Puppet Play

(for ages 5+)


  • Paper bag
  • Crayons, markers, pencils, and paint
  • Safety scissors
  • Glue
  • Construction paper
  • Googly eyes, pom poms
  • Colored material or fabric

Recipe for Fun!

Puppet play gives children the opportunity to express their inner emotions while gaining an understanding of others as they act out various scenarios in a safe, playful environment. Putting on a puppet show and speaking in front of others helps children practice storytelling and develop self-confidence. Playing with puppets also improves fine motor skills, creativity, social awareness, and more.

STEP 1: Lay the paper bag on its smooth side. Keep the bottom flap facing up. Point the opening toward you.

STEP 2: Draw the upper lip on the flap, along its lower edge. Then draw the lower lip on the body of the bag, where the edge of the flap meets it. Use the entire width of the flap to create an exaggerated mouth if desired, or a smaller one in proportion to the other facial features.

STEP 3: Use pencils, pens, crayons, and/or markers to draw outlines for the facial features (nose, eyes, eyebrows, and ears, as well as hair if desired). Then, color them in.

STEP 4: Open the flap. Be careful not to smooth out any creases. Draw the tongue below the crease that you find under the flap. Alternately, you can cut out a small hole here wide enough for your finger and use that as your tongue.

STEP 5: Excluding the flap, use the lower three-quarters of the bag’s body to design your puppet’s body. For people, outline clothes and color them in. For animals, outline their color pattern and then color in.

STEP 6: Slide your hand into the opening. Curl your fingers up and under the flap. Extend and curl your fingers to make your puppet “talk.”

Modification: Use craft materials to make your puppet pop.

STEP 1: Outline your puppet’s design in pencil on the bag. Color in the areas either by painting them or by gluing cutouts of colored construction paper to the bag.

STEP 2: Glue googly eyes or colored pom poms to the bag for added features.

STEP 3: Use a sheet of white construction paper to make a cutout of upper and bottom teeth.

STEP 4: Glue colored yarn to make long or short hair, mustaches, beards, or animal fur. Play with pipe cleaners for spiky or crazy hair and whiskers.

STEP 5: Glue fabric swatches onto the bag.

Benefits of Play: Creative, Emotional, Social, Communication, Cognitive