CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK, MONTH, YEAR
This theme is perfect for preparing a show which can be presented to parents and grandparents for a special occasion. Build your own theater using large cardboard boxes. Paint and decorate them with your group. You may even add tiny Christmas lights. If you have children of different ages in your group, you may choose to act out a short song instead of having children learn the lines for a short play. Have fun. Enjoy being a theater director! Theater is great for every aspect of childhood development.
Educatall team suggests a thematic letter model which can be used for one week or several weeks in preparation for a show you can present for a special occasion such as Christmas. (Open thematic letter - Puppets and theater) Print the letter and prepare a scenario. Use a special envelope and read portions of the letter to your group every day or once a week.
Set up a theater corner: hang a curtain from the ceiling, place a mirror on a wall, add a trunk or box which is full of old clothing items, hooks for hats and wigs, jewellery, costumes, baskets, and drawers for décor accessories. For your décor, use cardboard boxes as furniture, Christmas lights, fabric, music, etc.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game - Puppets and theater) Print, laminate, and store in a "Ziploc" bag or in your thematic bins.
Activity sheets are provided for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets - Puppets and theater)
Have fun with these wonderful workshop ideas provided by Caroline Allard.
Construction and building blocks:
- Cardboard figurines (illustrations on Popsicle sticks) may be used to bring children's constructions to life.
- Different sizes of cardboard boxes for cardboard constructions.
- Invite children to create characters with building blocks.
Arts & Crafts:
- Cut eyes, noses, mouths, faces, and bodies out of catalogues and have children assemble them to create characters. When they are done, glue their characters onto Popsicle sticks or drinking straws.
- Make puppets using old socks or mittens. Simply draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth using a marker...You can also paint them using fabric paint. You will have original puppets to play with.
- Trace the contour of children's hands. Cut them out and attach a Popsicle stick to the back for quick and simple puppets.
- Paper body parts can be assembled with string to create mobiles or puppets. Children can make characters or animals and have fun mixing up body parts which would normally not go together. You may choose to assemble your puppets using fasteners too.
- Various recycled materials are great for making unique puppets too. Complete them with paint, sparkles, etc.
- Why not make a giant puppet and make it your group's mascot? Use your imagination!
- Make a papier-mâché puppet. Use a small balloon and cover it with strips of newspaper dipped in glue (leave a space where you can later insert a stick). Let dry, paint, and you have a new puppet!
- Coloring pages of various animals which can be puppets.
- Coloring pages with Pinocchio or other well-known puppets on them.
- Blank sheets of paper, children can create their own puppet models.
- A tent or a large box which can be used to make a homemade puppet theater.
- If you are lucky enough to have an actual puppet theater, children will have great fun with it!
- Puppets of all kinds.
- Make-up (used by children or the caregiver).
- Masks children can use to pretend they are puppets.
- Why not prepare a short play? Silly costumes, make-up, and lots of fun!
- Pinocchio puzzle.
- Modeling dough and Popsicle sticks are great for creating fun puppets. You can use homemade modeling dough and let it dry. Children will love painting their puppets.
- Finger puppets.
- Various types of fabric scraps. Children will enjoy exploring the different textures.
- Necklace beads can be used to make miniature necklaces for puppets.
- The Pinocchio story.
- Books which show children how to make puppets.
- A few puppets will add a touch of softness to your area.
- Hunt and seek games.
- Various activity sheets related to the theme.
- Games using educatall word flashcards.
- Tracing and maze games.
- A dot-to-dot puppet for tracing.
- An obstacle course presented as a treasure hunt. Children search for puppets along the way.
- Encourage children to walk like string puppets. A friend pretends to pull the strings to direct their movements.
- Walk on a balance beam, like a string puppet.
- Let children manipulate musical instruments and have a parade with their puppets.
- A relay race. Children must give a puppet to the next member of their team.
- Bean bag toss. The bean bags become characters, like puppets. Draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on them.
- Water table with sponge puppets.
- A bin filled with rocks or beads. Children manipulate the content of the bin with puppets on their hands.
The word flashcards may used during circle time to spark a conversation with the group or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards - Puppets and theater) puppet, theater, curtain, applause, mirror, costume, puppet theater, string puppet, puppeteer, spectators, make-up, stage
Picture clue story - Puppets and theater
(Open picture clue story - Puppets and theater) Print. Sit in a circle with your group. Begin reading the story. Pause for each picture clue. Point to the clue and have children guess the missing word.
PHYSICAL ACTICITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Explain what a mime is. Invite children to mime various actions such as going up or down stairs, pulling on a rope, climbing a tree, etc.
Make Chinese shadows on a large white sheet which is hung from the ceiling or behind a piece of white cardboard. Show children how to make animals (a frog for example). Children will love taking turns making the shadows and guessing what the shadows represent. You may use your hands or objects which you have glued to Popsicle sticks.
