This craft came about because my son wanted to make a puppet to have a puppet show, and I wanted to do a panda bear craft because we’d never done one and I get requests quite often. I love using short cuts like cupcake liners if I have them on hand but you can just use white paper too. Puppets make great crafts because their usefulness extends past their creation and spark my favorite type of play – pretend play!
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper bag, some white cupcake liners or paper, black paper, black marker , googly eyes, glue and scissors.
- Start by having your child color the paper bag, a little, a lot it won’t make a difference to the end result. I have been trying to fit more pen/pencil/marker time for my son because we are working on his tripod grip and I am not a fan of sitting down and forcing a skill at this age. However if I can use a fraction of art time to practice it’s a bonus!
- While they color cut out a nose( which I forgot and had to do after I took this picture), 2 ears and 2 eye patches for the panda using the black paper.
- Next glue on a cupcake liner on the main part of the bag for the panda’s belly.
- Glue the 2nd liner on the folded bottom ( now the top) for the face.
- Time for more glue – for the eyes.
- Add the eyes. You can see crafts are so useful for things like fine motor skills not just killing time with your kids!
- Add the ears and nose too!
- Let dry and play.
Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson is a great book. I grabbed it only because of the title but found a gem. My son and I both loved it and had a blast reading it. The story is about a restaurant and the people , or rather animals that come into the restaurant in ever enlarging groups. The text is rhyming and well written. My son loved counting each group that came in figuring out after a few that each group was one animal larger. It was a great opportunity to practice one to one correspondence as he counted one each page. There was also a great message about there always being room for one more when all the chairs were taken and a mouse came knocking wondering if he could eat too!
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?by Eric Carle is a sequel to the much loved Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? . What I appreciate about this book isn’t just the vibrant illustrations or the repetitive text that encourages children to recite it along with the reader, it’s that the book is a great intro to endangered animals. The book introduces readers to animals like the giant panda , bald eagle and giant sea turtle that are all endangered. When my son was little he liked the repetition, colors and rhythm the test provides, now that he is older reading this book sparks talks about taking care of the earth and all her inhabitants.