DIY: Make a Glove Hand Puppet

Make a custom glove puppet with just a few simple materials. Follow along to our DIY video with the written instructions below.

 

SUPPLIES:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut on the dotted “Cut Line” of your Glove Puppet Printable Template to create a paper strip.
  2. Hold your strip horizontally, and add masking tape to one end of the strip. 
  3. Wrap the strip around your 3 fingers (index, middle and ring fingers) to create a paper ring. Then secure in place with the tape. It should be loose enough to slip off of your hand easily, but tight enough to stay in place.
  4. Your fingers should stick out slightly above the paper ring. If not, remove the paper ring from your hand and trim off the top edge until they do.
  5. Slide your paper ring off of your hand and staple the paper together. You may want to cover the staple with masking tape. Then place the ring to the side.
  6. Decorate one of our blank face patterns from the Glove Puppet Printable Template with Markers or crayons, OR design a face of your own on a piece of cardstock that is approx. 5″x 5″.
  7. Cut out your puppet’s  face. 
  8. Create a “tape donut” by turning a strip of masking tape into a loop so that it is sticky on both sides.
  9. Place your tape donut onto the center of the front of the paper ring.  TIP: make the front of the paper ring where the paper meets. This way your face will hide the line.
  10. Affix your puppet face to the paper ring by pressing onto the tape.
  11. Put your glove onto your hand and slide the paper ring back onto your hand. You may choose cut the tips of the fingers off of the glove before placing it onto your hand to make it easier to grip items.

PERFORM:

Use the video and written instructions below to learn how to perform your puppet!

  1. Point your index, middle and ring finger straight up and use the pinky and thumb as the hands of the puppet.
  2. Put your elbow on the table and lift it up and down to make your puppet walk. 
  3. Move the fingers inside of your ring slightly, to make your puppet appear to talk.
  4. Practice bending your wrist to let your puppet pick up items such as a pencil, bubbles, or other things that the character might need.
  5. Have Fun! Use your puppet to tell a familiar story or sing along to a favorite song.

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Want more Puppet Fun? 

Join MicheLee Puppets’ Puppet Club. It’s FREE!

CLICK HERE to sign up and receive monthly emails with helpful tips and activities for your growing family!

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We have everything from DIY puppet making, to how to perform, to fun, educational videos that help your child! 

DIY: Make a Fish Rod Puppet

 

Follow along to this video with the written instructions below.

SUPPLIES:

  • Fish and Lacing Patterns (click here)
  • Foamcore 8.5 x 11 piece
  • Foam Paint Brush
  • Scissors
  • Xacto knife/blade
  • Pencil
  • Marker
  • White Glue and Water
  • Masking Tape
  • Tissue and foil paper
  • 2 Skewers
  • Hole Punch
  • 30″ Ribbon or Fabric Strip

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Print Fish Pattern and Lacing Pattern onto white cardstock paper

2. Use scissors to cut Fish Head and Fish Tail from the pattern. Use a hole punch to punch holes where indicated

3. You may either:

  • Decorate the pattern itself (skip to #6)
  • For a sturdier fish, trace your patterns onto foam core (#4 and 5)

4. Trace your pattern onto foam core. Use the Xacto blade, slicing layer by layer to cut out the head and tail. This will give you a clean line (sawing with the knife will create jagged edges). 

5. Use the the skewer tip to poke holes through the foam core where indicated. Then use the pencil tip to make those holes larger, twisting slightly as you go. 

6.Lay the head and tail of the puppet where indicated on the Lacing Pattern. Follow the numbers and arrows to lace the ribbon through the holes, then tape in place. Use a pencil or skewer to help move the ribbon through the holes, or tape the edge of the ribbon tightly like a shoelace. (Great practice for fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination). 

7. Place the masking tape vertically to attach one skewer  to the fish head and one to the fish tail (for a more secure fit, first place double stick tape underneath each skewer). 

 

 

DECORATE: Paint, Color, or Collage!

A COLLAGE is a combination of materials that make one piece of art. Here’s how to get started:

1. Thin the white glue by mixing in a little bit of water.

2. Use a foam brush to cover the surface of your fish (do one side at a time.)

3. Tear colorful tissue paper, construction paper, newspaper, etc. Layer paper on your fish, brushing on glue as you go. When all of the pieces have been added, spread a top layer of glue on all surfaces to seal the pieces together. This will also create a light glaze to make your fish shiny.

4.When the glue dries, add accent details by drawing with markers, gluing pictures, shiny paper and googly eyes.

PERFORM! 

