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By Sally Grayearly years teacher and writer

Create some fantastic resources from a range of recyclable materials

Finger puppets

1 It’s a puppet

Make a selection of animal puppets

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Designing and Making

Development matters: begin to try out a range of tools and techniques safely (30-50 months); construct with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.

What you need

Group size: small group.

Home-made puppets; clean socks; felt scraps; buttons; cardboard tubes; felt-tipped pens; card; doweling rods; collage materials; glue; sticky tape; scissors; your ‘Animal heads’ activity sheet.

What to do

Invite the children to make some animal puppets from recyclable materials for a puppet show. If possible, make your own puppets beforehand to show the children the different examples and let them choose one to make. Provide all the materials that they will need in bowls and trays in the middle of a large craft table.

When the puppets are finished, encourage the children to use them to act out animal stories.

Ideas for puppets include:

  • Stick puppets – copy the ‘Animal heads’ activity sheet on to card, cut around one of the heads and decorate it. Fix it to a piece of dowelling rod.
  • Sock puppets – choose an old sock and add buttons, pieces of felt and collage materials such as fur and wool to make an animal face.
  • Finger puppets – cut lengths of cardboard tube and decorate with pens and collage materials to make animal faces.
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