Activity Plan: Pet Puppets
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Dramatic Play/Art
- Grades: PreK–K
Children will build language skills as they chat away with their homemade puppets.
- socks (one for each child)
- fabric markers
- children's safety scissors
- white craft glue
- material to decorate puppets, including yarn, pompoms, feathers, buttons, sequins, fake fur fabric, felt, fabric scraps, foil, and colored construction paper
- chart paper and marker
Objective: Children will work together to create sock puppet pets. This activity will spur creativity, encourage social interaction, and promote language development.
In Advance: Send a note home to families requesting children to bring in an old, laundered sock for the puppet activity.
1 Read stories to children about pets or animals and then engage them in a conversation about different types of pets. Do they have pets of their own? What types of pets do they have? What types of pets do they wish they had?
2 Tell the children that they will make sock pet puppets out of socks. Show children the art materials and ask them to think about the different types of pet puppets they can make. Record the children's ideas on chart paper.
3 Set out the art materials and invite children to work together in small groups. Offer assistance if needed. Don't forget to make a puppet for yourself so that you can join in the play.
4 While the glue is drying, ask the children to think about what they would like to name their pet puppets. Invite everyone to bring her puppet to group time. Children can introduce their pets to the rest of the class. Be sure to include the pet puppets in the morning greeting.
5 Encourage children to participate in activities that will help develop their dramatic-play and language abilities. Offer hypothetical situations for children to problem-solve, such as: "Imagine that one puppet wants to go to the circus, but he has the flu. The other puppet is going, but doesn't want his puppet friend to miss the fun. What can the puppet say to his friend to cheer him up?"
6 You can create a small puppet theatre from a cardboard box. Supply markers and other art materials so that children can decorate the box and then use it in their puppet play. Later encourage children to use their pet puppets in the block and dramatic-play areas or during quiet time or naptime.
Music: Singing Puppets. Ask the children to choose a favorite song to sing using their pet puppets. Explain that they will substitute the words of the song and use animal sounds instead. Children can have a turn to practice their animal sounds. Now let the singing begin
Clifford the Small Red Puppy by Norman Bridwell
Mice Squeak, We Speak by Tomie de Paola
Pet Care by Betsey Chessen