Hold a puppet rod in the fingertips of each hand. Twist your fingers to move the tail and head. Move your hands in opposite directions to make the puppet look up and down. Swim your puppet in different directions and different speeds, eat underwater plants, and get creative!

Want more Puppet Fun? 

Join MicheLee Puppets’ Puppet Club. It’s FREE! CLICK HERE to sign up and receive monthly emails with helpful tips and activities for your growing family!

Click Here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel

We have everything from DIY puppet making, to how to perform, to fun, educational videos that help your child! 

 

 

 

DIY: Egg to Caterpillar Rod Puppet

 

 

A few simple steps bring this rod puppet to life! Go from Egg to Larva (even Pupa) with this fun, fuzzy puppet-making activity. The perfect, hands-on way to teach the life cycle of a butterfly!

Want to complete the cycle? Make a colorful “Stained Glass” Shadow Puppet Butterfly here: https://youtu.be/EuLumvoQVWg

 

Follow along to our “DIY From Egg to Caterpillar” Video with these written instructions below:

Supplies:

  • 2 Skewers
  • 1 Plastic Egg (that separates top and bottom)
  • Scissors
  • Sand Paper
  • Maribou Feather boa
  • Drill
  • Hot Glue Gun (keep a small cup of water close by to dip fingers in, in case of drips. It will eliminate burns)

 

Instructions:

  1. Cut a 5-7 inch piece of feather boa 
  2. Sand the skewers until the tips are flattened. 
  3. Drill 2 holes in each egg piece, just large enough to insert the end of a skewer. The skewer tip should just slightly poke out of the egg. 
  4. Glue the skewers in place on both egg pieces
  5. Glue each end of the boa to an egg pice, hiding the skewer in the eggs. 
  6. Hold the ends of the skewers (1 in each hand) and Perform! Tap each skewer on the table to make your puppet dance, slide your hands far away and close together to make your caterpillar “inch.”

 

 

Click Here to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more DIY fun!

 

DIY: Make a “Stained Glass” Butterfly Shadow Puppet

Enjoy this fun and simple way to teach symmetry. 

Design your own butterfly shadow/rod puppet then grab a flashlight and have some fun!

Click HERE to subscribe to our Youtube channel for the latest puppet fun!

 

Supplies: 

  • White Paper
  • Craft Foam
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Markers
  • Pencil
  • Double-stick and Clear tape
  • Plastic Sleeve or Transparency Paper
  • 12-18 inch wooden dowel

 

Vocabulary: 

  • Symmetry- same on both sides, divided by axis of symmetry
  • Opaque- not able to be seen through, light does not pass through
  • Transparent – see through, light passes through
  • Pollinator – an animal that causes plants to make fruit or seeds 

Instructions: 

  1. Fold the craft foam in half. The fold will be the line/axis of symmetry.
  2. On the open end of the craft foam (opposite side of the fold) draw a”3″  with a permanent marker.
  3. With the foam still folded, cut along the line of the “3”
  4. Fold the foam in half at the center of the “3”. Draw a 1/2 circle from one end of the fold to the other. 
  5. Cut out the half circle, then unfold the whole piece of foam to reveal a butterfly shape with open windows on the wings. 
  6. Use a pencil to trace the wing windows onto a white piece of paper, then draw shapes and decorations for the butterfly wings.
  7. Either place the white paper inside of the plastic sleeve, or tape transparency paper on top of the white paper for tracing.
  8. Use a permanent black marker to trace the wing window designs onto the plastic. Be sure to trace the wing shape as well. (Tip, remind small children to only color on the plastic, then put the cap back on the marker).
  9. Cut out the plastic wing windows. Be careful to cut outside of the line to leave at least a 1/4 inch to tape to the butterfly. 
  10. Use double stick tape to tape the plastic windows to the butterfly. 
  11. Use permanent markers to color in your plastic wing windows. (TIP: Place your butterfly over a blank piece of white paper so that you can see the colors. Flip your butterfly over to color on the opposite side of the black marker, so that it doesn’t smear.) 
  12. Place double stick tape in a line on the foam butterfly, along the axis of symmetry, then place the dowel on it. Dowel tip should stick out about 1 inch above the foam. Cover top of dowel with clear tape to cover any sticky spots and to seal dowel to butterfly.

