Getting Creative With Puppets

There’s just something about a puppet show. Even though you know someone is making the puppets move and talk, it’s easy to suspend disbelief for a while and just enjoy the puppets’ antics. What you might not have realized, however, is how much fun kids can have creating a puppet show themselves. And although the children might not recognize it, they will be learning a lot in the process. So, getting creative With puppets can not just inspire creativity but learning as well!

Putting on a puppet show stretches children’s creativity in a lot of different ways. Not only does it require that they develop characters with diverse features and behaviors, but they also need a storyline with a beginning, middle, and end. While you can let children do all the work themselves, some direction from you will help them create an even better show.

The Puppets

Choose a variety of materials for puppet construction. Paper bags, paper plates, and popsicle stick puppets are easy-to-make and low-cost. Sock puppets are an inexpensive puppet choice, too. If you have some very crafty kids, you can make puppets from fabric and foam. Other supplies you might want to have on hand include felt, feathers, googley eyes, crayons, markers, glue, construction paper, and pipe cleaners. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these websites:

26 Kid’s Puppets You Can Make 

Seven Super-Fun DIY Sock Puppets

Easy to Make Puppets

Puppets (from corks, sculpey, and more) 

Puppet Crafts

How To Make Puppets with Jim Henson (1969 video) 

The Story

While the kids can make up the story on their own, the show will be more interesting to watch if they follow some basic story principles. Start by deciding just what type of personality each puppet will have. Is the puppet kind? Brave? Shy? Angry? Cheerful? A bully? Does the puppet love to sing or dance? Does it like sports or art? Does it have a family, or is it alone?

You can also teach the students about protagonists and antagonists. Who is the hero of the show? Who is the villain? Does the hero have what it takes to conquer the villain? Maybe there is no puppet antagonist. Maybe the heroes are facing another type of problem, such as a storm or other hardship.

You can show the children how to plot a story. Teach them about rising action (the problems along the way), the climax (the big conflict – the do or die moment), and the resolution (how it all ends). You can also show the kids how to divide their performance into scenes. They might want to add some cliff hangers in there as well.

Putting on a puppet play is a great way to get those creative juices flowing. For even more fun, join in and be part of the play! You’ll just have to find someone else to be in the audience. 🙂

Photo by:  MIKI Yoshihito

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