Paper Plates, Colored Pencils/crayons/markers/paint, scissors, construction paper, straw, beads/buttons/googly eyes/cotton balls, glue and tape
If you don’t have paper plates, you can use cardboard or a cereal box, something that will be sturdier than construction paper. You can use any arts and crafts materials you have at home for decoration.. pieces of pasta, rice, buttons, old clothing material, yarn, toothpicks, use your imagination. The more of a variety of materials the better. It is important for children to be able to choose and use their imagination and creativity!
Have all materials on the table handy and ready to go. Draw a picture of a few things to show your child how to draw and what kinds of things they can make. The drawings don’t have to be great or even good. You can draw basic outlines to demonstrate. I drew a butterfly, dog, cat, and a fish to show them.. And I used basic simple shapes for example a circle for the face and two triangles on top for the ears and tada.. you have a cat.. add on the whiskers and eyes and you’re done..
Encourage your child (depending on their age) to draw on the paper plate, the shape of the animal they chose.. they can then cut out the outline (or you can assist with the cutting if the child is younger). Next have your child color the animal and decorate using the materials they want.
After the glued on items have dried, tape a straw to the back of the craft and you’re ready to play with your puppets!
What is your child learning?
There is so much learning going on with any arts and crafts activity. The most important thing, is that they get to spend some quality time with you. While making the crafts, you can talk about the animal your child chose by asking questions like: What sounds does that animal make? Where does the animal live? Can this animal be a pet? Why or why not? You can go to the library to extend the activity and read about that animal. Talking and listening to your child while making these crafts also builds their vocabulary. Another way to extend this activity would be to write a story using the puppets as a main character. Depending on the child’s age they can tell you the story and you can write it down for them, or they can write on their own! To help them come up with the story, ask them open-ended questions with no wrong answers. Remember in stories, arts and crafts, there’s no right or wrong! The sky’s the limit!
Some other skills your child is learning is eye hand coordination, building small motor skills, leaning how to hold a pencil, learning how to use materials, and much much more!
Above you will find pictures of the materials we used and how our project turned out! Hope you can enjoy this project with your little ones!