Perform: 

  • FLIGHT- Lay the butterfly flat. Lift the butterfly by the dowel (rod), holding it in one hand. With your pointer finger on top of the rod, shake your hand slightly but quickly, bending at the wrist.  Be gentle. Butterflies are delicate creatures.
  • LIGHT- Find different light sources (flashlight, the sun, lamp light) and different surfaces (white wall, the ground, a sheet, the ceiling).  Create shadows by placing the butterfly between the light source and the surface.
  • Notice the difference between OPAQUE images, (such as the rod and the foam that block the light), and TRANSPARENT images (such as the interior wings that allow light to pass through). Bring your puppet closer and further from the light to see how the shadow grows and changes.

 

Are your a member of our Puppet Club? It’s FREE! CLICK HERE to sign up and receive monthly emails with helpful tips and activities for your growing family!

Re-use Plastic Eggs to Make Hand Puppets

 

Don’t fill the landfill, get creative! Re-use plastic eggs to make unique hand puppet characters. Let your imagination run wild with just a few simple steps. You can:

  • Make a family of characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf and Granny to perform your own fractured fairy tale
  • Make an original character and write a story of your own. Give your character a name, a fun voice, and decide what makes your character happy, sad, scared, confused and angry. Develop stories from these characteristics: Example: My character’s name is Eggly. She loves to chase spiders. She is sad when she can’t find spiders. She is confused when spiders run away from her. She is angry when people mistreat spiders.

Follow along to our “DIY Puppets from Plastic Eggs” Video with these written instructions below:

Supplies:

  • 1 plastic egg that divides horizontally
  • Felt (slightly bigger than the egg)
  • Scissors
  • Drill or Xacto knife
  • Marker (for tracing onto felt)
  • Glue (craft glue, fabric glue or hot glue)
  • Water in a small dish (if using hot glue)
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • Decorative materials (google eyes, fur, craft foam, pom poms, yarn, permanent markers)

 

Instructions:

  1. Separate plastic egg into 2 pieces 
  2. If your egg pieces don’t already have holes on the rounded edge, drill or use an Xacto knife to create 2 holes approx ¼ inch apart on the rounded edge of each piece. 
  3. Cut your pipe cleaner in half with scissors or wire cutters 
  4. Create a handle for you middle finger on the longer egg piece by threading the pipe cleaner through the holes, sliding it over your middle finger. Then twist the pipe cleaner inside of the piece top secure the handle, then flatten the remaining pipe cleaner ends.
  5. Repeat using the shorter egg piece and thumb.
  6. Place the eggs next to each other on the felt, flat side down. They should be touching. 
  7. Trace around the edges of both eggs with a marker onto the felt. The image should look like an “8” without the center line when completed.
  8. Cut out the felt tracing
  9. Glue the rounded part of the felt onto the inside of one of the egg pieces, hiding the pipe cleaner. Repeat with the other egg piece. This will connect the two pieces and create a hinge for the mouth to move.
  10. Decorate! Create hair with yarn or fur, add eyes and teeth. You can even draw on the eggs with a permanent marker.
  11. Perform! Put your middle finger on top and your thumb on the bottom and put on a show!

Burn Survivor Puppet Helps Heal

MicheLee Puppets began in 1985 when Tracey Conner moved to Orlando and realized that the “Kids on the Block” puppet show that she had been performing in Ohio, was needed in Central Florida.  

“Kids on the Block,” a disability awareness show, featured full-body, moveable mouth puppets. Puppeteers stood behind the characters, performing scenes and answering questions from the audience. Subjects ranged from physical disabilities, to emotional issues such as dealing with divorce.

 
 
 

 

The puppet characters had all sorts of unique qualities about them. Lynne, for instance had been burned. She wore compression sleeves and a mask to assist in the healing of her facial scars.

One day, MicheLee Puppets was contacted by a local school. Jacqueè was just starting 3rd grade at their school. She had recently been burned in a fire and they wondered if we had a show that could help introduce this concept to the other students. Tracey grabbed Lynne and off they went.

“We arrived at the school and performed the show,” remembers Tracey. “Lynne the puppet explained that she was the same on the inside, but on the outside she might look a little bit differently.  She showed the students her sleeves and her mask and told them about the skin graft surgeries that she had to have, which left scars on her body.”

The students sat quietly, mesmerized by Lynne and her story. At the end of the show the students had lots of questions.

“We placed a chair next to the stage and Jacqueè came up to sit with Lynne,” Tracey explained. “The children were very curious. Lynne answered many of their questions and then it was Jacqueè’s turn. A boy raised his hand and asked how she had been burned. Quietly, she told them that she had been playing by a campfire with her cousins when one of the boys threw a stick at her and it caught her clothes on fire. ‘I rolled on the ground, but I couldn’t put the fire out’ Jacquee said. As she spoke, a little tear rolled down her cheek…it makes me emotional just to think about it.”

