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Finger Puppet Crafts

Updated on June 19, 2013
Felt finger puppets
Felt finger puppets | Source
Juju playing with his new panda finger puppet.
Juju playing with his new panda finger puppet.

To learn more about the benefits of play, activities to play with your kids, and age appropriate toys check out these links from The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) on astratoy.org

Play Time!

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Playing with your kids is not only a fun way to bond, it is also an educating experience for them. As an aspiring toy store owner, I have been recently doing research on the benefits of play for children. I have been amazed by what I have discovered! The simplest toys actually provide children with the best experiences because they are able to utilize their imagination and hone basic, but important, skills.

Making toys for play with your kids encourages bonding, self esteem, imagination, motor skills, and increased confidence. I plan to do a series of Hubs on DIY toys that inspire children, but this first one is for finger puppets.

I don't know about you, but I loved finger puppets when I was a kid. My siblings and I would put on little plays for our mom and grandparents. The best part though was making them.

Today, kids are bombarded with technology. Although I find it intriguing how easily my toddler son can navigate my mother's iPad, it also worries me. I fear that with all the techy toys that are out there my boys will miss out on the fun of make believe and will not appreciate the beauty of simplicity. I'm a bit ashamed to say that I have not been very active in making sure this doesn't happen. Despite my crafting skills, I find I don't have very much time to make toys for my boys--but that's about to change! I'm MAKING time! Starting with these, fun, simple, and adorable finger puppets!

Felt finger puppets; bird finger puppet, pig finger puppet, elephant finger puppet, panda finger puppet
Felt finger puppets; bird finger puppet, pig finger puppet, elephant finger puppet, panda finger puppet | Source

Set the Stage

When you're done cut up a cardboard box or a cereal box to create a stage for your characters. Or just hide behind the arm of your couch like I did, haha.

Felt Finger Puppets

These are really cute and simple finger puppets that don't require a lot of artistic skill and are very inexpensive to make. You could make finger puppets or hand puppets or even flat plush toys.


Materials

Craft Felt Sheets

Scissors

Pencil

Glue Gun*

Needle and Thread*

Puff Paint or Fabric Paint**

Pen or Permanent Marker**

Buttons or other notions for embellishment


* You can sew these or glue them together. If you don't know how to sew, or want to make them really quick so you can just hurry up and play with your kids I would recommend using a hot glue gun. Fabric glue or regular glue could also potentially work, but it takes some time to dry--and felt still tends to fall apart after being glued together.

** Any of these or good or you don't have to use any of them. This is just for detailing, like adding eyes, nose, and mouth. I didn't have a lot of materials on hand so i just used a basic ballpoint pen to add my eyes and used other bits of felt to add other features.


These can be as creative, detailed, or simple as you want them to be. The point is to have fun, not to make a masterpiece.

Step 1: Make Some Sketches

Here I sketched some animals I wanted to make finger puppets for (with Juju's help as you can see); a panda, a pig (Juju's favorite animal currently), an elephant, a bird, a bunny, and a cat.  Keep it as simple as you can!
Here I sketched some animals I wanted to make finger puppets for (with Juju's help as you can see); a panda, a pig (Juju's favorite animal currently), an elephant, a bird, a bunny, and a cat. Keep it as simple as you can!

Step 2: Cut Out Body Template

Each puppet will need two bodies, so it helps to have a template to keep them all the same size and shape.  Make sure to leave a little extra fabric along the side so that your hand or finger can slide in easily after sewing or gluing.
Each puppet will need two bodies, so it helps to have a template to keep them all the same size and shape. Make sure to leave a little extra fabric along the side so that your hand or finger can slide in easily after sewing or gluing.

Tip

For puppets with arms, you can make a separate template that has arms. To make a puppet with arms a different colour from the body (like with the Panda), simply glue a body without arms on top of a body that has arms.

Step 3: Draw Shapes

Trace your body template and draw your shapes out on to the felt using a pencil or pen.
Trace your body template and draw your shapes out on to the felt using a pencil or pen.

Step 4: Cut Out Shapes

Cut out the shapes for your felt finger puppets.  Carefully cut along the lines so that you trim off the pen/pencil marks.
Cut out the shapes for your felt finger puppets. Carefully cut along the lines so that you trim off the pen/pencil marks.

Step 5: Put Shapes Together & Add Details

Start by gluing/sewing the body pieces together, then add the head and other felt features.  Lastly add any small details.  I just used a pen because that's what I had readily available at the time.
Start by gluing/sewing the body pieces together, then add the head and other felt features. Lastly add any small details. I just used a pen because that's what I had readily available at the time.

Step 6: Enjoy Play Time!

Juju kept pulling them off my fingers and would sometimes try to put them on his own, but mostly enjoyed cradling them like babies.  (If you're wondering where his pants went, your guess is as good as mine.)
Juju kept pulling them off my fingers and would sometimes try to put them on his own, but mostly enjoyed cradling them like babies. (If you're wondering where his pants went, your guess is as good as mine.)

Would you like to see more hubs like this in the future?

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More to come...

I will be updating this Hub with more finger/hand puppet crafts as I make them so please follow and check back later to see what's new.

To see more fun things you can do with your kids, check out my Mommy Fun board and Project Ideas board on Pinterest.

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      Francesco 2 years ago

      Love the dude channelling Dr. Werner.Also, I want to see fgotaoe of the Carl Sagan puppet doing a Kermit flail. Preferably in looping animated gif format.

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      Samantha Harris 4 years ago from New York

      Yeah that's part of why I tried to keep this very quick and simple. When I used to make him things I would want them to be perfect so I didn't allow him to be a part of the process. Then I realized that it defeated the whole purpose; this was supposed to be a bonding experience. Obviously, he still can't do much to help me but while I worked on these I let him draw and tell me which puppets he wanted to make first and even which ones to take pictures of. I just wanted him to feel like he had as much to do with making them as I did.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      so cute and a darling to see your Juju joining in the craft fun. It is good to have the kids try hands on rather than sitting around looking at what you are doing. My son enjoy crafting and he keeps his craft till now. Voted useful

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 4 years ago from Scandinavia

      What a lovely idea. Great and fun hub. Thanks for sharing.