Finger Puppets

Six homemade puppet ideas from FamilyFun

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Turn things zooey by shaping up a troupe of finger puppets. All you need are felt scraps, craft paper, scissors, a few sewing notions, craft glue and permanent colored markers.

FELT PUPPETS 

For each puppet, first cut out a pair of 1 5/8-by-3-inch felt rectangles to serve as the front and back of the animal. Join the front to the back by gluing together the side and top edges. Leave the bottom edges open for a finger opening. Once the glue dries, use scissors to round the top of the puppet's head. Glue on googly eyes. Now it's time to add distinguishing animal traits.

HORSE: For ears, cut out a pair of felt ovals (about 1 1/2 inches long). Fold them in half lengthwise and glue together the lower edges. Glue the bases of the ears to the back of the puppet. Add a fringed forelock, white mane and rounded muzzle. Use a marker to draw jawlines and nostrils.

BIRDS: Cut out a triangular felt bird beak and glue it in place. Add plumage.

SPOTTED HEIFER: Make cow ears following the same steps used for the horse. Glue on a pink muzzle. Color bold black spots on the ears and face.

PIG: For floppy pig ears, use 2-inch felt circles. Attach them as previously described for the horse. For pig cheeks and a snout, glue on 1-inch felt circles.

WOOLLY LAMB: Attach ears horizontally to the front of the lamb. Glue a bit of cotton "wool" to the top of its head and draw on the face.

LION: Cut rounded lion ear shapes on both sides of the head. Glue on a 3-inch wreath-shaped felt mane.

FROG: Position googly eyes at the top of the head. Glue webbed frog feet to the front of the puppet.

 

PAPER PUPPETS  

Use scissors to shape the puppets' midsection from a 3-inch square of craft paper--perhaps a round potbelly for a pig or a rectangular body for an alligator. For legs, roll and glue four 1 1/2-by-3-inch paper strips into cylinders. Make them wide enough to fit your child's fingers, so she can walk the puppet around. Attach each leg to the midsection with a piece of masking tape, pressing one end inside the cylinder and the other onto the back of the body. Here are a few more ideas for inspiration.

DOG, LION, BUG OR DEER: Draw a suitable head and ears on a piece of craft paper. Then cut out the shape and glue it onto the body. Glue on googly eyes and distinguishing details, such as a pompon nose, a mane fashioned from snips of string, waxed-paper wings or twist-tie antlers.

PIGLET: With a small half circle, form and glue a paper cone. Flatten the tip of the cone with your thumb to create a pig snout. Glue on big, floppy ears and attach the head to the body with tape.

ALLIGATOR: Match up a pair of 2 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch rectangles with the shorter edges at the top and bottom. Glue together the very tops, then fold back the glued portion and make a crease. With pinking shears, trim the sides and bottoms of the rectangles to create a tapered, toothy jaw. Glue the folded edge to the back of the body. Finally, glue on a pair of googly-eye stalks.

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