The kids had more questions. Was she angry at her cousin? No, she knew it was an accident.

Finally, when all of their questions had been satisfied, the children all got up and surrounded Jacqueè with a giant group hug.

“As we were leaving, the principal stopped us,” recalls Tracey. “We learned that this was Jacqueè’s 2nd day of school. On the first 1st day no one would talk to her. Now it seemed that she was the most popular child in the school.”

MicheLee Puppets uses puppetry to bridge the gap between a child’s natural curiosity and their ability to grasp complex concepts. Our characters break down barriers, empowering children to be themselves and to have empathy for others.  We now use a variety of puppetry styles to convey important messages, but have kept our “Kids on the Block” characters for when they are needed. In fact, our newest show “Una Borinqueña en Florida” brings several of our characters out of retirement. Performed entirely in Spanish, this show helps youth heal from the trauma of relocating to Central Florida due to emergency situations.  Now a whole new generation of children are being empowered to talk about their feelings and heal together. Click Here to learn more about this new show and how to help youth in need.

 

 

More about “Kids on the Block” from its founding company:

Do you have students who could benefit from a MicheLee Puppets program? Check out our Touring Shows , Classes  and Videos! Contact denise@micheleepuppets.org for more information.

UPDATE: Make A Wish: Young Puppeteer’s Dream Comes True

In 2015 we had the honor of hosting Matty Smith and his family when the Make a Wish Foundation sent them to Orlando to fulfill Matty’s wish to be a puppeteer. Click Here to read about that joyful experience! 

We are delighted to have continued our relationship with Matty and his mom Taryn who sent a special message:

Since our first meeting we fell in love with Matty’s spirit and wanted to continue his connection to puppetry. Shortly after his visit, Producing Director, Jamie Donmoyer invited Matty and Taryn to his first National Puppetry Festival. Puppeteers from across the nation come together to watch shows, take classes, and explore the art of puppetry.  Matty got to meet Sesame Street puppeteers Carroll Spinney (Oscar/Big Bird) and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (Abby Cadabby) as well as a number of puppeteers from some of his favorite shows. At this festival, Matty also discovered the Puppetry Store, a place where puppeteers can purchase supplies, books, and other merchandise including puppets! How his face lit up when he found characters to take home and make his own!

Through texts, emails and visits we have stayed connected to Matty and Taryn. Matty has certainly faced some challenges, but he keeps his puppets with him, entertaining not only himself, but family and hospital staff as well. He now has a collection of characters that travel with him, and he brings each to life with its own distinct personality.

 

Matty even inspired puppet character ‘Marcus’ from our touring show “Mission STEAMpossible”. Like Matty, Marcus has a love for arts, an adventurous spirit, and uses a wheelchair due to the effects of Osteogenesis Imperfecta.  We love to introduce this endearing character to youth across Central Florida, many of whom see themselves in Marcus.

In 2019 we are excited to continue important programs including classes where people with unique abilities can learn to express themselves through the art of puppetry and movement. These classes will be held at our studio and are open to the public. To register, contact jamie@micheleepuppets.org  

It is through the generosity of donors like you that allow us to continue empowering lives through the art of puppetry. Click Here to make your tax deductible donation and positively impact the lives of youth.

 

Make a Pop-up Turkey

Liven up your holiday table with this fun and easy family craft! 

Make a Pop-up Turkey from MicheLee Puppets on Vimeo.

The perfect, surprise table-setting or greeting card AND it’s easy to store. PLUS it’s a great lesson in symmetry.

You will need: 

1 file folder
scissors
markers/crayons (for additional decoration)
ruler
pencil
masking tape
a glue stick or double stick tape,
construction paper (we chose yellow, orange and red)
NOTE: Recommended as a family activity. When working together this activity only takes 15-30 minutes. If you prefer to decorate further, it may extend your time.

Directions: 

 

Cut Out Your Pieces

File Folder: Trim your file folder to create straight edges. Then cut a 3″ strip off of the bottom of your file folder.
 
Construction Paper: Cut and fold the construction paper as shown to create turkey feather hearts and a body (be sure to cut from the fold). 
  • For larger heart shapes, fold the paper twice, for smaller shapes fold your paper 3 or 4 times.
  • You may choose to draw 1/2 of a heart on the paper, or simply cut 

 

Decorate

1. Glue or tape your hearts to the 3″ file folder strip. Be sure to arrange so that there is a straight edge at the bottom.
 
