Children love puppets and these cute little ones made from paper bags are easy to make and very affordable. Using bits and pieces from around the house, you can decorate a simple paper bag to create a wide assortment of characters. Making these puppets provides plenty of opportunities to teach your pre-school aged child about themselves and other people. However, older kids often enjoy making them as well, and I've seen some very imaginative designs, including animals, pirates and even Santa Claus, made by this age-group.
Paper bag puppets cost next to nothing to make, and children are only limited by their imagination. While simple puppets can be made with just a paper bag and some felt-tipped pens or crayons, more sophisticated designs require extra craft supplies. How many or few items you use depends entirely on your budget and how old your children are. While very small children generally aren't too concerned about what they're using, older ones and those who are more creative may be fussier. Therefore, before you begin, it's a good idea to collect the items which you'll use together, and perhaps even prepare some examples so the children will have a rough idea what they're meant to do.
Time: From half an hour to over an hour, depending on how old the children are and how ornately they want to decorate their puppet.
Age: Any Age
Medium sized paper bags
A glue stick
Coloured pencils, felt-tipped pens and / or crayons
Plain, coloured or patterned paper (alternatively, you can decorate your own)
Glitter glue or pens
Old gift wrap or fancy scrapbooking paper
Scraps of different coloured wool
Leaves and/or small pieces of bark
Discuss with your child what kind of puppet he or she would like to make: a pirate, a princess, a zombie or perhaps something completely different. Looking at the bits and pieces which you have gathered, decide what features the puppet will have. For example, will your child's princess have a lovely golden crown and a long pigtail, or will the pirate have a big bushy beard and a patch over his eye?
Start drawing the puppet's eyes and mouth. I usually like to draw them on white paper which can be coloured in, cut out and then stuck onto the bags, as it provides a nice contrast. Children can then make eyes and a mouth for their puppets, or they can choose from those which you have prepared earlier. While creative older children won't have a problem to work independently, very little ones will need a lot of guidance. However, this provides plenty of opportunity to talk about the different parts of the body.
Stick the eyes and mouth on the paper bag.
Once the facial features have been completed, the fun of decorating can begin. Cotton wool makes fabulous beards and moustaches for pirates and Santa Claus, wool is perfect for hair (and can be plaited to make braids), gold cardboard makes beautiful crowns for princess puppets, and glitter pens and tinsel look gorgeous on fairies.
Paper bag puppets are so much fun, and I can guarantee that your children will enjoy many happy hours creating their own. Some characters which lend themselves to this kind of puppet-making are: princesses, fairies, zombies, court jesters, Santa Claus, Easter bunnies, Count Dracula, dogs, cats, witches and clowns. When the puppet-making is complete, perhaps you can encourage your children to stage an impromptu puppet show, starring the characters that they've made.
For my little Grand daughters who nearly two I showed them pictures from magazines and asked to tell where the eyes and features I then asked to show where are ther eyes nose mouth are ?I then cut the eyes nose mouth and asked to show me were We should stick the features on their paper bag puppets they seem to enjoy my activity . I use a non toxic glue stick so can help me.Lee Hirsh