Puppets in Education
Easy Animal Puppets
One of the easier patterns for marionette puppets......
This simple design for an animal puppet makes a marionette or string puppet from paper or plastic cups. Once the main structure of the puppet is assembled, it can be used for a variety of animal characters by making different heads and body coverings.
What You Need:
........ paper or plastic cups - a variety of sizes depending on the size of animal puppet
........ string - thin, white and strong.
(fishing line works well but is difficult for younger children to use)
- length of string depends on the size of theatre used for the play
- long enough to hide the puppeteer's hand but short enough for good control
........ craft sticks - (popsicle sticks)
........ construction Paper, scissors, glue, tape, knitting needle or tool to poke holes in cups
Separate cups can be decorated and slid over the head cup of the marionette structure. In this way it easy to make puppets quickly change to another character. Body covers and tails are also easily changed if necessary.
Ideas for Assembling the String Puppet
Holes can be made in the cups using a knitting needle, the point of a drawing compass, an awl or any small pointy instrument.
The head and rear body strings should be knotted several times on one end and drawn through the top holes of the body cup. Secure the knotted ends inside the cup with pieces of tape.
Glue 3 Craft Sticks to make a controller
This marionette works quite well with only the head and rear body strings attached to the controller.
Strings can be used to add more movement to the front and/or rear legs.
Alternate 2 Stick Controller
Leg cups can be more easily attached by using 2 long strings instead of 4.
Cut strings longer than needed and trim the extra when done.- thread string for front legs through the two holes at the bottom front of the body
Using separate cups the same size as the head cup, a variety of animal characters can share the same frame. Construction paper can be used to cover the "snout" and folded or "sculpted to make the upper part of the head. Younger children can cut out eyes and tape them on the side of the cup or make them stand up on the head with the ears..
|Simply slide the character heads on and off the frame head during the play. This also works well to show different emotional states of the same character- e.g. make the same head but change mouth to show fangs).
Body colours, tail shapes etc. can be changed by creating several wrap around coverings to temporarily tape onto the body cup.
Since a tail can be an expressive part of an animal, a string could be attached to it for another control for the puppeteer, but make sure the tail is securely taped to the body. A braided wool tail works well for this.
Instead of a string on the tail, a thin piece of wire placed inside the tail gives the opportunity to bend it into different shapes.
Now we need a