The creative mind of a child is always inspired when there are puppets at hand. Puppets of all shapes and sizes are an integral part of any childhood, not only for healthy play, but also to increase creative thinking and build social skills among children. They're fun and incredibly easy to make. Follow the directions below to make your very own puppet.
- Find a body for your puppet. Perhaps the most important part of the creation process is finding a body for your puppet that works. Some prefer bodies that will hide the puppeteer's hand, like a sock or a brown paper bag. Others are happy with a wooden spoon or a popsicle stick, but the possibilities are endless. Find something you can hold or place your hand into and make sure that it's okay to turn it into a puppet (using Dad's best work socks is probably not the best idea.)
- Create a face for your puppet. This is where each puppet becomes truly unique. Gather materials that will work for the features of the face - craft eyes, buttons, stars, and even sewing yarn. Attach the features in a creative way.
- Add hair. As cute as a bald puppet would be, ones with hair always seem to be more complete. Find a material that can be cut to size, such as yarn, pipe cleaners or twist ties. Using a glue gun or some other form of adhesive, attach the hair to the puppet. Then make sure you personalize the ‘do for your puppet - if it's a girl, consider adding a ribbon or elastic. For boy puppets, maybe a baseball cap or a bandana. It's up to you.
- Add arms and legs. Some puppets go without limbs, but it seems like it would be an important part of bringing the puppet to life. Find rigid items for arms that will maintain their shape and position even while dancing around on a puppet stage. Chop sticks, popsicle sticks or even real sticks all fit the bill nicely. Legs don't necessarily need to be rigid, but it's neat if they are pliable. Pipe cleaners attach easily and can be bent to show different postures (standing, sitting, etc.) Or, perhaps you've decided your puppet doesn't need legs because you are hiding that part of the puppet under the stage anyway. Again, consider how you will be presenting your puppet and what things you want it to be able to do when adding limbs.
- Accessorize. This is best part! Add details to the puppet that will give it more personality and flair. Use old cloth scraps to make clothes, some construction paper for shoes, or a string or beads for a necklace. This is where your puppet will really take on a persona of its own.
And there you have it. You've created your very own puppet in just a few short steps. Continue the process over and over to create a community of puppets that you can interchange in all of your puppet shows. With lots of homemade puppets to create and use, you'll always have something to keep your imagination brimming with ideas.