Felt is one of the cheapest crafting materials around, and one of the easiest to work with. It’s also a great crafting material for kids of nearly any age. With a little help, even pre-schoolers (or even toddlers) can make finger puppets that will delight them for hours.
I made simple Star Wars inspired puppets, but you can make finger puppets in any shape or theme you want to. Construct them from simple shapes, add googly eyes, button eyes, or if toddlers will be playing with them, draw the eyes on with permanent marker (ask me how I learned that!).
Finger puppets are a great open-ended craft; you can basically embellish them any way you want to. Choose a favorite animal, cartoon character, or a family member to get you started with your first puppet. If you have any kinds of themes going on in your life (I know some of you choose themes to focus on in homeschooling, etc. each week), you can just work a finger puppet activity into your theme.
Tips: If you have specific characters in mind (like these Star Wars guys), I recommend doing a quick sketch in your sketchbook so you know what pieces to cut out. I glued additional pieces to the backs of the heads to reinforce the puppets, since regular craft felt is not very stiff.
Not confident in your drawing skills? No worries – just use basic shapes like triangles (body), ovals and circles (heads). You can always pre-cut shapes out to trace to make it easier. Don’t get too detailed in extra body parts (see how I simplified the faces and the arms/feet?). Also, don’t be too critical of your art skills!! This is very important. Your child won’t care if everything looks perfect, and will learn a lot from seeing you create without criticizing yourself! This will not be graded!
- 3 or more sheets of felt, about $1 (a quarter or so a sheet)
- Craft glue (I used Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue), on hand
- (optional) Googly eyes, on hand or a huge pack for $1
Total: $1 and up
Heather Mann is a regular contributor at Make and Takes. She’s is the mother of two boys under age 3, and another boy on the way. She publishes Dollar Store Crafts, a daily blog devoted to hip crafting at dollar store prices, CROQ Zine, a print magazine devoted to hip crafting, and also CraftFail, a community blog that encourages crafters to share their not-so-successful craft attempts.