One of my most successful activities, making puppets out of some of my very favorite characters in toddler and pre-school literature. I found simple outline drawings of four popular characters (each was identified with their creator and name), blew them up, and then printed them on card-stock. Children colored them, cut them out, and then pasted them on tongue depressors. These simple puppets were paired with books featuring these characters engaged in simple everyday activities.
Four characters were featured: Lucy Cousin’s Maisy, Eric Hill’s Spot, Jonathan London’s Froggy, and Paulette Bourgeois’s Franklin. Multiple copies of each of their books were displayed, some in board book and pop-up formats. Among my personal favorites:
Children were encouraged to explore the activities that took place in the books along with their puppets. Some participants had never heard of these characters before, but many were old favorites. Either way they enjoyed the pairing of puppet and book.
I designed this activity to encourage narrative skills, as well as to continue to foster print motivation. Ideally, children would be able to tell stories with their puppets, tell the stories along with the text stories, and have fun playing as they saw fit. In addition, it is an activity that children from a very broad range can enjoy, since even very small children could enjoy the puppets.
Attendance was high (between 40-50 each day) and the reports were very positive. Children and parents LOVED this activity. One parent gathered a fish book along with so that her daughters could read a fish book like Maisy does at the end of the story. Another parent reported that following making Mazie puppets with his daughter (who he thought was too young) Mazie became one of her few words, and that weeks after she still plays with her.
This is one we’ll repeat for sure!