“That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.”
– Walt Disney
Our bedtime routine has always involved getting through a ridiculously high pile of books. Now that we know most of them by heart, this routine has evolved to include our own adaptations of the stories we love. Making up tales has naturally extended into daytime play and has recently been the source of some serious entertainment. Witnessing the development of an imagination has to be one of my favourite parts of parenting so far.
I thought we’d encourage this newfound love of storytelling by getting into a bit of puppetry craft! Take a look at a few of the storytelling aids we’ve made this week. These are all really simple and fun projects that have led to some wildly imaginative stories.
Finger puppet monsters
While fairies, princesses and ballerinas might always trump monsters, we’re all about drama in this house… and there’s nothing more dramatic than a crazy-eyed, sharp-toothed monster popping out of nowhere! Monsters feature frequently in our make-believe stories so we brought them to life with these felt finger puppets.
To make some of your own, simply:
- Cut out a rectangle from felt, long enough to be folded in half and still fit over your finger.
- Either sew the sides up or stick them together with a glue gun.
- Add googly eyes and pieces of felt in contrasting colours, cut into the shape of teeth, horns, and facial features.
The great thing about making monsters with kids is that it doesn’t matter how many eyes or where their features are placed – the more “abstract”, the scarier they look!
Craft stick folk
Popsicle sticks, icy pole sticks, craft sticks, whatever you want to call them, they make the quaintest of friendly folk! Use paint, marker pens or textas to give them facial features, hair and clothes. Or get creative and glue on pom-poms, coloured paper outfits, yarn hair-dos, or stickers – almost anything will work. I’m not sure which of our little friends is my favourite – bespectacled, purple-hair flower lady or the skinny, floral skirt-wearing cow?
Finger puppet snake
We have a few books that feature slithering snakes and, while plain old socks make perfectly adequate snake puppets, a handmade, finger puppet snake takes things up a notch. This craft activity simply involves colouring in a snake template, cutting it out, then taping the tabs around little fingers.
This is a great craft for imaginative play outside, especially if your grass needs a good mow, like ours often does! We paired it with a Rod Campbell classic, “It’s Mine!”
Plastic egg critters
These brightly coloured plastic eggs are readily available at Easter time and make an extremely versatile base for Easter crafting. They look great threaded onto an Easter bunting, hanging from the branches of an Easter tree, covered in a textured collage, or turned into animals, like we did here.
For other ideas on how to liven up your storytelling, check out these craft projects I found on Pinterest: