Puppet Theater

7 10 2008

Are you sick of my arboretum posts yet? I promise, only one more after this.  The thing is, the one day visit really did get me thinking about how I can better encourage more open ended play in our own yard. And boy do I like to plan this sort of thing. It’s the execution that bogs me down. Anyway, here’s my 2nd to last post on it until I start actually making some of this stuff.

In the education building there was puppet making. Pictures of a king, queen, woodland elf and fairy on card stock awaited coloring, cutting and taping to a stick. Simple yet entertaining for the kids. Eleanor really preferred to  just take the caps on and off the markers but finally we finished two puppets.

Honestly, I didn’t realize there was a reason behind making the puppets until we went behind the building and found this puppet theater. Of all the ideas garnered from the arboretum, this puppet theater may be the hardest for me to execute. On the other hand, maybe if my version isn’t quite as elaborate, I may be able to handle it in the spring. It was made entirely of logs and branches with burlap curtains and a felt backdrop. At least I think it’s felt. A little hard to tell.

Seth really enjoyed putting on shows, none of which lasted longer than 20 seconds. And Eleanor was quite content watching and snacking, not sure which of the two was her favorite. And there was even a behind the scenes tour:

I’d really like to add both an indoor and an outdoor puppet theater to our home. Then we can make puppets to our hearts content. I want to explore finger puppets, hand puppets, stick puppets, marionettes and kitchen puppets at the very least. Interested in joining the fun? Here are some suggestions:

  • Print out coloring page images on card stock such as the ones we made here. Click here for a great selection of fairies, medieval and Halloween options.
  • These scarecrow marionette or an inchworm from Puppets 2000 are fabulous and would be great for older kids
  • The Crafty Crow has a whole section on puppets kids can make
  • These winter glove puppets from Marie at Make and Takes are just begging to be made I tell ya
  • And last but not least don’t forget good old paper bag puppets – easy and inexpensive. We have one names Jose that’s been around for at least a year.

Do you have any suggestions? I’d love to hear them.

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4 responses

7 10 2008
kt

We did sock and glove puppets for “The Name of the Tree” (Kipling, I think, read by my girl’s fave, Danny Kaye). Mostly used socks, yarn, and pipe cleaners, along with some googly eyes and Sharpies. The turtles were a brainstorm-green gloves with painted tupperware! (And hair elastics to hold them on-the girlie loved them best of all)

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=92724523@N00&q=puppets+and+poppet&m=text

8 10 2008
Ali

What a truly incredible place. Our puppets are usually just the boys’ stuffed animals – because no one notices the odd hand sneaking into the scene, do they? They’re too caught up in the magic.

8 10 2008
Martha

What a fabulous and imaginative Arboretum you have there!
We used to do our puppet shows very old-school. We turned a table on it’s side and worked from behind the table!

9 10 2008
rouxhauser

We’ve never been to the Arboretum, but after your series, it is on my must go list. We haven’t done much with puppets in the past. Lizzie has a very cool lion marionette, but it is constantly tangled and often put away out of frustration (mine, not hers). I may have to reconsider.

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