under the Mistletoe
- Pink Pigs Can Fly
- Three Birds
- Old Mother Hubbard
- Little Birdy
Let us know your puppet teaching ideas and send in photos of your puppet creations!