This is a super quick craft that leads to a lot of fun and playing.
I don’t have a photo of the supplies, because we started off with the idea of making it one way and then had to revise our plans as we made our puppet.
You will need a macaroni and cheese box, orange construction paper, scissors, and tape. That’s it.
We started off trying to paint our box with trim roller.
As you can see, it didn’t turn out very well.
Onto how it was actually successful.
Go ahead and cut your box in the middle, but leave one of the large side uncut. Like above.
Now you can have your children help you wrap the construction paper around each half.
We taped ours up like a present. The kids had a great time putting the tape on.
Now fold the box and your children have an instant puppet.
We added some eyes at the last minute, too. Drawn on regular paper with a marker and my daughter cut out.
Here is a fun duck song that my children LOVE to sing around the house and in the car. We tried to record them singing it with me, but it was totally crazy and you couldn’t understand a word of it. That is what happens when a 5 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old all start singing together. But you know how that is.
Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
This is the first Uncle Sam craft we’ve ever made. Being Canadian I don’t have a great reserve of creative ideas for 4th of July but after brainstorming with my mother in law and looking at my supplies available we settled on making an Uncle Sam paper bag puppet. It’s easy to adapt to many different ages and the end result was so awesome!Oh and if you want to sneak in some learning this craft is full of all sorts of shapes.
- Gather your materials, You will need a paper bag ( ours was a blue one so we also use some paper bag for his face), googly eyes, red, white and blue construction paper, glue, a circle, heart and star paper punches and scissors.
- Start by cutting out the following shapes. Depending on your child’s age and ability make fewer of these for little guys and for older ones have them cut out their own. We used 2 red triangles for the bow tie, a blue square and red rectangle for his hat, and circle for his face. I made smaller rectangles to make his hat striped but it was too much for my guy.
- Punch out the circles and stars from the white paper. My son loves using these punches but if you don’t have one or a child who is giddy to use it try cotton balls! If you are using paper punches if you put down a fabric place mat it helps stop runaway paper from getting loose.
- Punch out or cut a heart.
- Time to add glue. Make sure you are only gluing on the bottom so you can use the bag as a puppet.
- Add the face , hat, eyes and more glue for the beard. He was super fast and didn’t need my help so my step by step pictures are a wee bit garbled! This is the look he gave me when I begged him to pause for a picture.
- Use the circles to make the beard. Add the triangles for the bow tie and heart for a mouth.
- Add the brim of the hat and the stars!
- Let dry.
My Favorite Book About The 4th of July
Apple Pie Fourth of Julyby Janet S. Wong is an awesome book. I am always awed by authors who can tackle complicated “adult” issues in the pages of a children’s book successfully. In this case the issue is 1st generation identity and immigration, at least that’s my take. The little girl in this book is sulking around her parent’s store on the 4th of July. They are busy making Chinese food for customers she is sure won’t come, who would want Chinese food on such an American holiday is her rational. Of course there are layers about her connection to her ancestral culture and her own national pride. As a proud owner of a green card and a Canadian passport I relate to this story, sure the differences are as deep or as obvious to an outsider when this book ended with fireworks I got tingles of pride for my adopted country. Fantastic book- and my son liked it too.
We have lots of other 4th of July book reviews do you have a favorite?
I’m always on the lookout for crafts that don’t involve a lot of…well, anything. I want something that is easy to set up, supplies I have around my house and something my kids can do without a lot of supervision! And this, my friends, fits all those qualifications and more!
All you need is some crayons (check!), glue stick (check!), scissors (check!) and assorted envelopes (check!). So far, so good.
Let’s begin with the animal puppet. Take a long envelope, seal it and cut it in half.
With the open side down, snip off the two bottom corners. (Save ‘em! We’ll need them in a minute.)
Now, turn the envelope around, color it pink, glue on those two snipped bottom corners and you have a pig! How cute is that?!
We made mice and frogs with this same idea (just round eyes and ears instead of triangle ears). You could make a whole zoo this way!
Our next puppet is a caterpillar. Or maybe it’s a snake. Or just a crazy little monster. It’s whatever you want it to be! Just take a square invitation envelope, fold it in half and cut off the outside top corner. Then make a “V” cut in the middle.
So, next time your kids are hanging at your office or you need to write some bills, grab an envelope and start a puppet factory!
Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!
Monday morning used to be our Letter of the Week day but as you may have noticed it’s been missing lately. There is a great reason for that, my son is done , like DONE with these projects. He’s known all his letters for ages and as I preach I also practice following my child’s interests to support his learning. Now we are working on putting letters together, sounding out words as we read and rhyming. Playing with letters and words in addition to reading is a great way to make learning an experience. Lessons that are fun are more likely to be remembered , connections are stronger and learning is less frustrating. Sometimes the easiest way to make those fun connections is to use a character, game, book or in our case a WordWorld ebook as your inspiration. It’s also why most of our crafts are linked to books.
If you aren’t familiar with WordWorld it’s a TV show on PBS that really IS educational. It promotes literacy in a very real way, and for kids like my son who are just starting to make the leap from simple letter recognition to decoding (which is most easily explained as the process of “sounding out” the word using the letter sounds) it’s super fun to watch because so many of the animations on the show are shaped using their word, so be prepared to hear ” I just read sheep all by myself!”
Did I mention how important confidence is for reading? It’s big.
Ok so here is what we did. Inspired by this ebook we decided to make family word puppets which also uses my son’s absolute love of pretend play. Instead of using the process of decoding explained above we used encoding ( breaking down the sounds in a word verbally and putting them into print ) to make familiar words we use every day , perfect for his level of mastery.
- Gather your materials. You will need some family photos, construction paper or card stock, crayons, scissors, tape , sticky back foam letters and popsicle sticks ( tongue depressors would be even better).
- Start by deciding which family members you want to create, make sure the words won’t be too frustrating for your child. Cut those out.
- Now decorate the paper however you want with the crayons. We are using crayons and tape with this project so that we are free to play as soon as they are done, if waiting isn’t an issue paint and glue works great too.
- Add the letters and photo.I made sure we had all the letters we needed in the pile . Having the letters easy to find ( but not done for him) as soon as he connected the sound to a letter was important to keep his confidence up, fun going and frustration at bay. If your child is struggling, help by all means this isn’t a test.
- Tape on the sticks and pictures.
- Make your whole family!
- Time for a puppet show.
I had a blast watching my son’s puppet show, his impressions of our family interactions was eye opening but ultimately heartwarming.Disclosure: This post is sponsored by WordWorld, I also received a DVD free of charge. The craft concept, educational information, opinions and kids are my own. You can try WordWorld’s free eBooks and games, and find more information about their iPhone and iPad apps on their website.
We are visiting my parents and didn’t pack our travel craft box. That didn’t stop us though, we saw these paper rolls in the recycling bin and immediately thought we could turn them into puppets. We don’t have a ton of supplies here but with a little creativity we made fun puppets using pictures we printed off my facebook album ( accessible anywhere!) , markers and tape. All in all a fun easy craft that has proven a fun toy away from home as well.
- Gather your materials. You will need some toilet paper or paper towel rolls, markers, scissors, tape and printed out pictures of your kids in black and white .
- Start by having your child color the rolls.
- Cut out the pictures if need be.
- Next color the pictures. I swear he likes his baby sister, and he even asked what her favorite color was despite the maniacally coloring over her face.
- Trim the pictures- he did his sister and I did his picture.
- Tape on the roll.