Family Ties | A Puppet Theater on the Fly
Summer is upon us, and my children have been home for one week already, and they are ready to be entertained! We decided, or, I decided, ahem, that they were ready to be their own entertainers this week. To bring that reality to life, we whipped up a super fast puppet theater and show that added a lot of laughs and drama (only the best kind) to our afternoons.
My summers as a child included a lot of time creating paper bag puppets and sock puppets, with my older brother and sister, weaving our stories through these characters. My mom is a master seamstress, and she always had fabric scraps sitting around, just waiting to be made into something new. My house is now full of its own set of possibilities – leftovers from art and craft projects – that are prime ingredients for a classic homemade puppet show. You can find materials all over your house, too, I’m sure. Check the recycling bin when in doubt.
With googly eyes and felt scraps ready, we each created paper bag animal puppets. I love seeing how each of my children bring creations to life through their own lens. In my humble opinion, a great bag puppet has a great mouth so be sure to open up the flap and draw teeth, a tongue, or something else fantastical inside your creature’s mouth. Your audience will appreciate this attention to detail.
Every great paper bag puppet needs his or her own theater! And you can whip this up just as fast as your puppets.
Grab a tension rod. We had two leftover from a home renovation project. Resize it to fit your door frame. This should require no more than loosening and tightening a screw. Find a pillowcase that you are ready to repurpose. We chose a lovely striped case that has seen many nights and was really easy to take apart.
To create your theater curtain, open up the pillowcase along the long seam and continue to open it up across the short seam. Open up the case until it is one flat rectangle. At the top of the case, open up a small bit of the pocket seam and slide in your curtain rod.
Our giraffe, dog, cat, and monkey performed a music video production of the song, “I Am a Gummy Bear” and giggled a lot. Encore performances have been presented and further plans for expanding the cast and crew are already in the works.
With our new puppet theater and stack of paper bags, we can create a show anytime (and anywhere that we need). I’m excited to attend the shows on the second floor and ones planned for the playroom!
I love that their imaginations can come alive through such simple components put together and created especially for play. If you can squeeze in an hour to create your own puppet show, laughter is a guarantee!