Activity Plan 3-4: Thumbkins and Fingerkins
Comfort and creativity - a great combination as children make their own puppets to act out favorite fingerplays and make up new ones!
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Art/Language
- fabric or wrapping-- paper scraps
- collage materials: sequins, yarn, fabric scraps, feathers
- construction paper
- plastic zipper-lock bags
- children's scissors
Objective: Children will expand imaginative play and language skills as they design finger puppets and create their own fingerplays.
Prepare: Using either felt or construction paper, cut out two "U" shapes (for each puppet) that will fit over children's small fingers. Use either glue or staples to secure the sides. If your children are not yet skilled with scissors, you may want to cut out circle, square, and triangle shapes for the children to use as body parts for their finger puppets.
1 During circle time sing the fingerplay "Where Is Thumbkin?" or another favorite. Then explain that the art area is set up with materials children can use to create their own finger puppets. Some children may prefer to use markers to draw their finger puppets. Allow those who are skilled with scissors to cut out the shapes and materials they will need.
2 Ask children to introduce their finger puppets. Encourage them to think of special names and make up their own fingerplays.
3 Help children keep their puppets organized. Write names or initials on the back of each and provide everyone with a labeled zipper-lock plastic bag to hold their finished puppets. Store in an empty shoebox or plastic bin and leave in an easy-to-reach area. Also, keep puppet-making art materials accessible so that children can continue to create additional "friends" based on favorite stories, rhymes, or songs.
Remember: Children will vary in the amount of time and attention they want to devote to this activity. While some may want to make many finger puppets, others may make only one or two. Still other children may be more interested in creating a puppet stage or thinking of new fingerplays. Encourage individual interests and abilities.
Make a finger-puppet stage: Collect a few medium-size boxes and cut out a square shape in the center to create a stage. Provide children with a variety of art materials to decorate their puppet stages. Invite children to work in pairs and perform puppet shows for one another.