Puppet Crafts and Activities for Kids

Try your hand at Puppet Paradise.
Try your hand at Puppet Paradise.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Puppet crafts and activities for kids engage the imagination and draw on kids' artistic talents. From gourds to socks, you can make puppets out of almost any item and create a whole paradise populated with puppets.

With our easy-to-follow directions, you will soon be designing a puppet stage and putting on a puppet performance. All these crafts require are a few supplies and plenty of imagination!

Follow the links below to get started on your puppet pals:

Puppet Pageant

Learn how to move your hands or fingers to make it look as if your puppet is talking, and then put on a show for your friends and family.

Puppet Stage

Even puppets love the limelight. Find out how to construct a puppet stage using a few simple items.

Gourd Puppets

In the fall or winter, make finger puppets or hand puppets using empty, dry gourds. Paint on their faces and dress them up in clothes!

Bag Puppets

These puppets are easy to make, using brown paper lunch bags. Find out how to make an old hound dog bag puppet.

Puppets With Legs

Do you want to put on a dance show with puppets? Learn to make puppets substituting your fingers for their legs, and watch your puppets dance.

Felt Finger Puppets

Ten fingers -- ten felt finger puppets! Design any puppet character you like using felt.

Puppet Paradise

You can make a puppet out of any object that captures your imagination. Check out some of these ideas to get you started.

Create as many puppets as you can to showcase in the Puppet Pageant activity found on the next page.

For more craft ideas or theater activities, check out:

Puppet Pageant

Use puppets to put on a puppet pageant or to perform a funny skit or silly song. All you need are puppets and your imagination. What You'll Need:

  • Handmade puppets

How To Make a Puppet Pageant:

Step 1: Choose a skit or song you already know or make one up. If none of the puppets you made go with your skit or song, create some new ones to match!

Step 2: Practice holding your arm straight up in the air for long periods of time. Try to work up to 10 minutes -- you'll need the stamina when you put on your show.

Step 3: To make sock puppet characters look realistic when they talk, move only your thumb, not your fingers. After all, wouldn't we look funny if we moved the top of our heads when we talked?

On the next page, learn how to make a stage for the "contestants" in your puppet pageant.

For more craft ideas or theater activities, check out:

Puppet Stage

Use brooms, belts, and blankets to make this puppet stage.
Use brooms, belts, and blankets to make this puppet stage.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Even puppets need a stage to show off their talents! This puppet stage is easy to make and doesn't require a lot of equipment. What You'll Need:

  • 2 brooms
  • Masking tape
  • 3 chairs
  • 3 old belts
  • Blankets or bedspreads

How To Make a Puppet Stage:

Step 1: Ask an adult's permission to borrow two brooms. Lay them on the floor end to end, with the handles overlapping each other by 4 inches. Wrap the broom handles together with lots of masking tape.

Step 2: Arrange two chairs about 2 yards apart with their backs facing each other. Set the broom pole on the chairs, with the straw part of the brooms resting on the chair backs.

Step 3: Prop a third chair, facing the audience, under the part where the broom handles are taped together. Use a belt to wrap the broom pole to the top part of the chair back. Do this at both ends of the broom pole with the other belts. This makes your stage more stable.

Step 4: Throw blankets or bedspreads over the broom pole for curtains. Sit behind the stage, raise your puppets above the broom poles, and let the show begin!

On the next page, find out how to make a puppet out of an empty, dry gourd.

For more craft ideas or theater activities, check out:

Gourd Puppets

Using a gourd, you can make a finger puppet or a hand puppet.
Using a gourd, you can make a finger puppet or a hand puppet.
©2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Pick gourds fresh from a garden or find them in markets during the fall and winter to make unique gourd puppets.

Pick out a funny-shaped gourd and paint a self-portrait or a silly face on it. Now put on a gourd puppet show!

What You'll Need:

  • Small gourds
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Fabric scraps
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors

How To Make a Gourd Finger Puppet:

Step 1: Using the long, curved top of the gourd as the nose, paint on features for a face.

Step 2: Cut a hole in the bottom of the puppet's "head" and scoop out the contents with a spoon.

Step 3: Allow the gourd to dry, then use your finger as the puppet's neck.

How To Make a Gourd Hand Puppet:

Step 1: Turn the gourd upside-down, and use the long, curved part as the neck.

