Making puppets with children is a springboard into art, story telling, role play and lots of language practise. Here are some great ideas you can use to make and play with puppets.
Making puppets with children
If you sit and watch your child as they play with puppets, you’ll notice so much complex learning happening.
If you’re making your own puppets, they will have the opportunity to imagine up a character and use their creative skills to realise it. They might use paint or pencils, practice scissor skills, problem-solve what materials to pick to create their costumes.
As they play, they might be acting out a story, one they know from books, or one from their imagination. This involves memory work, sequencing skills and lots of imagination.
Making puppets talk to each other develops important language skills. Children get to try out phrases they’ve heard elsewhere and build their vocabulary. It can be a very good way to develop language skills for children who are reluctant to talk in social situations, or to give time and space for practice to children who are working on speech and language areas.
Using puppets in a playful way is also a very helpful activity to work on issues that are difficult, frightening or new. If you’re going to visit the dentist for the first time, try acting it out with puppets first. Or if your child is finding playtime with another child a bit of a challenge, role play a similar situation with some puppets and give your child a chance to see if they can find ways to make the play work.
Make your own puppets
When you’re making puppets with children you can make them as simple or as decorative as your children like. If your kids love art and craft, you can spend a lot of time creating your puppets, with amazing costumes. But if your child is more focused on the playing and storytelling, a super simple puppet is all you need – and your child’s imagination can do the rest. So, don’t think you have to have breathtaking-taking artistic skills and have that stop you from enjoying the simple play and complex learning that goes along with puppets. Here’s a variety of really easy puppet ideas that anyone can try:
For young children these finger puppets are both easy to make and easy to act with, and you can adapt the design to make any character you like.
Junk model puppets are super simple and inexpensive to make: try these paper roll puppets and host a tea party
Puppets are a great accompaniment to songs, giving children an extra way to interact with the music and language: try these incy wincy spider puppets.
Using chalkboard puppets, means you can draw any character you need to continue your story.
Or use natural materials like these seed heads to make puppets.
DIY shadow puppets are good for traditional storytelling.
A favourite of mine for keeping the kids happy while I get dinner ready are these fairy tale fridge magnets.
And puppets are an excellent way to re-tell a story you’re learning, or to act out an event in history you have been studying: like these Rama and Sita puppets.
More wonderful storytelling activities
Would you like your children to develop a love creative storytelling and writing, along with self-confidence and compassion?
Make Your Mark will help you take the simple act of sharing stories and stretch it to help your child develop their confidence, compassion, and caring.
Storytelling has been central to communities for centuries. Stories let us see into the lives and feelings of others, and our own writing helps us explore ideas and discover who we are. This book will build your child’s love of writing, with practical skills and creative inspiration.
It will also nurture your child’s social skills, helping them to understand others and be a great team member. They’ll see how, although young, they can already make their mark on the world, through simple acts of kindness and citizenship projects.