Puppet Play

Today I thought I share some making my own children did recently.  It was totally child-led with little input, if any, from me.

It started with these.

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I'd purchased something on line and it arrived surrounded by all these packing beads.  As soon as they were out of the box, the eldest was grabbing the Sharpies, sticky tape, straws and a handful of other bits from our making cupboard (yes, we have a making cupboard and a big cane basket full of boxes and other recyclables in our spare room - I am a Early Childhood teacher after all) and they started making puppets. 

Some were quite simple.

Some were more detailed.

And some were quite elaborate.

It's fair to say we love our puppet play here...

And whilst these were mostly made by my nine and seven year old, there are plenty of different types of puppets that can be enjoyed by any age group.
Take a look at some of these -
Some super cute, easy Peppa Pig finger puppets from Danya Banya.  Or maybe minions are more your style like these ones from Red Ted Art.
Nursery Rhyme inspired craft stick puppets from One Perfect Day which would allow for easy retelling of familiar stories.
These five little duck ones from Picklebums were very popular at preschool and Kate has also made lots of other printable puppets for play- five speckled frogs, three jellyfish, five cheeky monkeys.
I bought this book, Puppet Play: 20 Puppet Projects secondhand on Amazon a while back and it provides great inspiration and how-to info to make a range of different hand puppets.

Of course, any drawing can be turned into a puppet as shared here by Kids Activities Blog.
Cathy at Nurture Store posted about puppet play during their recent Simple Play:complex learning series.  It includes links to peg puppets, magnet puppets, shadow puppets and one of my favourites, cardboard puppets, where the child uses their own fingers to animate the character.
To encourage your child's play, why not set up your own simple puppet theatre like Jackie over at My Little Bookcase did?  While I too have seen some lovely DIY doorway ones over on Pinterest, sometimes simple is just fine.  She's also made their own shadow puppet one too.  You can find a truly beautiful shadow puppet stage over at Creative Play Central or if you have a little more time, you could make something gorgeous like this from Childhood 101. 
We made our own (very simple) theatre out of the box the packing beads came in as the outside was printed with stars.
There's also fantastic series of posts by Susan over at Wonder Teacher about the value of puppet play in the classroom that I enjoyed reading during the summer holidays.  You can visit those herehere and here.