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Tuesday
Sep082015

Children's Book Finger Puppets: tips for children's book creators, teachers and parents

I've added some free print-ready templates for creating finger puppets related to I'M BORED and WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? You can preview the I'm Bored puppets here and download here. You can get the Where Are My Books? puppets here: Spencer & Mom preview/download, Sis and Dad preview/download and Squirrel/Narwhal/Book preview/download. For all my free, print-ready material, see my Print-Ready Archives.

Note that you don't HAVE to use them as finger puppets, but can use them as stand-up puppets. Another option: taping the characters onto popsicle sticks.

Tip for children's book creators who want to create their own finger puppet paper templates:

- Test them out ahead of time! I experimented with several designs until I found ones I was happy with.

- Aim for puppets that can stand up on their own when assembled, just in case young readers prefer to use them that way. 

- If possible, have heads cut separately from the cylinder part of the puppet (see my Girl and Spencer puppet as examples). That way puppets will look more like play-able characters than just cylinders of paper.

Suggestions for teachers, librarians and parents on how to use these puppets:

- After reading I'm Bored or Where Are My Books?, have students come up with their own storytelling ideas. Come up with a new adventure for the characters! 

- Using paper and scissors or other materials, have students come up with scenery or props to help them in their storytelling.

- Students can experiment with different voices for different characters. How would YOU do the Potato voice, for example?

- Turn a table with sturdy legs on one side for a makeshift puppet theater. Or cut a window into one side of a large cardboard box. OR just get rid of the physical puppet theatre idea altogether and have students perform out in the open.

- Finger puppets can be useful for those students who are especially shy or insecure about public speaking.

- Have students create their own puppets based on characters from books they are reading. Instead of worrying about finger sizes etc., just have them draw small (I suggest an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper folded into quarters) characters, cut them out, and stick them onto popsicle sticks.

Do you have other ideas on how to use puppets in the classroom? Do you have finger puppet templates related to children's books you'd like to share? Please post below!

Related Resources:

Using finger puppet templates as a craft project and strengthen storytelling abilities - Kidspot

Puppet Play: Dramatic Benefits For Young Performers - EarlyChildhoodNews.com

Pointing out the Finger Puppet Connection To Learning - Mar's Music Notes

Puppets Talk, Children Listen - TEACH magazine

 

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