Make Your Own Storytelling Puppets

Recently, we went to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the theatre. T already loved this story but this added a new dimension. After seeing our (frankly brilliant) tiger impressions, T’s auntie suggested we should put on a show of our own – and I decided that is exactly what we would do!

I decided we would make some simple stick puppets. This is such a fun activity for children and promotes the use of so many different skills.

I began by making some card cut-outs for each character. Since T is not quite three, I drew and cut these out for her. For an older child, you could increase the challenge by: giving them a template to draw around; asking them to cut it out themselves; or asking them to draw their own characters, using the book to help them.

Card silhouettes of three people and a tiger.

Initially I had thought we would just colour these but then remembered I had a carrier bag of scrap fabric which would be perfect! T hasn’t done much with fabric before so this was a new experience for her. I selected a few fabrics and placed them in a bowl ready, and also prepared some orange and black strips of paper for the tiger.

A child is decorating the tiger silhouette with strips of paper and PVA glue.

T enjoyed selecting materials and sticking them on. We kept the book handy and I asked T to look at the illustrations before she chose her fabrics. Once she had chosen the fabrics, I cut them in to basic shapes for her to stick on. I’ve always found children scissors to be pretty useless when it comes to cutting fabric – so if you’re doing this with an older child, let them give the cutting a go but be prepared to step in and give them a hand if needed! We also added some pink foam circles for faces and googly eyes, as well as paper hair for Sophie and her Mummy, and a felt hat for Daddy.

Picture of the four finished puppets - Sophie, Mummy, Daddy and the Tiger.

Before long, they were finished. I think they look really cute and T loved acting out the story with them! Although, the puppets did disappear into the box, ahem, I mean, puppet theatre, before long and it appeared T may have forgotten she had an audience waiting to be entertained!

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There is so much to learn from this kind of activity. Some of the skills T worked on while making and playing with these:

  • Focus and attention – T kept at this for around half an hour, good by any toddler’s standards!
  • Observation and attention to detail – referring to illustrations and choosing appropriate fabrics.
  • Retelling a story – a really useful skill which helps children to sequence stories and to understand how stories are structured, which helps prepare them for producing quality writing of their own.
  • Understanding of space – choosing pieces of fabric and working out where they fit best on the card cut-outs.

This activity can of course be adapted for any story, or children can create characters and stories of their own! Thanks for reading!

Petite Pudding

Close up of tiger puppet with title overlay 'make your own storytelling puppets'

10 Comment

  1. Emma says: Reply

    Oh wow these are brilliant! I will be having a go 🙂

    1. beccatooth says: Reply

      Thanks Emma! They were a lot of fun!

  2. My kids would absolutely love this! Great Idea. #eatsleepblogrt

    1. beccatooth says: Reply

      Thank you!

  3. These look great. My son asked me why I wasn’t a primary school teacher today – THIS – I just have always felt I am not creative enough…. but maybe I need to give these a try! #eatsleepblogrt

    1. beccatooth says: Reply

      Hope you have fun!

  4. These are brilliant – what a simple idea but such fun! I think I know a small boy who would be very into this! #EatSleepBlogRT

    1. beccatooth says: Reply

      Thank you!

  5. Ah such a great idea! #EatSleepBlogRt

    1. beccatooth says: Reply

      Thanks!

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