Using paint or make-up pencils, let children draw on their hands and fingertips to create puppets.
Cut a square out of a cardboard box. Go for a walk with your group and collect branches, flowers, etc. Glue them to your box to create a unique puppet theater. You may also decorate the inside of the theater if you wish.
ACTIVITIES INVOLVING PARENTS
(Open Invitation for the show) Print and distribute to parents, grandparents, and friends a few weeks prior to the presentation of your show.
Invite parents to create a puppet with their children using a lone sock at home. Children will be proud to present their puppets to their friends.
The puppet says
Hold a puppet in your hand. Give children instructions. When you say "The puppet says...", children must follow your instructions. If you do not say "The puppet says..." first, they mustn't move.
Use a lone glove to make finger puppets. Cut the fingers off and draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on each fingertip.
Sit in a circle with your group. Each child holds a puppet in his hands. You also hold a puppet in your hands. Begin the "opposites" game. Your puppet says a word (such as hot). The child who knows what the opposite is, makes his puppet answer (in this case cold). If the child has the correct answer, he chooses the next word. Examples: rough/soft, tall/short, slow/fast, happy/sad, etc.
(Open model - Mitten puppet) Print two copies and trace them on construction paper. Make holes around the contour using a hole-punch. Children must thread yarn through each hole to assemble the pieces. When they are done, have them decorate the puppet.
Hunt and seek - Puppets and theater
(Open hunt and seek - Puppets and theater) Print and laminate. Children pick an illustration and search for it in the larger picture.
Felt board puppet theater
Use four pieces of black felt. Glue them onto a large piece of cardboard and hang it on the wall. Next, (Open felt board games - Puppets and theater). Print the puppets. Cut them out and have children color them. Glue the puppets to felt pieces. Children will enjoy inventing stories with the puppets by sticking them on the felt board.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Children find a partner. Let them paint each other's faces.
Children find a partner. Give each child a large sheet of paper. One child lies down on the paper and his partner traces the contour of his body using waxed crayons. They then exchange roles. Afterwards, children can decorate their body outlines. Glue the giant puppets to the walls.
Children hide behind a table or a large cardboard box. They make their puppets sing.
Play soft music. Children find a partner. One child sits on the floor and his partner uses him as a puppet (for example, he raises his arm, his foot, etc.)
Stuffed animal puppet
Transform your old stuffed animals into puppets. Sew an elastic band to the back. Children simply insert their hand to play with their new puppets.
Improvisation is an activity which can easily be adapted to the ages of the children in your group. Choose short scenarios or simple emotions.
Story and memory game - Puppets and theater
(Open story and memory game - Puppets and theater) Print, cut out, and laminate the illustrations. Place them face down on the floor. Children pick three cards and invent a story in relation to the illustrations. Variation: To solidify the cards, glue the illustrations to the top of frozen juice cans. Use as a memory game.
Fill popsicle moulds with fruit juice. Place in the freezer. Children can manipulate their Popsicles and make them "talk" like puppets.
ARTS & CRAFTS
(Open craft - Mr. Sandwich) Mr. Sandwich is fun to assemble. Print, cut out, and glue the pieces. Attach a Popsicle stick to the back of Mr. Sandwich and invent silly stories.
Purchase a wooden spoon for each child. Let children paint their spoon. Once dry, have them add hair (the top of the spoon is the head), wiggly eyes, etc. You can even have children design clothing for their wooden puppet. Trace the clothing items on felt or any other craft material. Cut out the clothing and glue it on the wooden spoon.
Puppet (Open models - Puppets) Print the puppet models and invite children to choose which one they want to make. Cut out the chosen models and glue them onto oven mitts. Let children add hair, wiggly eyes, etc.
A reinvented puppet theater
Use a clean pizza box. Pizzerias will be glad to provide you with one or more boxes. Cut a window out of the top of the box. Decorate with children. Glue fabric pieces using hot glue to represent curtains. This theater is ideal for finger puppets.
Use felt. Cut out two pieces shaped like fingertips. Glue them together using hot glue. Use them as a base for your puppet. Use your imagination to personalize them. Some possibilities are spots, a tail, pointy ears, and a nose to make a cow, or all pink with a spiral tail for a pig, or a crown and a dress for a queen...
Little sock puppet
Invite children to create a puppet using an old sock, a glove, or a mitten. Offer recycled material and anything which could inspire them: yarn, wiggly eyes, pipe cleaners, ribbon, fabric pieces, felt, etc. Children can present their puppets once they are done.
(Open coloring pages theme - Puppets and theater) Print.
(Open creative coloring - Puppets and theater) Print for each child. Ask children to draw the puppets in the theater.
SONGS & RHYMES
by: Patricia Morrison
sung to: Twinkle, twinkle, little star
Puppets, puppets on a string
You can do so many things
On my hand or my finger
Talk and dance in the theater
Puppets, puppets, you are fun
Put on a show for everyone
The Educatall team