Teach Kids How: Home
Home Home  |  About  |  Sitemap  |  Facebook Teaching Kids on Facebook  |  Subscribe Subscribe via RSS
Category: Character
Category: Education
Category: Health
Category: Leisure

Teach Your Child How to Make Puppets

Puppets are fun to make! They can be made from almost anything and can be as simple as a Popsicle stick or as fancy as a marionette. Designing and crafting puppets at any age challenges the imagination and always gives a sense of accomplishment when the finished product comes to life.

Puppets are found in almost every culture. Early puppets were actually masks for ceremony or warfare. As time went on, puppets were made for play and amusement. Eventually puppets became an integral part of theater. But they have always been a way to convey meaning to the audience.

Puppets in our culture are now used to teach, to entertain and as a tool for self-expression. Kids from one to ninety-one enjoy puppets!


Preschoolers can use almost anything as a puppet- a sock on a hand, a doll or a stuffed animal. Making a puppet with your preschooler can be quick, easy and inexpensive. A few ideas for very young children:

Use a felt tip (washable) marker to draw a face on the palm of your toddler’s hand. Tie a piece of yarn around the wrist for a collar. Draw one on your own hand so the two puppets can sing, dance and play together.

Using a wooden tongue depressor, glue, construction paper and markers, cut a face, arms and legs from construction paper and attach to the body (stick), then draw in a face and other details. Make clothes if you want. You can use yarn or craft wool for hair and buttons for eyes and nose.

A larger puppet can be made from a broom. This puppet can be fashioned into a horse, zebra, giraffe or dragon. You will need a paper bag, yarn or wool, markers and string. Place the paper bag over the head of the broom. Tie around the neck with a string. Transform the broom into a creature your preschooler can ride by adding eyes, nose, mouth, ears and a mane.

A sock makes a great snake, dinosaur, or bird. Draw or stitch eyes and other details. Have your toddler use their thumb for the lower jaw and the rest of their fingers to manipulate the top of the head and mouth. The sock will cover the forearm, forming the body.

Main points to address:

  • Household items can be used to make an inexpensive but delightful puppet.
  • Take care with scissors and small parts. Let your child glue and draw if they can.
  • Use your puppets to recite rhymes, sing songs or act out simple stories.

Grades K-3rd

Young school age children can take a more active role in creating their puppets. Have them draw their character or creature first. It helps to have a model to follow at this age. Use felt, stiff paper, wallpaper scraps and other craft materials to decorate the basic puppet.

Some basic puppets can be made from:

  • Paper plates attached to a paint stirrer to create a mask.
  • Construction paper body and head with legs and arms made from accordion folded strips of paper.
  • Mittens, gloves, or felt cut in a “ghost” shape and stitched together.

One of the most popular puppets can be made from a brown paper lunch bag with a face detailed on, yarn added for hair and strips of colored paper for arms, legs and clothes. Children can also use tempera paint to decorate these easy puppets. Variations can be a talking heart for Valentine’s Day, a Santa for Christmas, a bunny for Easter or a witch for Halloween.

Kids this age love to put on plays with their creations. Let them paint a sturdy cardboard box to make a stage. A sofa also makes an excellent stage. Even the kitchen table will work.

Main points to address:

  • Children this age can pre-design a puppet.
  • Vary materials to match developmental readiness.
  • Young school children instinctively know how to make their puppets come alive.
  • Take your child to a puppet show or theater to ignite their interest and imagination.

Grades 4-6th

Older school children are ready for more complex puppets. Following a pattern for making a puppet that uses moving parts is possible at this age. Patterns can be purchased or designed.

Fairies, birds, kings, queens, villains, heroes and heroines, along with historical figures replace critters and simple people for characters. Children this age are usually still willing to play using puppets. Many like to write a play or skit to perform for others. Re-enacting an event or teaching a moral lesson appeal to this age child.

Another simple way to perform is by using “shadow” puppets. Shine a light at the puppeteers stage, having the light aimed at hands and arms only. A very dramatic effect can be produced, especially if combined with sound or music.

Older children will appreciate the magical effect of marionettes. Find a show to take them to, or better yet, let them create their characters, write the story and produce it themselves!

Main points to address:

  • Older children are able to manipulate materials and use patterns to create more sophisticated puppets.
  • Children this age love to write and produce their own puppet shows.
  • Introduce older children to marionettes.

Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Leisure.

Related articles

Copyright © 2023 Teach Kids How | Privacy Policy