2. Glue your turkey body on to the fold of your strip (as shown)
 
3. Cut off any excess as necessary. NOTE: It is best to decorate before attaching your turkey to your card.
 

Attach your Turkey

1. Open up your decorated 3″ strip and the remainder of your file folder.

2. Place the strip at an angle (as shown), matching the folds together.

3.Place 2 masking tape strips (approx. 3″ long) on the back of the decorated strip. (as shown).

4. Fold your strip so that the sticky part of the tape is facing up, then close your card and press down to stick. Adjust as necessary for the perfect pop-up.

 

Be Creative!

Add a name to the front or simply color a design. Then post pictures of your turkeys and tag us on Facebook and Instagram @MicheLeePuppets.

For more MicheLee Puppets Fun:

Check out our Videos 

Book a Show at your school or venue

Attend our Classes and Events

How Can You Give to MicheLee Puppets?

MicheLee Puppets is a non-profit organization that empowers lives through the art of puppetry. Our puppet characters break down barriers, allowing youth to communicate in new and exciting ways. We strive to improve the emotional health and well being of youth, teaching them strategies to find their voice and deal with life’s challenges. Together we are building community.

There are many simple ways that YOU can make a difference:

Time 

 

We love our Volunteers! No experience necessary! Sign up on our mailing list to be the first to know of scheduled volunteer dates or contact jamie@micheleepuppets.org to schedule a personalized volunteer time.

It’s a great way to earn service hours for scholarships, scouts and more.

 

 

 

 

 

Skills

 

Don’t know anything about puppetry? No problem! There are plenty of important skills needed to keep MicheLee Puppets’ business going.

From web design to marketing, clerical/data entry, cleaning services, graphic arts, sewing, set design, lighting design, I.T. and more, we can use your skills! 

Contact jamie@micheleepuppets.org to learn more. 

 

 

 

 

Voice

 

Tell everyone that you know about MicheLee Puppets!

Share our posts on social media (@MicheLeePuppets)

Recommend our shows and videos to locals schools and venues.

Start a fundraiser for MicheLee Puppets. 

 

 

 

 

Items

 
 
 
Cleaning out your closets? Donate storage boxes, needles, thread, even gently used appliances. Not sure if we need it? Email jamie@micheleepuppets.org

OR

Purchase items from our WISH LIST (sign into Amazon Smile and a portion of your gift will be donated to us!)

 

 

 

 

Dollars

 

Direct donations are extremely helpful! You can Click here to donate through our website. 

Consider also signing into Amazon Smile (Amazon’s giving site) and select MicheLee Puppets as the benefitting non-profit. You shop. Amazon gives. It’s that simple. A portion of ANY purchase you make will go directly to MicheLee Puppets!

Una Borinqueña en Florida-Helping Kids in Crisis

MicheLee Puppets’ Spanish language show, Una Borinqueña en Florida, is part of our “Puppets Helping Kids in Crisis” intiative, developed to help Puerto Rican children who moved to Florida after the devastating hurricanes of 2017. This program (currently funded by Universal Orlando Foundation) is designed to help kids from Puerto Rico and Latin American countries heal from their trauma and adjust to life in the United States. The script was written and directed by Columbian puppeteer, actress and activist Nadia Garzon, and performed by professional puppeteers from Puerto Rico  known as “Los Soldaditos.” The show is performed in Spanish and features three scenes followed by an interactive Q&A with students, allowing them to ask questions, share their own stories, and learn that they are not alone. The show also teaches tactics for dealing with stress, anger, or sadness. 
 

MicheLee Puppets’ “Puppets Helping Kids in Crisis” outreach includes:

  • Live performances of UnaBorinqueña en Florida
  • Puppet workshops that engage children in making puppets and creatively expressing their own stories in a safe environment
  • Puppet interactions at festivals or public events

 

 

PUBLIC EVENTS

We are excited to partner with Sami Haiman-Marrero with SOS by Urbander and CareerSource Central Florida to provide welcome events for Puerto Rican families. While adults learn about the culture here in Central Florida and are connected to job resources, the children participate in MicheLee Puppets’ program.

2019 Upcoming dates (all events 10am-4pm):
March 30th (26 Willow Drive Orlando, Fl 32807)
June 15th (1709 N John Young Parkway Kissimmee, Fl 34741)
August 31st (26 Willow Drive Orlando, Fl 32807)
November 16th (1709 N John Young Parkway Kissimmee, Fl 34741)
 
View Full-sized flyer here:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This program is also available for schools, churches, and other community events. To schedule this program at your event please email denise@micheleepuppets.org