You may not know this yet, but puppets are cool again. My favourite puppet is a dead terrorist named Achmed (watch Achmed and the man, Jeff Dunham, behind him here). You haven’t found your favourite puppet yet? We at beebeebox will introduce you to the world of puppetry, through your kids.
Drama drama drama
I am really not sure how we have amassed a collection of puppets, but we have a rather large collection. In Rachel’s world of pretend, I think my daughter comes up with some pretty cool characters. Rachel’s favourite puppet is a very naughty lion who wants to eat everything! But he is always sorry once he has gobbled everything up and has no one to play with. There is also a sock puppet named Blue that she made at school. Blue often accompanies us in the car and looks out of the window on the drive, while Rach describes the scenery. Finally, there is the Big Bad Wolf finger puppet (which we sent in the TOT Once Upon a Time box) who gets so badly abused. If she finds him anywhere near the Three Little Pigs, he gets thrown across the room. The Big Bad Wolf and Pigs just can’t be in the same room together.
While puppets tend to pop up all the over the show in playtime, I’ve always loved the idea of a puppet theatre. Rach is still a little young to plan a performance and may never even want to. Still I think it is good to present the idea of a puppet show to her and give her an opportunity to experiment with something new. A proper puppet theatre is a pretty expense purchase for something Rach might not even like. So I am going to UPCYCLE our beebeebox, using some crafty things I have lying around the house, into a puppet theatre.
How to make a puppet theatre
What you need
beebeebox base and lid
Theatre decorations: material, paint, stickers, foam, felt, pom poms (literally whatever you have lying around at home!)
Adult pre-play prep:
- Place the base of the beebeebox in front of you and cut out a shape for your stage – it is up to you if you want a square stage or a half circle like we did.
- Glue the lid and base together and leave to set for 30 minutes.
- Prepare whatever you are going to decorate your puppet theatre with! Since we are going to cover our puppet theatre in material, my prep involves:
- Cutting up strips of material
- Making a glue paste by mixing glue and water in equal ratios
- Invite your play expert to decorate their puppet theatre. We decorated by gluing down strips of material using paintbrushes all over the box and then spray painting the inside gold.
- Let dry.
- It is time for the puppet show!
I placed our puppet theatre in front of our tent so that Rach had a ‘backstage area’ for her puppets. She closed the curtain and Rach did not once put a puppet on the stage (Big Bad Wolf did get kicked out of the tent within 30 seconds). She happily played with her puppets and created a whole world inside the tent. But she never felt the need to perform and that’s ok. I’ll leave the puppets and tent set up like this for a month or so and see what happens. She may play with the theatre, she might not. Then I will pack it away and we can try return to the idea of a puppet theatre again.
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