Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Craft Time with The Dude: Making Sock Puppets

It is once again time for "Craft Time with The Dude". This is my second of such posts and I hope to have many more to come just like it. Most of you already know (if you are a regular reader of the blog) that Tuesday night here is Daddy/Kiddo night while The Wifey is at her weekly college classes. This week was one of the greatest nights we have had during Daddy/Kiddo night as we made sock puppets and a theater to perform in. It was uber fun and ultra awesome to play when everything was finished.

How to Make Sock Puppets and a Theater

The Requirements: You will need a toddler size sock for each child participating in the craft. Toddler sizes work best for little hands and probably a lot cleaner than using your own! Next you need markers. One red for drawing on the mouth and tongue, and another color of your choice for the nose and to dot where you will put the eyes. Fabric markers are probably the best choice. I didn't have any so I went with a good old Sharpie. *Note: Do NOT let children use a Sharpie. Fumes can be strong for such little noses and there is a reason it is called a PERMANENT marker!* Finally, you will need buttons for the eyes, and glue to glue them onto the socks. 

Next you will need to construct a "theater" for the puppets to perform in. A cardboard box broken down is your best option. In our case it was the box that my electric guitar came in. Break the box down and flatten it out. You will need to fold the flaps backwards to give the theater some balance to stand upright. Next draw a box for how large of a window you want to cut out. Obviously, placement of the window will depend on the height of your children, or if they know how to kneel down to do it. The Kiddos are hyper all of the time so getting them to kneel or sit is a job in itself! Next, cut out the window. Be sure to remove loose pieces of cardboard that may have the chance to be pulled off and pose a choking hazard if inserted into the mouth. 

Next it is time to decorate the theater! Get the crayons, the stickers and the glitter paint ready! The kids had a blast with this. I admit, I helped some. It was just too much fun not to get into! Let them go crazy and put whatever they want to on it. We drew with crayons and decorated it with letters and numbers since both of The Kiddos are really into counting and the ABC's. 

Once again, let them be creative, but be watchful when using glue, paint, markers, or anything that may require the supervision of an adult. It's cool to snap some pictures of the great time you are having but always keep that parental eye watching. 

Next it is time for the puppets! Find out where the mouth will fold on your child's hand to know where to draw the mouth and tongue. Next, make two dots where the eyes will go. Using just a little bit of glue, let the kids attach the button eyes to their puppets. The Kiddos enjoyed telling me about the eyes, nose, and mouth of their puppets and pointing them out while we let the glue dry. Make certain you do not lay anything on top of the puppets are let them fold over while the glue dries. Would hate to see a kid frown because the puppet's mouth is now glued shut!

Finally: IT'S SHOW TIME!!! Your puppets and theater are complete and it is time to put on a show! Encourage their imagination and explore all of the wonderful places the puppets can go and people they can meet. Be interactive as the puppets are sure to address you directly at some point. 

This was a great activity and one that hopefully will have a lasting effect as a playtime favorite. Great for dad, mom, son, daughter, niece, nephew, cousins, and so on. Everyone is sure to have a good time. 


And of course, make sure you make one for yourself! What fun would it be to just sit back and watch! Of course, you don't have to just take my word for it. Give it a try yourself. Create puppets with big eyes, small eyes, red mouth, blue mouth, clothes, hair, and the works. The room for creativity in this one is endless. Let their minds go free and let the energy go nuts.

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