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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002

Hours

  • Tuesday- Friday10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

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Making Art Together

Playful Puppetry

Recently in The Studio for a Special Sunday activity, the room was abuzz with drama and creativity as guests hammed it up with their handmade marker cap finger puppets and mini puppet theatres. Studio staff made a few funny characters to get guests inspired!

We adapted Captain Crafty's "Make Marker Cap Finger Puppets" blog post, using marker and bottle caps as puppet bodies and added fun details with stickers, masking tape, feathers, wire, beads, ribbon, yarn, muffin papers, straws, wine corks, wooden spools, and fabric scraps.

The Studio collects caps from empty glue sticks, worn out markers and empty soda and juice bottles, so we had quite an array of colors and sizes to choose from.

It was surprising to see how elaborate the kids' ideas became and we noticed that they preferred to spend a majority of their time adding details to one puppet rather than making multiple, simpler puppets.

As Captain Crafty points out, it's challenging to draw with markers on a puppet face directly onto a smooth marker cap's exterior, so small round stickers or pieces of masking tape provide a surface for facial details, allowing your puppet's personality to shine!

We overheard fun conversations while children constructed their puppets; they were especially excited about their puppet's names, where they were from and all the special details they planned to add.

In addition to the puppet making supplies, a fun way to take Captain Crafty's idea a bit farther was for each child to decorate a mini foam core "puppet theatre" for tiny plays with their puppets at home.

The mini theatres are a piece of foam core (you could also use card board or mat board) with a rectangle cut from the center. 2 notches were cut at the bottom so a strip of cardboard could be inserted at the bottom to make the theatre stand on a table, or easier to hold.

Some older children focused heavily on a cohesive design for their puppet and matched their theatre to the characterization of their puppet.

Other guests used The Studio's larger puppet theatres to act out scenes with their families.

It was fun to see how delighted the children were making their puppets and performing with them.

Overall, the day was a big success, and small frustrations were overcome as we kept in mind that All's Well That Ends Well, even in the mini puppet world!

Thanks to our intern, Rochelle Malter and work study student, Emma Rodrigue for helping to setup and run this Special Sunday activity; for Rochelle's help with developing the copy for this post; and work study student Katie Welles for helping to edit the photos you see here!

 

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We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 

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