Puppet Play

Marbles Rings

Make a marionette puppet and put on a show. Design it, build it, and make it move! 

What You Need: 

  • Paper tubes 
  • String 
  • 2 sticks, popsicle sticks, chopsticks or twigs from the yard 
  • Glue and tape 
  • Hole punch 
  • Scissors 
  • Assorted craft materials like tissue paper, beads, paper, straws 

What You Do: 

  1. Plan your puppet first and collect your materials. What would you need to make a robot? Gather foil and bottle tops. What would you need to make a long neck of a giraffe? Try a straw! 
  2. Using a paper tube, craft the body of your puppet. Add details like stripes for a tiger or wings for butterfly. Next, use a hole punch to make holes where the arms, legs or tail will be attached. Thread string or wires through the holes and add beads, straws or other materials. 
  3. Use another piece of tube to make and design the head and attach it to the body using the hole punch and string. 
  4. Next, attach two sticks together in an X shape by taping the cross section so they are secure. Tape pieces of string about 12 inches long to the ends of each stick. These will attach to your puppet to make it move. 
  5. Attach the front and back strings to the head and back of your puppet using a hole punch to tie the string in place on the tubes. Then, attach the side strings to the arms, legs or wings of your puppet. You may need to trim strings at different lengths. 
  6. Now make it move! Hold the hand and play around with moving different parts of your puppet by lifting one side higher than another.  

Did You Know? Marionette puppets have been used to tell stories all around the world for hundreds of years. From ancient Egypt and Greece to France, Austria, China and more. 

Words to Use:  

  • Marionette: a puppet whose arms and legs are moved by pulling strings. 
  • Puppet: a model of a person or animal that you move by pulling wires or strings, or by putting your hand inside it. 
  • Performance: when someone performs a play or piece of musi. 

What to Talk About: 

  1. What are the physical characteristics of your puppet? How will you use different materials to bring these characteristics to life? 
  2. Describe the process you used to make your puppet. 
  3. Tell a story with your puppet. Who are they and what makes them special? 

Change It Up:  

  • Put on a play! Make a set using a box with the top and one side cut off. Turn the box so the open side faces up and you can design a backdrop for your puppets.  
  • Use a book as inspiration and bring one of your favorite stories to life. 

Learning Connections:   

  • Creativity 
  • Imagination 
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) 
  • Visual-Spatial Thinking 
  • Using Tools 

Curriculum Connections:
NC Standard Course of Study 

  • Theatre Arts: K.C.2, 1.C.1.2, 1.AE.1, 2.AE.1, 4.AE.1.2 
  • Visual Arts: K.V.3, 1.V.3, 2.V.3,  
  • Mathematics: NC.K.G.6, NC.1.G.2, NC.1.G.3,  
  • Science: EX.K.P.1.3 

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