Make a Craft Puppet: Pretend Play with your Childs Art

puppet craft

Do your kids draw and draw? Up until recently my 5-year-old wasn’t interested at all in picking up a pencil and making her mark but in the last few weeks she’s caught the bug and produces pages and pages of characters and scenes.

I love seeing children’s drawings and spotting how they change as the children get older and start to add in little details such as fingers, freckles and eyelashes. But what do you do with all your child’s pictures? Frame some, send others to grandparents, recycle the rest? We like bring the art to life and make a puppet to play with.

puppet craft

How to make a puppet from your child’s art

These simple puppets are super easy to make and you can involve your child at every stage.

Start by inviting your child to do some drawings or make use of ones you already have. Your child might like to draw members of your family, make some favorite story characters or create some imaginative creatures.

Next, cut out your pictures. If your child is able they can have a try with the scissors as you don’t need to worry about being too precise.

Finally complete your simple puppets by fastening a lollipop stick or a twig onto the back with some sticky tape and you are ready to play.  If you have extra supplies, here are more lollipop stick puppets you can make.

puppet craft

Extending puppet play

Puppets are an excellent type of play for developing language skills and for role playing how real-life relationships work.

You can play along with your child and make the characters have a conversation together, or leave your child to it and listen in to the stories they make up – like this one about a scary monster. You can often hear then using phrases they’ve picked up in stories you’ve read together.

If you have a change coming up, perhaps starting school or moving to a new house, puppet play can be a useful way to test out the new situation with your child and let them explore how they will cope with the changes. We’ve used puppets to help prepare for a doctor’s visit and for a new baby coming along.

The sticks on these puppets make them very easy for children to hold and manipulate. You might like to set up a theater behind a sofa or shine a light on the puppets to create animated shadows on the wall.

Did you ever make a puppet with your child?  We’ve made car marionette puppets and silly sock puppets before – and we’d love to hear about your kids favorite puppets!

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About Cathy

Cathy James writes NurtureStore, a blog which is packed full of play ideas, kids' crafts and fun activities. Visit NurtureStore to sign up for a free weekly Play Planner or follow the ideas on Facebook.