A boy in a blue top with a grey wolf puppet on one hand and a brown bear on the other.

Puppet Making for Kids: How to Make Hand and Finger Puppets

There’s absolutely no doubt that your son or daughter will love these three puppet making activities! Puppets are great for imaginative play, and can be used over and over for storytelling fun. And the best thing is, it’s easy to show a child how to make a puppet – not only can they be as simple or sophisticated as you like, but making puppets is just as fun as playing with them!

If this is the first time you’ve thought about how to make puppets for kids, you might find you don’t have many of the materials we’ve suggested below. But don’t give up on the idea. Instead, get creative and think of ways you can adapt old things from around the house. There are plenty of resources on the internet explaining how to make puppets from paper or empty cardboard boxes – or you could try making these recycled crafts for kids, too!

Before you get started, remember that things can get sticky when glue’s involved, so be sure to cover surfaces with newspaper or a washable cloth. You can rely on our stain removal advice later, if things get spilled – after all, when it comes to puppet making for kids, mess is all part of the fun!  

 

How to Make Hand Puppets from Socks

Yes, there is a reason to keep those single socks that come out of the washing machine without a pair! Sock puppets are some of the easiest fabric hand puppets you can make. You will need:

  • Single socks
  • Wool and a wool needle
  • Buttons or googly eyes – if your kids are a bit small for toys with small parts, you can use white and black felt or fabric pens instead.
  • Scissors
  • White glue

Sock puppet

 

Puppet Making Instructions:

  • Decide which part of the sock is going to be the face of your puppet: Put your hand inside the sock and either fold the toe of the sock inside, or place your thumb in the heel to form a mouth that you can open and close.
  • To make hair, take a length of card and tie wool around it until it is it is quite thick. Then, use the needle to sew along the edge of the card, gathering and knotting strands together, in an overlapping fashion, until you reach the end. Use scissors to cut through the loops of wool at the other end and you’ll be left with a puppet wig!
  • Use the needle to sew the hair, eyes, and other decorations to the sock to form a face. (This is a task best suited for an adult or for an older child under supervision). Alternatively, use white glue to stick the features on – but be sure to let it dry before you start to play with the new puppet!

How to make a puppet

 

How to Make Finger Puppets

Although most of us end up losing gloves as well as socks, it’s unlikely that you’ll have kept one of these around the house! So, instead of cutting off glove fingers to make puppets, this simple tutorial will show you how to create super easy finger puppets from felt. And if sewing seems a bit of a stretch for little fingers, don’t be afraid to use glue to stick the puppet together instead. You will need:

  • Felt squares of different colours
  • Embroidery thread and a needle
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes and other decorations: Beads, sequins, and ribbon all work well.
  • White glue

Instructions:

  • Fold a square of felt in half and cut a rectangle shape, a little wider than your finger, rounded at one end. If you unfold the square, it should now make an m-shape (see the photographs below).
  • Keeping the felt folded, use the needle and thread to sew along the open edges to form an enclosed tube.
  • Then, use decoration to form the features of your finger puppet.

How to make puppets for kids

Now that your puppets are ready, you can enjoy some storytelling fun with your little ones! And don’t worry about any mess that was created during the process – check out our stain removal tips for helpful advice. Don’t let the thought of removing sticky glue stains stop you from having fun creating puppets!

Do your kids love puppets? What’s their favourite make-believe story? Let us know in the comments box below.

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