Quality play is an essential part of a child’s life. The best example of this is role play. Role play uses a variety of different props that extend your child’s imagination into the real world.
Finger puppets make ideal props for this purpose and regular playtime with finger puppets promotes imagination and social skills. Using finger puppets encourages kids to show their emotions more clearly and increases their understanding of the world around them. Carers find that children will ‘confide’ in finger puppets, so they have a very practical role to play.
They are even more fun if they are made by their young puppeteers using simple kids crafts.
The Simplest Finger Puppets
The simplest finger puppets are tiny faces drawn onto finger pads. Kids love this idea and it’s perfectly safe as long as washable, non-toxic pens designed for kids crafts are used. Kids literally have up to ten different puppets at their fingertips! It’s even funnier to add extra features to the mini characters like play dough hair.
More Simple Finger Puppets
Kids can make really easy but effective puppets with some simple kids crafts using a small roll of paper.
Make a cylinder just the right size for small fingers. These can be decorated by drawing on eyes, a nose and a mouth or you can stick the features on with felt shapes or googly eyes.
Now all you need to add is hair. Try a few strands of coloured wool taped across the top of the tube. Plaiting the wool makes a fun, new hairstyle. If you want to add simple clothes, glue small scraps of fabric around the tube to hang around the finger, giving a skirt or dress effect.
The same idea is achieved by gluing together two rectangles of felt to create a tube shape. Eyes, nose, hair and mouth are then glued on to finish.
A good puppet is made by starting out with a simple animal stencil. Carefully cut the shape out and add two little holes at the bottom so fingers can be pushed through to make puppet legs. The puppet looks great coloured in and decorated as before.
Easy kids crafts turn an old sock into a brilliant puppet. All the child needs to do is push their fingers into the toe of the sock with their thumb at the heel. This gives the puppet a properly working mouth.
Either sew or glue buttons to the sock for eyes and a nose. In the ‘mouth’ attach a strip of red felt for a tongue. Finish off with a switch of wool for hair. For a really funky touch, add an old pair of sunglasses when the child is using the puppet.
Old gloves make super puppets too. If you snip the fingers of a glove, you have the base for five puppets.
A Puppet Theatre
All good puppet shows need puppet theatres. All that’s needed is a large cardboard box. Cut away one of the long sides and the flaps from the top of the box so you are left with a four sided box. Now cover the box with bright wrapping paper and let the kids run riot with the decorations. Turn it on its side and the show is ready to start in one of the best ever puppet theatres!
Finger puppets bring a double whammy of fun into young lives. Creative kids crafts turn out some brilliant little puppets. Use them to stage imaginative and precious performances live from their very own puppet theatres at home!
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