If you are a teacher or children's librarian, consider putting on a puppet show for some children. Kids love puppets, and puppet shows are a great way to entertain, teach, and inspire. When you have a talkative group of preschoolers, they immediately focus on you when you show them a puppet and make it move or talk. Young children believe that puppets are real, so it's an excellent way to capture their attention. Try making a puppet show, and you'll find out that it's a wonderful way to spark children's imaginations.
Things You'll Need:
- Table Cloth
- Craft Materials
Write a script for your puppet show. The script can be about anything children would enjoy watching. Try writing a new fairy tale or adapting a fairy tale already in existence. You can even try creating a humorous or scary script. To make a good puppet script, make sure it has a beginning, middle and end. Remember that you can't have a good script if it doesn't have conflict--there must be a problem to solve. If you don't want to write a script, find a ready-made script in a library book. Visit the Legends and Lore website for access to free puppet show scripts (see Resources).
Create puppets for your puppet show. You can use simple socks for the bodies of the puppets. Sew on buttons for the eyes and nose. Give your puppets yarn hair. If you don't want to use socks, get some small lunch bags and use construction paper and yarn to make the puppets. Some people might prefer making stick puppets, an even simpler choice. Cut some pictures of people or animals from magazines and glue them to craft sticks. Draw your own pictures and glue them to craft sticks as well.
Build a puppet theater for your puppet show. Take a large cardboard box and cut out the bottom of it. Turn it on its side so that you can look through the opening you cut out. This will be the stage of the puppet theater. Paint the cardboard box. If you don't want to build a puppet theater, just take a pretty table cloth and drape it over a table. You can crouch behind the table and hold the puppets above the surface.
Practice your puppet show until you feel comfortable with the hand movements and dialog. Experiment with different voices so you can make each puppet sound unique. Attempt to make the puppets move as naturally as possible. Keep in mind that you only have two hands, so you will only be able to manipulate two puppets at a time. If you recruit a helper, you can have at least four puppets performing simultaneously.
Gather an audience and perform your puppet show for them. Make sure you keep your voice animated so you can keep your audience's attention. If you have a good script, interesting puppets and an energetic way of delivering your lines, the children will enjoy your show.
You can also find inexpensive puppets at teacher supply stores if you don't want to make your own. If you're a teacher, use a puppet as your assistant. The puppet can help you discuss classroom rules with the children, and they will be more receptive to the important information you need to tell them.
K.T. Solis is a school librarian living in Kentucky. She has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years and holds a B.A. in English and master's degrees in library science and elementary education. Solis also writes for children. Her stories have appeared in children's magazines such as "Ladybug" and "Turtle." She ghostwrote a middle grade novel and has written for educational publishers.