Monday, April 13, 2015

Talking Hands: Cardboard Box Hand Puppets!

Posted by Kashmira

There's a group of parents at our apartment complex that likes to get together with a planned activity for the kids to do as a bunch. Usually one of the grownups decides and takes the lead on their chosen activity. 

For instance, last summer one set of parents did a planting session - they got saplings, soil and pots and taught the kids how to plant, water and so on. Then another time one mom arranged a baking afternoon wherein kids rolled out pre-made cookie dough, cutting out cute shapes and once they were baked, had a gala time decorating them with frosting and sprinkles etc. These indoor activities usually happen in the apartment community hall, which is also equipped with a small movie theater. No prizes for guessing one mom also did a movie evening with the kids, complete with Ice Age, popcorn and ice cream!

I was looking forward to doing something with the kiddos. (Something crafty of course, no doubts there!). I spent some time researching a good craft, in other words - 

1) That which would hold their attention and they could have some fun with. 
2) That which could be made with things readily available at home

I borrowed 'crafting with kids' themed books from the library but nothing really enamored me. Then I remembered these hand puppets made from cardboard boxes that I'd seen on the internet sometime but which I could not find when I recently tried looking. 

So first you take a small cardboard box (around 6" * 6" works quite well) and cover it with paper. Then with a tool like an xacto knife you slice in the middle on three sides of the box, so that it can bend and you can put your hands in the back to move the puppet. (In my first clown sample, I cut the box first and then covered it, but other way around is better.)

From here on it's a free for all - totally depending on what character you want to make your box. All you need are materials like construction paper, markers, felt paper, ribbons, buttons, yarn and what have you. I got all my clown parts ready first - the eyes, mouth, hat, bow etc. Then I first glued the mouth on first, since that's the starting reference point. Then went the rest of the parts. I used a glue gun to make the yarny hair stick.
Once the hat went on, my puppet was ready! I also made a very basic, no frills puppet theater so the kids could rock out.
Ten enthusiastic kids and their gung-ho moms showed up to 'make a new friend'! There was no dearth of fun, laughter, glue or creativity. At the end of an hour and a half we had a fierce lion, a stripy tiger, an adorable-but-trying-to-be-scary monster, a girl robot, the quintessential superheroes Spidy and Ninjas (2!) and the most glamorous nurse you ever saw!

Best of all, each kid took a turn at the puppet theater putting up a little show with the puppet they made and proudly held up their creations for this pic!

This was a fun evening indeed and I'm going to try and do some other crafty thing again with the kids. Of course, I will let you know all about it right here, so stay tuned :)

1 comment:

  1. I love the concept, the puppets look really cute!! The puppet theater must be so much fun to watch. Kudos to all you mom's for coming up with such workshops for the kids. I can't wait to read about what you do next with them.

    - Priti