Puppet making is a fun activity to incorporate into a fairy tale unit. Hands-on learners will especially benefit from this project. Once the puppets are finished, you can use them to put on a play about the fairy tale. Getting ready for the play gives the students a chance to practice organisation and leadership skills, memorisation ability and math skills (when making the sets). You can use puppet making as a culmination of the unit on fairy tales and even invite other classes in your grade level to watch the performance.
Draw or print out pictures of the characters in the fairy tale. Look for large, simple line drawings of characters.
Cut out the printed picture of the character and then put it onto a piece of cardstock or foam board, anchored with a bit of masking tape. Trace around the template with a pencil.
Cut out your drawing or the picture you traced onto the cardstock or foam board. Adults should supervise children with this part of the project. You may want to use a craft knife to cut the picture out of the foam board for the child, depending on her age and ability.
Colour and decorate the pictures that were just cut out. In addition to colouring the picture, you could embellish it with glitter, coloured macaroni, synthetic hair, jewels or anything else that you think will make your puppet more attractive.
Allow the puppet to dry completely. While waiting for it to dry, take your dowels and cut them into 12-inch pieces, one or two for each puppet. Sand the ends smooth.
Paint the dowels or wrap with coloured tape, if desired. Allow to dry. They also can be left unpainted.
Turn the puppet facedown and put two or three dots of superglue along the first 3 or 4 inches of the dowel, measuring from the top. Attach to the back of the puppet, making sure to leave enough of the dowel sticking out below the puppet to use as a handle. Tear a small piece of duct or packing tape off of the roll. Affix this piece of tape horizontally across the top of the dowel (where the glue is) to double-secure the dowel onto the puppet.