DIY · Frugal Frances · Mommy & Me · Willow & Wonder

DIY Puppet Theater

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Have you ever wanted to make your own puppet theater with your little one.  Here’s how below!  I honestly can’t get my daughter to stop playing puppet master. These tips and simple crafts were able to unleash her creativity in storytelling, crafting and getting lots of laughs!!!

Telling a story with props and a fun curtain really steps up the creativity.  It embraces a new world of discovery.  It makes a barrier between viewer and actor allowing for a thrill in delivering a story.  It feels whimsical and the creations are so darling that they must be kept forever.  I think we will get some serious use out of them first.

Materials:

  • Paper bags
  • Plastic table cloth, ideally one lined or thick – $1 store
  • A yard or two of eyelet lace or trim of your choice (pom pom trim!!)
  • Sticky stars to embellish tablecloth a bit
  • Yarns (for puppet hair)
  • Markers
  • Glue sticks and regular elmer’s glue
  • Hot glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Thin and thicker dowels
  • Pom poms – many colors
  • Googly eyes
  • Adhesive shapes, animals, hearts, etc.
  • Tulle
  • Sissors
  • Feathers
  • Construction paper
  • Cupcake wrappers
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Moss

I like to find many of these materials in nature to cut down on cost and make things more exciting.  I used lichen from a hike we recently went on which is like a lacy moss.  I had tulle from an old tutu, and most everything else was from my craft supply bin.  Look around and find materials, reuse, cut-up old clothes, tear things up.  Don’t go out and buy everything…just work with what you have.  You do need the basics like glue, paper bags and dowels but the rest can be intermixed and reevaluated.

How to make puppets:

  1. Get all your materials spread out on a table.  Layout your paper bags for your little one.
  2. Have your little one go find a few stuffed animals to help him/her to create the animal they want for a character.
  3. Cut-out basic shapes of things for them to glue onto their paper bag and embellish on their own.  I.E. ladybug wings, circles for the dots, oval bellies in colorful craft paper, wing shapes, etc.
  4. Let your little one glue on the cut-out shapes, the yarn hair, color their paper bags, maybe sticker them, etc.
  5. Hot glue pieces that need to stick on with a stronger glue.  Let the Elmer’s glue dry on the bags before you use them.
  6. Make many props to use such as crowns on sticks, a little house, a little fairy with a seedling cup and clothes pin, anything that would be used in a photo booth could be fun here, and flowers and mushrooms…it goes on and on.  We added real props such as binoculars too and will probably incorporate dress-up.  Add a princess dress and hat so your little one can be a character too.  Don’t forget to do a little video because it is that cute.
  7. Cut a hole in your table cloth where your child’s head would line-up if standing next to it.  Hand it by tying to hooks that can go over the door or securing it hanging above a door.  Once it is in place how you will use it, then cut the hole and measure your kids height.  Cut a big enough hole that a whole scene can play out without too much being revealed.
  8. Cut a clean line all the way around it.  Hot glue your lace or trim to the very edge all the way around.  Showing only the trim not exposed edges of cloth.
  9. Make it pretty tight by adding tape to the edges of the table cloth so it is taught.
  10. layout all the props in the background behind the curtain and lay a pillow on the ground near where the show is happening to be comfortable for the puppeteer.

One idea to encourage a good school lesson could be to read something like Princess on the Pea and then have your child reenact the story.  Having them retell a story and  show they really listened to the story is a great skill.  You would need some appropriate props for this such as a stacked-up bed on a dowel or something.  This could be a fun one!

Enjoy adorable puppet shows again and again!!

 

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