What is a Puppet Show?

K T Solis

A puppet show is a performance in which the principal actors are puppets. Puppets have existed in almost every culture and even been used in the religious practices of ancient civilizations. Some of the most enthusiastic fans of puppets have always been children. Children love to watch a good puppet show, but they love manipulating puppets even more. A child can indulge in her love of puppets by creating her own puppet show.

Puppet shows may feature sock puppets to entertain children.
Puppet shows may feature sock puppets to entertain children.

If children use their imaginations, they can create their own puppets, a puppet theater, and even write a play for the puppets to perform. First, children should write the script for the puppet show. They can write a fairy tale, a spooky story, or any other kind of script that lends itself well to a puppet show. Next, children should decide what type of puppets they would like to create.

An old cardboard box may be used to make a puppet theater.
An old cardboard box may be used to make a puppet theater.

The simplest forms of puppets are stick puppets, paper bag puppets, and sock puppets. A stick puppet can be made by drawing a two-dimensional picture, cutting it out, and gluing it to a craft stick. These types of puppets are ideal for smaller children because they don't require a great deal of effort. If the child does not know how to draw, a parent can print a template from a kids' crafts website so that the child can color it and cut it out.

Children sometimes use construction paper when making stick puppets.
Children sometimes use construction paper when making stick puppets.

Another easy puppet to make is the paper bag puppet. These puppets can be made from simple lunch bags — the types of bags that are bought at the local supermarket. A child can place her hand inside the bag and use the bottom of the bag as the mouth of the puppet.

Stick puppets are simply colored, cut out, and glued to a craft stick.
Stick puppets are simply colored, cut out, and glued to a craft stick.

Construction paper, yarn, and scraps of cloth can be used to fashion the eyes, nose, mouth, and hair of the puppet. Kids can dress the puppet by fashioning clothing from the cloth scraps or construction paper. Bag puppets are fun to make because they allow the child to exhibit her creativity as she fashions a one-of-a-kind toy.

Children can be encouraged to write their own screenplay for a puppet show.
Children can be encouraged to write their own screenplay for a puppet show.

Sock puppets are a third simple type of puppet that kids can make on their own and use in their own puppet show. A child simply sticks her hand in the sock and closes her top fingers over her thumb. This forms the mouth of the puppet. She can then use simple items like yarn, buttons, and cloth scraps to give it a face and outfit.

After creating several puppets, children can then begin making a stage for the puppet show. The stage can be as simple as draping a table cloth over a card table. The table serves as the stage while the puppeteers hide behind it. Some children may consider making a puppet theater from an old cardboard box. They can cut the bottom out of the box and decorate it with construction paper, paint, crayons, or markers.

Children may use paint to decorate the box of a puppet theater.
Children may use paint to decorate the box of a puppet theater.

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