Friday, February 14, 2014

Puppet on a Stick

The students in my puppetry class made adorable puppets on a stick. Although every student started with the same materials - a straw, white paper cup, and Styrofoam ball - each puppet quickly took on its own distinct personality. Foam beads were attached with toothpicks, and were used to make arms, legs, hair, eyes, and noses. One child made patterns with the foam beads. Yarn turned into hair and a mouth. Googly eyes were self adhesive and easy for the kids to work with. A pom pom made a great bushy tail. Clothes were created by covering the paper cup with felt. I encouraged the children to keep adding on to the puppet. Facial features, limbs, clothes, and hair ribbons help bring these puppets to life. What you do not see is the the straw, which is inside the paper cup. Poke a hole through the bottom of the paper cup with the pointy end of a pencil. Push the straw through the hole at the bottom of the cup. Attach the Styrofoam ball by pushing it on to the top of the straw until it feels secure. The straw easily moves the puppet's head up and down. The cup has some ability to move as well.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Envelope Puppet

Making hand puppets out of envelopes is fun and can be done with materials you probably have at home. I used an oversized envelope that came with a birthday card. The envelope measured about 5" x 7" and the paper was a good quality that did not fall apart as I manipulated it into a puppet. The first thing I did was seal the flap of the envelope down. Then I cut along the top of the envelope (cut a very thin strip). The next step is tricky and you will need to manipulate the envelope with your fingers. Turn the envelope on its end so the long sides are straight up and down. Open the envelope and place your thumb in the bottom inside corner and your middle and ring finger in the top  inside corner. Place your index finger of your other hand on the outside of the envelope about half way between your thumb and your other two fingers. Apply slow pressure so the paper bends and you get a big mouth that can be decorated. This is a simple puppet for beginners to try. For children who have more experience challenge them to create a more complex puppet. Bring your puppet to life with markers, pom-poms, fabric, colored construction paper, yarn, googly eyes, and cotton balls.