I love stick puppets. When the kids were younger it was something fun they could work on which helped with pencil control and scissor skills. As they have gotten older we have still made numerous stick puppets only now we used them for storytelling. One of my ways to encourage creative writing is to give the kids props, nothing fancy but something they can hold in their hands while they first create a story, first verbally and then try and put in down onto some paper. And stick puppets are always popular with mine because they are easy to make and alter – you can print the same page but colour in the picture differently to create multiple versions.
We never make fancy stick puppets but they seem to work just the way they are. I normally just print out a basic colouring page / or a template, often reducing the size, and then the kids colour and decorate how they like.
Using colouring pages to create stick puppets
Stick puppets would normally have a craft stick stuck on the back, and that is what my daughter like. My son actually does not like this as he wants to get the people and creatures to pretend to walk so he sometimes sticks the craft stick on at unusual angles, like this dragon below.
But he also often leaves them without the craft sticks, we don’t worry about that, the kids have freedom to adapt them anyway they like.
We have gone through quite a period of dragon related stories so we have a number of different dragons and we even have parent dragons and kid dragons (kid dragons are the smaller ones and all the dragons with a bit of purple apparently belong to the same dragon family).
A thunder of dragon stick puppets!
In the past we have often used pages from the People Who Help Us section and the Boys and Girls Colouring Pages section. There are a number of different pages in both of these sections that work really well as stick puppets. My kids’ preference is to print these pages out at either 70% or 50% to get the size they like but that really is personal preference.
Lately we have printed out some of the Historical Children Colouring Pages, which my daughter really enjoys.
Creating her historical stick puppets
She has started making up her own historical fiction stories and loves using the historical children stick puppets to help her set out a plot or scenario. And yes sometimes she has blurred the time periods a bit and mixed up a few of the characters but I always think it is all about the creative storytelling angle.
If you like the idea of stick puppets but don’t want to colour in all the imagesm we have also used some of the Cutting Skills Pictures to create some lovely colourful animals stick puppets.
This is a guest post from Shelly. Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 6 and 9. She blogs at ofamily learning together where she shares ideas on the different learning activities that they do including lots of hand-on maths, arts and crafts and anything else that is part of their home educating lifestyle.
You can find more guest posts by Shelly, and a list of all our guest posts, here.