Children have a natural ability to create and explore their imagination. This is why puppets are an excellent tool for children to play with. With these easy steps you can make puppets with kids in no time. Children will be able to use their creativity while exploring the world around them, and soon they will be off telling their own stories using their new sock puppet or shadow theatre.
Puppets are always a great way to make learning come alive. They can be used in the classroom, during birthday parties, or just for fun. You don’t need much to create your own puppets, either. Here are some easy ways to make them with your kids at home.
If you’re looking for new ways to spend time with your child, this blog post will show you how to get involved in some puppet play together! Before you know it, you will have made your very own easy diy puppet theatre ready for a puppet show performance.
How to Make Puppets with Kids: 6 Easy Ways
We will show you six fun puppetry ideas and easy crafts from recycled materials using basic supplies from around the house, so gather up your craft supplies and let’s get started!
One of the most popular and classic ways to make puppets with kids is to make sock puppets. These are so easy to put together as it requires no sewing to make the basic shape of the puppet. Just take your sock, and decorate by adding a face or even some crazy hair, and you’re good to go.
To make a good sized puppet and give the maximum space to work and decorate, we would suggest using mens socks for your sock puppet. You can use socks of all different colours and patterns to make a whole collection.
Using a hot glue gun is one of the easiest ways to firmly attach features like Googley eyes, buttons or a pom pom for a nose. You can also sew on the eyes and other features if you prefer.
If you would like to make something a little smaller, try making finger puppets instead of a puppet for the whole hand.
Animals work brilliantly for a finger puppets theme, but you could try any kind of character or persona like finger puppet policemen, firemen, finger puppet families or finger puppet fairies – all kinds of characters will work!
Finger puppets like these monkey, elephant and lion puppets below, can be made with coloured felt and some basic sewing.
Check our Zoo animal finger puppets blog post for the full instructions on how to make these fun and fierce animal finger puppets, and then see what other variations you can come up with.
Pop Up Paper Cup Puppets
Another easy and super cute way to make puppets is by using a paper cup to create a pop up puppet. These are so much fun for young children, as you can play Peekaboo games with your pop up puppet.
To make these super fun interactive puppets, you will need a paper cup, a straw and some coloured foam or cardboard sheets to make the the puppet.
Check our spring animal pop up puppets blog post for the full instructions on these spring animal themed popping puppets.
A marionette, also known as a string puppet, is a puppet which is operated by strings. To make one of these, you will need to first create a wooden cross shape which will suspend the string.
Then you can create your marionette in whichever theme you like best, and just make sure the strings are attached so that the puppet will respond as you control it from above.
These giraffe marionette puppets from Red Ted Art are a great example of how you can make this type of puppet simply and easily, with impressive results, using toilet paper rolls.
Paper Bag Puppets
Like sock puppets, a paper bag gives quite a large space to work with and your hand can fit inside easily. Paper bags are really easy to decorate using felt tips, coloured markers, stickers and more. So this is one of the easiest and mess free ways to make puppets with kids.
If you prefer, you can choose paper bags that are already coloured or patterned to add to the effect.
Shadow puppets are such a fun way to use light and shapes to tell a story. You can cut the shapes and stick them onto wooden rods to create your own shadow puppet theatre.
To save you drawing your own characters, try using our Three little pigs shadow puppets printables set and have fun telling this classic story using shadows and a torch. The Three Little Pigs and the big bad wolf fairytale is one of my daughters absolute favourites!
Shadow Hand Puppets
Just like with the printable shadow puppets we just mentioned, you can create puppets and project your own shadow puppet theatre onto the wall – using only your hands, and a light source.
These are so fun for kids to experiment with and you can easily make animals such as bird, or butterfly and watch them fly around on the wall in front of you
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.