Literature Puppets

litpuppets

Submitted by: Gina Eisenstein

This activity can be made to go along with any favorite story and allows students to actively participate in story time.

Goals:

  • To promote shape recognition, creativity and fine motor skills
  • To encourage listening comprehension by following along with a story
  • To create a felt puppet of a favorite story character

Before You Start:
Gather supplies for the project: large and small craft sticks, glue, craft cups, scissors, a variety of colored felt pieces, wiggly eyes, sequins, pom-poms, yarn, a permanent marker and other decorative items. Pour glue into craft cups ahead of time. This craft can be made to go along with most any children’s story. A whole collection of puppets can be created and mixed and matched for future stories. For this activity, mouse puppets were made to go along with Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children cut out the shapes for their puppets (the teacher can have them precut and ready for younger children). For a mouse (as shown in the picture), the children will need to each have a large oval, a medium triangle, and two small circles.

Step 2.
Children can use small craft sticks to apply glue to items. Have them glue triangle, pointing down, on the top of the oval for the head. On both top corners of the triangle, they can glue a circle for ears.

Step 3.
Next, glue a short piece of yarn on the bottom, back of the oval (tail). To finish the face, children can glue on wiggly eyes, a pom-pom or sequins as a nose. Children can also draw on the nose and whiskers with a permanent marker if they wish.

Step 4.
Finally, the back of the mouse body should be glued to a large craft stick. Leave about 3 inches below the mouse. This will create the handle.

Step 5.
Let dry over night, and then use with story time!

Furthermore:
With Mouse Count, as you tell the story, 10 children could be holding their mice and roaming around the story area. One child could be the character of the snake in the story. With each mouse that is collected by the snake, that child would stand in a designated “collection area.” At the end of the story, the mice leave one at a time. This story helps preschoolers practice counting up to 10, and then back down from 10. The mice could also be used with the story Seven Blind Mice. That story practices counting, order, days of the week, and colors. You could use your mice puppets, or have other puppets. You could have children create puppets to fit any favorite story.

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