This activity helps children learn about shapes and use problem solving to build their very own stick puppets. Today we will make a frog and a bird puppet, but you can use your imagination to make all sorts of characters.
These stick puppets, built from ovals, circles, semicircles, rectangles and triangles are fun to make and inspire hours of imaginative play. Help your child design their own puppets and put on their very own stick puppet production!
This activity will help your child:
- Identify basic shapes and piece together their own characters
- Learn to recognize and name shapes
- Understand the connection between shapes and real life objects
- Construction paper
- Wooden craft sticks
- Googly eyes (optional)
- Markers or crayons
Step 1: Cut out the various shapes required for each character from the construction paper (see descriptive imagery below.)
As you cut out the pieces, talk with your child about the different shapes:
“An oval looks like an egg, or a squashed circle. It has no straight sides or corners, but it isn’t a circle because it’s not perfectly round. Maybe this will be the head or the body?”
“A triangle has three straight sides and three corners.”
“A rectangle has four straight sides, and the sides across from each other are the same length.”
“When we cut this circle in half, we get two semicircles!”
Step 2: After you’ve cut out your shapes, glue them together, using the descriptive images below as guides.
When assembling your puppet, make sure that you have enough overlap to glue the pieces together
If you don’t have googly eyes, use a marker or crayon to draw the eyes and mouth.
Step 3: Glue the finished puppet to a wooden craft stick.
Construct the Frog:
Construct the Bird:
Take It Further
After you’ve created the bird and the frog puppets, encourage your child to create puppets from more complex shapes — even if you don’t know the names of those shapes! Encourage their creative spirit and praise innovation. Maybe they want to make a puppet of themselves or a beloved pet. Talk to them about characters and story.
Create a theater out of a recycled box! Cut a viewing window and decorate your set. Now you can put on a show!
- “Circles, Triangles and Squares” by Tana Hoban
- “Mouse Shapes” by Ellen Stoll Walsh
- “Whoo? Whoo?” by David A. Carter
This activity was inspired by “Stick Puppets – Peg + Cat” on PBS LearningMedia
Related Stories from PBS SoCal:
— A Fun Pirate-Inspired Fruit Salad Recipe That Helps Children Practice Math Skills
— Make Fun Crafts While Counting, Measuring and Weighing Objects With Your Little Ones (Watch How-To Videos in English & Spanish)