Ready-To-Use Teaching Idea: Dramatic Play
- tagboard blocks
- masking tape
- bottle caps
- magnetic tape
- nontoxic white glue
- index cards
- crayons or markers
- modeling clay
Objective: Children will use fine-motor, dramaticplay, and expressive-language skills as they create and manipulate magnetic puppets.
To Prepare: Create a stage for magnetic puppets by making two three-foot columns of stacked blocks spaced one to two feet apart. Next, lay a sheet of tagboard across the two columns and secure it to the blocks with masking tape. Gather together the rest of the materials.
Warm-Up: Share several puppets with children, and invite them to talk about storytelling and the kinds of puppet characters they enjoy using.
1. Invite children to each choose a character to create. Then ask them to draw that character on an index card and cut it out.
2. Next, ask children to prepare the base for their puppet by gluing a piece of magnetic tape inside a bottle cap and then sticking a small ball of modeling clay on top of the cap. Help children stand their puppet character on the top of the bottle cap by demonstrating how to insert the paper-puppet figure into the index card. Pinching the clay together secures the figure.
3. Let children take turns placing their puppets on the stage and moving them from underneath, using magnets. After everyone has had a chance to try, encourage children to make up stories together as their magnetic puppets interact.
Tip: Children can also make puppet figures by cutting out pictures of people and animals from magazines, gluing them to stiff paper, and inserting them into the clay balls.
Spin-Offs: Have more than one puppet stage going at a time so that more children can be involved. Make refrigerator story magnets. Children can draw several related pictures on small circles or squares of tagboard. Seal the pictures by placing a piece of clear contact paper over them. Glue a strip of magnetic tape to the back. Children can make up and tell stories as they rearrange the magnets on metal file cabinets or at home on the refrigerator.
For more puppet-play ideas, check out these books.
Creative Teaching With Puppets by Roundtree, Shuptrine, Gordon, and Taylor
The Gingerbread Man pictures by Karen Schmidt
Move Over, Mother Goose by Ruth I. Dowell