There are many kinds of puppets for kids – for instance, hand puppets and stick puppets, puppets on strings, paper bag puppets, etc. For kids, puppets are not just a fun and entertaining tool, they can also be a great visual instrument. As children memorize significantly better when information is given in the form of a game rather than a lesson, puppets can be entertaining and educational at the same time.
4 easy steps to make a Kid's Hand Puppet
Evidently, with puppets you can interest your child in reading, listening, singing and clapping activities. My favorite type of hand puppets is a sock puppet; they are usually turned out so bright, funny and exciting. It actually will be enjoyable for an adult to learn how to make a sock puppet. Also, children just love games and activities with sock puppets!
For a puppet game, you need a... Puppet! Follow easy instructions below to see how to make a sock puppet yourself.
The best thing about this sock puppet is that it doesn't take more than 10 minutes to make!
How to make a sock puppet for children in 10 minutes?
- Old sock (preferably a thick one);
- Pink felt or construction paper;
- Glue gun;
- Pipe cleaners;
Step 1. First of all, you need to take a sock and cut around the edge of the toe (about 2-3 inches on each side).
Step 2. Cut the mouthpiece out from felt or construction paper (that will be our mouth).
Step 3. Put the mouthpiece inside the open part of the sock and glue into position.
Step 4. Then add eyeballs - buy plastic one or make one yourself from white and black construction paper.
Step 5. We used twisted pipe cleaners to create a sock puppet's hair.
Step 6. Afterward, glue twisted pipe cleaners to the heel of the sock.
Step 7. Lastly, you can add any other details to make it appear more real! Seems like something is missing...
Step 8. That’s it, your sock puppet is ready to play or lead reading activities!
One of my favorite puppet literacy activities is – “What do I see”. In order to begin the game, you need to collect the following materials.
"What do I see" Puppet Literacy Activity
Materials: 10 simple small objects – for instance: a pen, a hat, a cup, etc., and a set of alphabet letters or wooden alphabet blocks.
- Firstly, a puppet asks your child – “What do I see?”, and looks in the direction of one of the objects. Your child says, for instance: “You see a pen”. Puppet reads out loud: “P-E-N”. Pronouncing letter sounds of the word one by one. Just keep in mind that letter sounds are not the same as letter names. In our reading program, we teach reading only with letter sounds as it has proven results.
- Then puppet offers your child to write this word from available alphabet letters or wooden alphabet blocks.
Things you can do with puppets are endless – sing songs, tell stories, play a simple kids drama – it doesn’t matter what you choose, the important part is that with puppets everything will be very interesting and exciting!
Puppets for personal matters
We personally find puppets very useful for sensitive matters. For instance, when your child is feeling down and he/she is not telling you why. It's very hard to see your child upset while not being able to help. Very often a child might feel like he/she doesn't want to tell something to his/her parents. Then a puppet can come to the rescue!
If you find yourself in a similar situation get your hand puppet and start a conversation with your child. Of course, you need to change your voice to a "puppet voice". Ask your child about what happened and give him/her "puppet advice". Your child might tend to be more open with a puppet as sometimes it's harder to say things straight to someone's face.
Another great way of fascinating your child with a puppet is to make one with him/her. Paper bag puppets are a better option here as they are much easier to make.
5 easy steps to make an amazing Paper Bag Puppet
Because a paper bag puppet is so easy to make this will be a great activity to do together with your child. Therefore you and your child can make your own paper bag puppets. We can guarantee you that it will not take more than 5 minutes to make!
Materials: paper bags, scissors, crayons, markers, crystals, glue gun. Very much the same materials as for a sock puppet.
Step 1. Take a paper bag and give one to your child.
Step 2. Then, you can show your child how the mouth of a puppet works or, what I prefer, just giving your child materials and leaving it to him/her how to use them and what to make from them. Your child might want to add special features to their puppet – eyes, tail, and ears but not necessarily in the places, you are expecting. For instance, your child might want to put a tail on the face of the puppet. Let your child be creative, as this experience will help children to learn through their senses and their inner intuitive teacher will guide him/her throughout it.
Step 3. Make your own puppet too! Take a paper bag and put it on the table with a flap facing up. Here will be your mouth. Put the upper lip on the flap and the lower lip on the bag creating an imaginary mouth that is moving.
Step 4. Then add eyes to your paper bag puppets – use a glue gun to glue plastic eyeballs, or cut eyes from construction paper. Of course, you might prefer to draw eyes yourself with markers.
Step 5. Add some hair from cotton balls, threads or plastic gloves cut into thin threads. We used a sock puppet leftovers to make a tiny hat for the paper bag puppet! Then, we glued pipe cleaners and a tiny hat together with a glue gun to the paper bag. We added some crystal eyebrows to the puppet for that cute look.
Step 6. (Optional). Draw hands and legs or you can cut them from construction paper or cardboard and glue on top of your puppet.
Step 7. (Optional). Now it’s time to add the final touch - some clothes from felt paper or your old t-shirts.
Make it unique and enjoy the process!
Both you and your child can be involved in various puppets activities for kids afterward - you can have puppets say character lines in kids play, let your child speak for a puppet, have puppets ‘discussions’ about the weather, food, seasons of the year, upcoming holidays etc.
Evidently, one of the best puppets activities is the children's simple drama. It's really enjoyable setting up drama play with puppets for kids. The procedure is very simple!
Kid's puppets in a drama play
- You can use your paper bag puppets that you just finished. With your child choose a theme of your play - it can be inspired by his/her favorite book or some recent events that happened to the both of you, for instance, a Christmas Eve celebration.
- Then create lines with your child. Ask him/her what should you say at the beginning and what towards the end. It's very important for your child to feel that his/her opinion is valued.
- Repetition! Repeat the lines till they come naturally and the play "flows".
- Now you two are ready to put on a show! Lastly, invite your most precious people - your husband, your parents, relatives, and friends and read out your drama play to them. This will be a great experience for your child to master artistic abilities, open his/her inner talents and creativity.
- If your child falls in love with theatre and drama you should check if there is a children's theatre in your city.
To sum up, puppets for kids are a great tool in teaching reading, singing, increasing vocabulary, enhancing their public speaking skills and simply bonding and having fun with your child.