1. Paper bag puppet.
A simple puppet for kids of any age is a paper bag puppet. Using a lunch bag (tan or white), you create a puppet by using the bottom folds as a mouth. The bag can be designed as a head, person or animal. There are also printables available online that can be colored and attached to the bag. Create one or more paper bag puppets.
NOTE: I found and scanned a set of nine Girl Scout printables to use. See the list in Supplements below.
2. Stick puppet.
Stick puppets are also known as rod puppets. You can use only one stick and attach a head / body. Alternately, you can also add sticks so that arms and legs can move. Create a stick puppet.
3. Sock puppet.
Sock puppets are often orphan socks that have yarn or fiber added for hair as well as buttons for eyes and other decoration. Start with a sock and create a puppet without any decoration. Determine what would look good and design your own sock puppet from materials you have on hand or find directions to create your own sock puppet.
4. Cup puppet.
Painting or decorating a cup, adding features and perhaps even allowing it to move is easy. Create a fish puppet out of two paper cups, two brass brads and wiggle eyes as one type of puppet you can make out of cups. If you’re feeling ambitious, find other paper cup puppets to try.
5. Paper finger puppets.
Paper finger puppets are just wraps put on your fingers designed as puppets. The easiest are puppets that go on one finger only. An alternative to a puppet that wraps around your finger is one where you use your fingers as moving parts of the puppets. There are two for you to try as part of the Finger Puppets Grab ‘N’ Go sheet — an elephant and a clown. Try making one of these types of paper puppets or create a puppet out of paper any way you wish.
6. Felt finger puppet.
Similar to the first paper finger puppet, the felt puppet slips over one finger. It can be decorated however you want. You can make this easier to cutting the fingers off felt / fleece gloves and decorating those. Check out one of the many links or pins listed below in Sites to Explore.
7. Shadow puppets.
Stick / rod puppets can be used for shadow puppets. Any shape can be stuck on a stick and used as a shadow puppet. Make silhouettes of the heads of your group into shadow puppets.
In addition to making a single shadow image on a stick, you can add movement by using brads to attach pieces and string so they can move. The supplement “SUPP_GS_Silhouettes.pdf” features a movable bird, dog and brownie. Make one or more shadow puppets.
8. Hand shadow puppets.
Like shadow puppets, detail is not important. You use your hands to create silhouettes of various animals and more. Use the supplemental minibook or search online for how to make shadow puppets with your hands. Practice until you make them look real.
9. Explore more materials.
Create your own easy puppet from the materials in your own home. If you’re having fun with it, keep creating. When you have a few puppets to work with, it’s time to have a play.
10. Finding puppet scripts.
Any script, skit or story can be made into a script. This includes fairy tales, folklore and mythology. Explore what scripts are available online.
11. Writing puppet scripts.
Do you want to share a story? You might be inspired by the actions of your kids, family members or friends. Do you have the puppets you need for your idea? Start with the characters you need. One should be the main character — the protagonist. Make sure you have an antagonist to create interest and drama.
Then, look to your audience. You want to write a script that they can understand. Too long and younger kids will be antsy to move. Long dialogue will be boring. Some situations will not be understood by all ages. Be sure your story and your audience are compatible.
Plan your plot, add some humor and animation. Practice your dialogue and refine it until you’re happy with it.
12. Create puppet play area / stage – shadow theater.
For a shadow theater, you need a strong light source as well as a way to show the shadows on a light wall or behind a thin sheet. A diagram is available in the silhouettes supplement. Create a theater for your shadow puppets.
13. Create a puppet play area / stage – theater.
Some ideas to create a quick “theater” include:
- Remove the bottom side of from a box / shoebox
- Cut a hole in the bottom of a box and use that as the stage
- Recycle shelving
Research and experiment with various ways to create your own theater. If you plan on doing a lot of play, you may want to look at a more “permanent” type of puppet theater.
14. The play’s the thing.
Practice your skit with your puppets. When you feel like you have all the parts you need, put on the puppet play. Search YouTube for puppet shows to inspire you.
Sites to Explore