Easy to Make Puppets
    with Beach Pebbles

Easy to make puppets with beach pebbles will help children use their imagination, overcome shyness and develop their art, learning and language skills. Crafting simple puppets with flat, smooth pebbles of any shape is a fun, stress-relieving and creative kids activity. Playing with their handcrafted puppets helps children with difficulties express their thoughts and feelings and handle conflict resolution and other real life problems. Puppet making with beach pebbles could develop into a creative, frugal hobby.

The following three types of easy to make puppets are suitable for young school age kids (from preschoolers (with your help) to ten year olds) – they’ll love it! These ideas for puppet making are also an excellent rainy day activity or kids party activity. Use beach stone buttons with two holes, or beach pebbles with two (or one) holes, for the head and body.

1. Old glove finger puppets.You need five flat, thin, smooth beach stone buttons (with two holes), round (oval, square, triangle would also do), small to medium size and an old knitted kids glove, that doesn’t fit them anymore. Show kids how to sew a stone button on each one of the fingers. The stone buttons are the puppet’s head. As the thread passes from one hole to the other, it forms a line which would serve as the nose of our puppet. So, draw the children’s attention to placing the beach stone buttons the right way, to have this nose formed vertically. When they’ve finished with sewing all their stone buttons on the fingers of the glove, ask kids to draw or glue eyes and a mouth on the stone button. Have them add hair, bow-ties, necklaces, decorative collars or whatever other embellishment they like. Help them cut off the fingers from the glove. Put some glue around the cut edges to keep the knitting from being taken apart (while playing with the puppets). Your puppets are ready.

2. Craft sticks puppets. Use wide craft sticks and give children a flat, thin, smooth, rounded beach pebble with no hole (oval, square, triangle would also do) to glue on the top part of each stick. This pebble is their puppet’s head. Ask kids to draw a face, add hair, hats, glasses, scarves, or whatever else they like to their puppets. When children have finished with the face and head, have them make up some weird and funny names for their puppets and write these names on the sticks. These could also be “Me” puppets, made as a back to school activity. If made at home, they make cute teacher gifts - gift wrap them beautifully and add a handcrafted gift tag with the name of your child’s new teacher.

3. Easiest rod puppets. One type of the simplest rod puppets you could make with kids are pencil topper beach pebble puppets. Kids adore them because they could take their pencil puppet friends to school – so, this is a great "back to school" craft idea. There’s no need to attach metal rods to these puppets’ hands – just the pencil supporting the body as a single rod is enough. Keep this craft as simple as possible. Other ideas for puppet making with rods and stones is to use thick twigs instead of pencils or even some wood straps cut to desired length.

Tips

1. Your easy to make puppets may have hands made of strings and small drilled beach stones or semi-precious stone chips. An alternative for preschoolers is puppets that have no hands at all.

2. Do not use large pebbles or thick ones – the slimmer and lighter, the better.

3. For preschoolers: A very good idea is to use pumice stones, to make heads, bodies, hands and feet of your faux beach stone puppets. Pumice stones are light-weight and soft (so it’s easy to make holes in them).

4. Try to recycle whatever materials you and the children find free in nature or in the house, to use as embellishments for your easy to make puppets.

5. Remember that the younger the kids the more help they will need from an adult.

CAUTION: Even if these activities are not difficult for kids, the materials (and techniques) used are safe and the place looks safe, children should never be left unattended.


Activities

Read/Tell short stories about beach stones, pebbles and rocks and ask kids to retell them by role playing the story with the pebble puppets they’ve made. Instead of telling stories, try short songs or rhymes with preschoolers.

Another idea is to encourage children to act out (with their easy to make puppets) a beach stone/pebble story of their own. For this activity, the kids need the help of an adult to organize their thoughts and present their story.


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