Creative Activities for your Little Ones: Puppets, Stories and More
PERFORMANCE ART - Lights, camera, action! Here are some fun activities for your little performer. Enjoy!
Lunch Bag Puppets
Make puppets out of brown or white lunch bags. Cover the table with all sorts of craft materials to inspire your child's creativity. When you have made your puppets, put on a show.
The Story Stool
Place a stool in the middle of the room and take turns telling stories while sitting on the stool. If your child needs help getting started, give him a simple topic to spark his imagination.
Personalized Books on Tape
Read your child's favorite books on tape (including prompts to turn the page) so that your child can have personalized tapes. If your child is chatting and making comments on the tape, all the better! These will be treasures that you'll be able to pass on to your grand kids.
Be Silly with Books
Create silly gestures, songs, and movements to your child's favorite books.
Go through your sock drawer and find a mismatched sock or one with a hole that you have been meaning to get rid of. To make the face, use a marker or whatever craft item you may have on hand. Buttons work great for eyes. Cotton balls make good noses. Make a tongue with paper or felt. Yarn or pipe cleaners can be used for hair. When complete, put on a puppet show.
A quick and easy way to make a puppet theater is by using an shower or curtain extension rod and some fabric. Simply put up the rod in the hallway or door frame high enough that little hands can reach over but won't be seen. Then, drape fabric (sheet, towel, curtain, etc.) over the rod. For a more elaborate theater, find some big pieces of cardboard and make a three-sided structure tall enough to sit behind without having to slouch (one front and two sides). Tape together and reinforce with packing tape or duct tape. Decorate by painting or coloring the cardboard. If you have any extra cardboard, you could make a T.V. type window in the center section and go even further and fasten on some bandannas for curtains.
Buy a large piece of black felt from the fabric or craft store and glue it to a large rectangular surface to use as the board (one side of a large cardboard box will work). Cut out pictures from magazines and/or print out pictures of your own, and glue a bit of sandpaper to the back of each. The sandpaper will stick to the felt. Add to your collection as needed. Include the letters of the alphabet to practice spelling or numbers to practice math. You and your child will have fun telling story after story with this board. Instead of sandpaper you can also laminate or cover the pictures with clear contact paper.
Cut out pictures from magazines and glue one each to one side of an index card. Keep the stack by your child's bedside and use it to jump start ideas for stories at nighttime. Turn the cards upside down, pick one, and then start your story. You and your child can go back and forth making up a fun story, and when the story starts to lag and you don't know what comes next, pick another card.
- Stephanie Goins