Step 2: Paint a funny face on the "head" adding plenty of features.

Step 3: Sew clothes for your puppet from fabric scraps.

Now it's time for the show!

On the next page, find out how to make a puppet using a brown paper lunch bag.

For more craft ideas or theater activities, check out:

Bag Puppets

Make this hound dog paper bag puppet with only a few supplies.
Make this hound dog paper bag puppet with only a few supplies.
©2007 Publications International. Ltd.

Create lots of cute bag puppets and put on a show for your friends and family. Use your imagination and make all kinds of puppets from bags. What You'll Need:

  • Small lunch bag
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Pink and black felt
  • Craft glue
  • Brown buttons
  • Black construction paper

How To Make a Bag Puppet:

Step 1: Design a hound dog. The bottom of the bag will become the top of the dog's head.

Step 2: Color big spots on the bag.

Step 3: Use the crease of the bag for a mouth. Cut out a pink felt tongue and glue it inside the crease.

Step 4: Glue 2 brown buttons for eyes. Add some fringed black construction paper for eyelashes.

Step 5: Cut 2 long ears from black felt. Glue an ear to each side of the bag.

Put on a show, and have your puppet sing "Hound Dog."

On the next page, learn how to make puppets with legs, and watch them dance around.

For more craft ideas or theater activities, check out:

Puppets With Legs

Make puppets with legs dance using your own fingers.
Make puppets with legs dance using your own fingers.
©2007 Publications International. Ltd.

With the help of your fingers, these puppets with legs come alive and dance across the stage. What You'll Need:

  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Blunt scissors
  • Trims such as feathers, yarn, or felt scraps
  • Craft glue

How To Make Puppets With Legs:

Step 1: On a piece of poster board, draw an animal or person from the thighs up. For example, draw a bird's head, body, wings, and tail for the puppet shape. Use markers to color in the details.

Step 2: Cut out the puppet shape. Cut two holes at the bottom of the shape. Make sure they are large enough for your middle and index fingers since your fingers will be the bird's legs.

Step 3: Glue on trims such as feathers to decorate your bird.

Step 4: Put your fingers through the holes and make your bird puppet dance.

Make more puppets to put on a show with your friends.

On the next page, learn how to make finger puppets out of felt.

For more craft ideas or theater activities, check out:

Felt Finger Puppets

Make a felt finger puppet in any shape or character you like.
Make a felt finger puppet in any shape or character you like.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

With these felt finger puppets, you can put on the ultimate puppet show, with ten characters on stage all at once! What You'll Need:

  • Felt
  • Fine-point markers
  • Blunt scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Yarn
  • Craft glue

How To Make Felt Finger Puppets:

Step 1: Trace the finger puppet pattern on a piece of felt and cut it out. Fold the piece in half. Put the felt piece on your finger to make sure it fits. Remove the felt piece.

Step 2: Stitch around the edges of the felt, leaving the straight end, in which you insert your finger, open. Turn felt inside out.

Step 3: Draw on the puppet's eyes, nose, and mouth with fine-point markers. Glue on yarn for hair, or add cutout felt pieces for a crown, ears, or animal's mane. If you want, cut out short felt arms or paws. Glue them to the puppet right above your knuckle. When you bend your fingers, the arms will move.

Make more finger puppets and put on a big show.

On the next page, get your creative juices flowing and create your very own puppet paradise.

For more craft ideas or theater activities, check out:

Puppet Paradise

Create a paradise filled with puppets using everyday objects.
Create a paradise filled with puppets using everyday objects.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

You can create a puppet paradise using regular household objects or old clothing. Any item can become a puppet. Your imagination is the limit! What You'll Need:

  • Solid-color and patterned socks
  • Old kitchen utensils
  • Old pantyhose
  • Cotton balls
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Poms
  • Yarn
  • Felt
  • White glue
  • Glitter glue
  • Multicolored glue
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes

These puppets are so much fun to make, you may have enough ideas for a dozen of them. Take a good look at old pantyhose, gloves, and kitchen utensils, and try to picture what creatures you could turn them into -- let your imagination run wild!

A striped sock might become a sleek jungle tiger. A mitten could turn into a hairy spider. A hand beater might be a mad beautician with a whirling hairdo.

Once you have a personality idea, use the craft materials to turn common household objects into fanciful puppets.

For more craft ideas or theater activities, check out: