It’s that time again. Springtime. In my mind, spring is the time for sock puppets. I love sock puppets. Sock puppets transcend age and skill level. Anyone can make an awesome sock puppet. Sock puppets can be whimsical and imaginative, sock puppets can take the form of self-portraiture, or your favorite person. Sock puppets allow you to create a dramatic rendition of the history of the impressionist artists in under an hour. They are cheap, expressive and accessible.
My kindergarten students are planning their sock puppets now, using the planning sheets that you can download below, which outline who their puppet is, what they like to do, where they live, and even special powers! This planning stage is preparation for character development exercises they will perform later as they progress in the Lower Elementary drama curriculum. Currently, the puppets that the Kindergarten students are imagining create quite the cast of characters: a dog, princesses and queens who eat sparkle cookies, racers, little girls, “keratas” that live in caves, aliens, and many more.
To begin constructing your puppet, gather these materials: glue gun (adult operated), single socks (can be found under your bed, or next to the dryer), buttons or googly eyes, felt or foam sheets, and any other material that will help you create your character, such as yarn, pom poms, pipe cleaners, old costume jewelry and scrap fabric.
You can easily make a great puppet simply by decorating a sock, but adding a piece of felt or foam to your puppet will help little hands open and close the mouth, and be a guide for placing facial features. The following directions will show you how to make a puppet with an inset mouth.
Heat up your glue gun as you cut an oval shape from the foam or felt that is approximately 3 inches long.
Lay your sock flat on a table and use scissors to cut a line following the sock’s toe seam.
Open the sock up at the toe end, from the slit you just made, and glue the edges of the sock to the perimeter of the foam or felt oval. This is a little tricky to do the first time, just make sure you glue around in the top half, attach the upper “jaw” part of the sock, then finish gluing the bottom half, and attach the lower “jaw.”
Now, the fun part! Using a needle and thread, velcro, tacky glue, or hot glue, add a face, clothes, even arms and legs or wings to create your ultimate puppet buddy!