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Simple puppets kids can make.

Updated on March 2, 2016

Puppet Craft for Kids

These puppets were made in a class for children with disabilities. The head is a styrofoam ball covered with paper mache - what could simpler than that? The body is a fabric three-fingered glove. They are fun to make and can be personalized with different colored hair, clothes, and decorative items such as buttons, pom-poms, or felt cut-outs.

Puppet craft project

How to make styrofoam ball puppets

These puppets were made by high school students with disabilities.

The head is a styrofoam ball covered with paper mache. The body is a three-fingered glove. The puppet bodies were made by volunteers before the class. They are simple to make on a sewing machine , or can be sewn by hand, or even glued using a fabric or craft glue. (Tacky glue works well).

The paper mache paste was mixed up using ordinary flour and water. The students tore newspaper into strips, brushed on the paste and covered the styrofoam balls with the sticky strips. After the heads were dry - it took a couple of days - the students painted the heads with tempera paint and decorated the faces with wiggly eyes, pom-pom noses, yarn hair, and felt lips.

A broomstick handle was used to make a hole in the bottom of the head and the middle finger of the fabric glove was inserted into the hole. A little tacky glue was placed in the hole to secure the glove . Felt hands were glued on to the arms.

A hint on making a wig:

Cut a strip of fabric about a quarter inch wide and four inches long. Apply tacky glue to the strip, then cut lengths of yarn and lay across strip. This will secure the yarn. You can make a long hair or short hair wig using this method. When it's dry, glue the wig on to the puppet's head.

Styrofoam Balls

Styrofoam balls are available in various sizes. I think the 4"-5" size is the best for puppets, but if you have a different size, try it - as long as it is big enough to fit your finger inside.

Puppet Body - A three-fingered glove

The body for this puppet is simply a hand shape with three fingers. The middle finger goes up inside a hole in the head. The other two fingers are arms. Sew or glue the two sides together, leaving the bottom open for your hand to fit inside. Adjust the size of the glove for kids or adults. I have a pattern that I made for my hand by drawing an outline around my hand and leaving out the pointer and ring finger.

Cut out little hands from a piece of felt and glue them on the ends of the arms.

Decorate Your Puppet

It's easy to make a really spectacular puppet with glue-on decorations and quick-dry craft glue. You can use buttons, trim, felt, pom-poms, lace, whatever you have handy.


Hair! - Wigs for Puppets

Puppet hair can be made of a number of different materials, including yarn, fake fur, Spanish moss, fabric cut into narrow strips, etc.

Even puppets sometimes need glasses.

More Simple Puppets for Kids to Make

Recycle stuffed toys

Transforming a stuffed toy into a puppet is a great way to repurpose outgrown toys and also make extra characters for your puppet show.

Here I have made hand puppets out of a Lion, the Bear in the Big Blue House, and an Elf.

Taking out the stuffing

First, make a slit in the bottom of the puppet. If you don't want to cut the legs off, simply make the cut behind the legs.

(Young children will need the help of an adult to handle the scissors for this step.

Next, pull out some of the stuffing - enough so that your hand will fit inside the puppet.

(Kids can do this part themselves!)

If you want to put your fingers in the arms to operate them, take some stuffing out of the arms.

Note:

Some toys have a seam where the arms are attached to the body, making it impossible to fit your fingers inside the arms.

In that case, I leave them attached and just operate the body of the puppet.

Instant Puppet

That's about all you need to do to quickly transform a stuffed toy into a hand puppet.

Practice making your puppet move, bow, move its arms, and talk.

For instructions on making a puppet theater, or for a puppet script, check out my other lenses.

Puppet Kits

Doug and Melissa make some wonderful puppet kits. You get the materials, instructions, everything you need to make an awesome puppet.

Easy Spider Puppet

Spiders Can Be Friendly, Scary, or Just Plain Weird.

All you need for this Spider puppet is an old glove (work gloves work well,) a couple of wiggly eyes, glue, and either fabric paint for the features, or pieces of felt cut in the shapes of eyebrows, mouth, etc.

Do "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "Little Miss Muffet" and the little ones will love it!


Make a Simple Puppet with Jim Henson - I love this video!

My all-time favorite puppeteer, Jim Henson, shows you how to make easy puppets. Listen to his voice. He sounds like Kermit the Frog. I wonder why?

Creating puppets

There are so many different puppets styles and projects. Many are simple enough for kids to make. Some require the help of an adult. puppet making is a wonderful activity for parents and children. or teachers and students.


Papier -Mache Makes Great Puppet Heads

Pillowcase Puppet

When you need a BIG puppet, take an old pillowcase and decorate it as a monster, ogre, giant, whatever you want it to be. When all the glue is dry and the features are secure, crush up a bunch of newspaper and stuff the pillowcase with it. Then slide a broomstick handle or a large dowel rod up into the middle of the crushed newspaper. Use a strong rubber band, a piece of heavy string, or masking tape to secure the bottom of the pillowcase to the broomstick.

Now you have a large head on a stick. Move the stick up and down or back and forth to give the puppet movement.

Puppet stages

Here's a variety of great puppet theaters for serious puppet show enthusiasts!

Create a Terrific Show

If you don't feel confident enough to write your own show, a script can make all the difference. You can either perform the script word-for-word, or just use the idea and ad-lib the dialogue. It's fun to change the puppets' dialogue according to the responses of the audience. Kids love it when the puppets talk back to them!

Create Your Own Puppet Show

Give It a Try

You have a lot of resources here, so now all you need is a group of willing youngsters. That won't be difficult, since most kids enjoy making puppets and bringing them to life. Try this activity in a day care center, a scout troop, or a Sunday School class. The sky is the limit. Don't forget to be as goofy as you want.

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love puppets especially the ones made by hand. I have some that my step mother made over 50 years ago for her preschool. They are treasures. I enjoyed visiting and learning how to make simple puppets. The spider sure would be fun this Halloween.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      5 years ago from Europe

      What great fun, I'm on the lookout for easy ways to amuse little kids for a couple of hours at a time. This fits the bill perfectly.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 

      5 years ago

      Very neat lens!! This brings back memories of when I was little :) I used to love puppets!

    • WebWriteGirl LM profile image

      WebWriteGirl LM 

      5 years ago

      Great ideas!

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      5 years ago

      What a great idea to re-purpose stuffed toys.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile imageAUTHOR

      Carol Brooks 

      6 years ago from Florida

      @MyBabyBoo: Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate your reading my lens.

    • profile image

      MyBabyBoo 

      6 years ago

      I really like your lens, well done!

    • Flowerchild1946 profile imageAUTHOR

      Carol Brooks 

      6 years ago from Florida

      @moon1: Wow! Thank you so much. Good luck with your lenses.

    • profile image

      moon1 

      6 years ago

      i can't think of a nicer set of lenses to begin mine from

    • Flowerchild1946 profile imageAUTHOR

      Carol Brooks 

      7 years ago from Florida

      @lasertek lm: Thank you for your comment. You are right. It is a lot of fun. Look for my next lens. It's an interactive puppet show script.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      7 years ago

      Making puppets is a fun activity with the kids.

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