Cure that mid-winter cabin fever by making a sock puppet theater.
When you can’t get outside to play, kids and adults alike need a way to let loose. Try creating a sock puppet theater! You and your family can create your own sock puppet characters and stories. Find those stray socks and follow these tips to get started.
How to Make the Sock Puppet Theater
1. Start with the stage for your puppet show. Decide whether you want to build one, or simply drape a tablecloth across a table and crouch behind it. Either way will work and will be just as fun! If you want to “build” a stage, see step two.
2. “Building” a stage is as easy as finding a large empty cardboard box. You want to make sure the box is large enough to fit at least one person inside. Your stage will only be as big as your box. If you don’t have a cardboard box, don’t be afraid to ask. Many appliance stores would be happy to donate empty boxes to such a fun adventure!
3. Using a utility knife, cut the flaps off the cardboard box, so it can sit flat on any surface. Pick one side of the box to be the front. Choose the longer side so there is more room. Cut a frame from the bottom up, so all that is left is a strip of cardboard along each side and on the top.
4. If you want, you can decorate your stage. Use your creativity. Paint the box or color it with markers or crayons. Use bright colors so your stage is fun and unique. Get the kids involved here as much as possible. Be sure to name your theater and spell the chosen name out along the top of the stage.
5. Choose some fabric scraps for curtains. Cut the fabric into two equal pieces that are as long as the cardboard, so they meet in the middle. Glue the curtains to the top of the cardboard box. You may choose to cut small slits into the sides of the cardboard to hold the curtains back during “performances.”
How to Make a Sock Puppet
1. Now, you need to make your performers! Find as many different sized old socks as you can. They should be long enough to reach close to your elbows. Fuzzy or patterned socks can be especially fun to create even more unique friends!
2. Your sock puppets can be as simple or intricate as you want to make them. Start by attaching some eyes. You can find googly eyes at any craft store, or attach some old buttons to the top of the sock with a needle and thread. Be sure to make small marks on the fabric with a pen when your hand is in the sock to ensure the eyes will be attached at the right spot to fit your hand.
3. Intricate sock puppets may include different colored mouths. This can be accomplished by sewing any color fabric into the “mouth” area on your sock puppet. Even more detailed sock puppets can have tongues sewn in!
4. Don’t forget the pipe cleaners! They can be used as ears, horns, teeth, you name it! Use your creativity to see what kind of characters you can create.
Once you have finished your sock puppets, it’s time for the show! You can plan a script out with your child, but pretend play is much more fun! Ask your child to pick a place and start the story there. See where the characters take you. Have fun!