Sunday, February 6, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #27 - Make Paper Puppets from a Children's Book

My kids don't watch a lot of TV. I try to make sure they have lots of opportunities to use their imaginations. They have been to a couple of puppet shows, thanks to the Banff Public Library and preschool. They also own more books than most children I know.

Recently, on a snowy day, I was going through these books, trying to cull a few from the collection. There is no shortage of things I could do with the ones that are in good shape; some could be passed on to friends, some could be sold to the second hand book store, and some could go to the thrift store. But what to do with the ones that are in bad shape? My toddler and I volunteer at a local thrift store a few times a week while my eldest is at preschool. We organize their books. I know for certain they do not need anymore damaged books that people could not bear to get rid of but that the store has to ultimately throw away. My kids are pretty respectful of their books, but some books I find at rummage sales and thrift stores I bring home unaware of the full extent of damage inside. We read around crayon and marker scribbles, bent pages, and stickers. We try to repair ripped pages and loose covers. But some books, namely pop up books and books that contain flaps can be a bit of a bummer when they are wrecked.

On this day, I was specifically inspired to find a use for a Spot book that was missing important pieces that conceal part of the page until you lift them up. More than half of these pieces were ripped out when it came to us. I mulled it over and remembered a cookie tin full of colored Popsicle sticks that I have also been wanting to use. The Spot book had heavy weight card stock pages, which once glued to Popsicle sticks could make great... PUPPETS! I also grabbed a heavy weight Kindermusik song book with simple illustrations that I had repaired on a couple of occasions but that refused to staying together. Voila! Time to get crafty with the cooped up kids... what a fun project for a winter storm day!

Make Puppets from Old Books

By Tiffany Teske


~ Books with card stock pages (or as a variation on this craft you can use thinner book pages glued to poster board or card stock and then cut out)
~ Scissors
~ Popsicle sticks
~ White glue (PVA is better than school glue because it won't wrinkle the paper)

1) Select the images you want to cut out of your book, remembering that you can probably only cut out an image from one side of the page.
2) Rip out the pages you will use.
3) Cut out the images. For young children who are learning to cut it is not important for them to be precise. For older kids, they can cut on the lines that are provided around the images. We didn't stick to a plan, some of the images we used are cut out on the lines and for some of them we cut out a whole scene rather than just a piece. We also cut out the title of the books so we could use them as the titles when we started out puppet show.
4) Glue your Popsicle sticks to your pieces. I am out of PVA glue so we used school glue which has more water in it and it will wrinkle even card stock if used too heavily, which is normal for young children. If you only have school glue you can minimize wrinkling by using a brush to apply the glue, sparingly. The point here is fun for your kids, not professional puppets. We didn't put Popsicle sticks on all of our pieces because my daughter wanted to use some of them like paper dolls.
5) Throw a blanket over a table and have a puppet show!

I am always happy to hear from readers who have made this craft, either on their own, or because they were inspired here. Please leave a comment if you have something to share!


Anonymous said...

Awesome! i have some books that i just can't bear to toss (Cameron puked on them as a baby) & now i know why!!! there r still some good pages.

yippee! thank-you!

Anonymous said...

We have TONS of books that are damaged just enough that they would be perfect for this. Love it!

Tiffany Teske said...

Thanks, Ladies! I am happy that we have inspired you to use your books :)