Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Paper Towel Roll Finger Puppets

Last week, my son and I were playing on the floor flipping through various High Five magazines. He was determined to find stories he wanted me to read and puzzles he wanted to play. In the back of these magazines are craft projects and one such project caught my eye: making monsters out of paper towel rolls. Unbeknownst to my son, I was going to change up our original plan of reading and doing puzzles. The craft bug hit me hard! It wasn't difficult to get him on board with me. Actually, I think it excited him more than reading and puzzles: he was going to get to use scissors! 

Unfortunately, I did not have all of the items they called for to make such monsters, but I was determined to find a way to make something with paper towel rolls. Rummaging through my craft supplies I found a plethora of buttons, water color paint tablets, skewers, and random miniature bows and thread. Other supplies included: two pairs of scissors (an adult pair for me and a child pair for my son), glue, markers, and paintbrushes. All of which I had on hand. Here is how we made them together:
  1. I cut the paper towel roll into quarters and pinched the tops. 
  2. After filling a cup with water for the paint (he was proud to have done this by himself), we painted our puppets. 
  3. Once dry, under the supervision of my son I placed drops of glue for the button eyes and bow tie mouths.
  4. Then, I handed my son a piece of paper from when I had calibrated my printer (it had a bunch of successive dashes) to first color, then practice cutting along the lines in hopes of creating sashes. 
  5. Meanwhile, I poked the holes for the arms, again allowing my child to chose their placement. 
  6. Upon completion of cutting and coloring we glued the sash. 
  7. Finally, after I cut the sharp ends off of the skewers, I shoved them into the holes using twisty ties to fasten them to each other inside of the puppet body. This helped in preventing them from falling out.
  8. Completed, we placed the puppets on our fingers and played!
There are many supplies that can be added or used to replace the items above. Colorful pipe cleaners would make wonderful limbs and can twisty themselves. If you have little eyes feel free, but don't be afraid to be creative. Popcorn kernels, seeds, or beads would make great eyes or mouths. One could use macaroni noodles, construction paper, glitter, etc. to dress the puppets. Look around your house and see what you can transform into body parts. Envisioning something with new purpose is half the fun of crafting!!

Without cost, my son and I enjoyed an art project that allowed him to exercise practice in using scissors, making choices of color and placement, and creating something from nothing. Through this experience, he was rewarded with not only new toys, but a sense of accomplishment :)

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