Five Fabulous (and easy!) Finger Puppet Creations

Puppets come in so many shapes and sizes. Some are amazing feats of creativity and engineering that take several puppeteers to bring to life. Some are breathtaking works of art. Some are a patchwork of mixed media, using fabrics and carved wood and foam and all matter of other odds and ends to create the finished character. And then some are minimal and simple, but still inspire great amounts of whimsy and fun! Sometimes it’s nice to have a little reminder that puppets can be found almost anywhere and can be created out of almost anything, so we rounded up five fun (and oh-so-simple) DIY finger puppet creations. Using what we already have on hand – our fingers (get it? On hand?! Ha, puppet humour!) and adding one or two simple details, a whole new world of fun little characters can spring to life!

1. These marvellous little monsters:

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Paper, googly eyes, and a tiny bit of yarn, and you can have your own family of fun little monsters! (From Precocious Paper, on Flickr).

2. These funky finger friends:

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A great way to use up some of the odds and ends on your craft shelf! (From Crafts and Coffee).

3. These simple, Easter-themed cutouts:

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Foamie sheets – that’s it! It would be fun to make them in a whole rainbow of colours. (From Lalymom.com).

4. These sweet forest critters:

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Maybe a little more labour-intensive than some of our other finger puppet ideas, but clearly worth the effort! These little guys are just so cute! ( From Handmade Charlotte).

5. These twisty little characters:

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Aliens? Monsters? Little animals? I feel like the possibilities are endless for these puppets! (From One Little Project).

 

Happy crafting, everyone!

 

 

Making Kindness Count

The new year is such an exciting time. A chance to reflect on the past year (it was a great one!) and dream and scheme about the year ahead (we’ve got lots of plans!), all while feeling a little extra kick of motivation to get things moving and make some positive changes in our lives. Wow! If that doesn’t make you want to pick up a puppet and jump into the coming year, I don’t know what does!

One of the things the we just love about puppets and the art of puppeteering is the almost universal ability that puppets have to make people smile. Picking up a puppet can disarm even the most self-conscious and reluctant individuals, and can bring out a child-like silliness and sense of fun in almost anybody. So, we thought to ourselves, what better way to spread joy and kindness over the coming year than with…you guessed it…puppets!

Our goal is fairly simple: we have challenged ourselves to do at least one “puppet kindness or good deed” every day of the year. We’re off to a great start:

Sharing our favourite books with some special kids Blog Pic 3

Making a little boy’s birthday party extra special

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Bringing a classroom to life after the Christmas holidaysBlog Pic 1

 

Inspiring creativity

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Bringing a smile to a whole lot of faces

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We are sharing our daily act of kindness every day on Facebook. If you haven’t already, head on over and give us a “like” so that you can see what we’ve been up to each day. We’d love some ideas, too – what little acts of kindness have you witnessed lately? What is something small that would make your day?

 

 

Busy, Busy!

Hello readers and fellow puppet enthusiasts! We’ve had a long silence here on the blog, but only because so much has been happening elsewhere. We have some new things coming up in the new year, too, but I thought a quick recap might be in order first. I’ll do my best to put down the puppets and update you on some upcoming events, as well.

Kids on The Block

I’ve had the pleasure of spending much of my time with these fun characters! In October, I began a contract with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) as a puppeteer for their Kids on the Block troupe. We perform educational scripts in elementary schools in and around Peterborough, Ontario about mental and physical health. For more information about these shows, and to invite us to your school, please visit the CMHA Peterborough website.

Also in October, I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop for the lovely volunteer announcers and hosts at Canoe FM in Haliburton. Turns out puppets and puppeteering are a great way to hone interviewing skills, while having fun at the same time, of course 😉

In addition to my puppeteering hat, I’ve been coordinating two community art projects in North Hastings, Ontario. The North Hastings Community Hand Bell Choir (funded by the New Horizons for Seniors grant) have been practicing their new musical skills and are now accepting invitations to perform for community groups and events. They recently had their first performance at the Riverstone Retirement Home in Bancroft, and received rave reviews. The hand bells really do sound amazing, and make for a fun, interactive and unique performance!

Creative ConnectionsMy second coordination project is a community arts project funded by the Ontario Arts Council called “Celebrating Creative Connections”. Participants are now enjoying a series of workshops called “Mural Painting and Papier Mache for Theatre”, facilitated by North Hastings artist, Ketha Newman. The masks, props, costumes and murals they create will be used by the dancers in the final project, a music video. It’s incredible seeing this great vision coming together!

Creative Facilitation

I just got back from attending an amazing workshop in Toronto by PYE Global called Creative Facilitation 1 and 2. What an inspiring and energizing couple weekends! I can’t wait to apply some of these engaging activities and techniques in my own workshops with children, youth and adults.

It’s been a great couple months, but there are many exciting things ahead as well. Don’t forget to follow Puppeteria on Facebook for more frequent updates. I may even attempt to get a Twitter account going in the near future (I told you great things were happening!)