Puppet Making For Your Day Care

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Puppets can mean many things to preschool children.  Puppet play can lead to increased self expression and creativity.  It can instill a love of dramatics, encourage speech from otherwise reluctant orators and greatly improve communication between teachers and children.  Home made puppets are best especially when children can assist in their creation.  Generally, puppets fall into four different categories.

 

Hand puppets – A hand puppet is simply a piece of fabric with a hole for each arm and one for the head or just use a three fingered glove.  The head can be made from a small ball or piece of foam and a pattern can be obtained by tracing a child’s hand.  Hair and a face can be stitched on drawn on the fabric encasing the ball and remember to cut a hole in the ball to accommodate the fingers.  One puppet can be multiple personas using detachable features and it is your choice what fabric style you use for the body. 

 

Stick puppets – A stick puppet is easily made using a piece of wood with a head stuck on top. A wooden ball will work for the head with painted or detachable features. A piece of fabric, with holes for arms, can quickly be transformed into a magnificent cloak.  If you are in need of a quick fix stick puppet simply use a wooden spoon, envelope in a dramatic cloak and hey presto!

Animal puppets – Socks can be utilised to make animal puppets by simply attaching the obvious features i.e. big, felt ears and a trunk for an elephant, whiskers and beady eyes makes a mouse (and a variety of other rodent like creatures – the sky's the limit!).  Recycle old stuffed or vinyl animals by cuttiing off the head for use as a puppet or removing the stuffing. 

 

Finger puppets – Stretchy fabric covering a small bead or piece of foam will suffice for these puppets.  A pipe cleaner running through the sleeves serve as arms under a cape style tunic.  The fabric of the head should be securely stitched to the cape.  Elaborate accessories and tiny features combine to make finger puppets very detailed and special in their small way. 

So, when you have your puppet dramatic ensemble you can fashion a rough stage/theater perhaps using the window of a play house or constructing an arch on top of a table finished off with some curtains.  Let the show begin!    

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