I have a case of finger puppets that live inside my teaching bag. I use these puppets to make stories - either typical fairy tales or ones that I make up as I go along. Anyway, I sometimes let the children use them under supervision. This has often led to a spontaneous experience of making our own finger puppets.
I have done this a couple of different ways.
1. I have cut out a template outline of a finger and then cut them out for the children to draw on. Then we've stuck two of the shapes together using sticky tape for the children to have their own finger puppets.
2. I have photocopied my finger puppets in b&w and the children have cut them out on their own (with varying degrees of success) and then we have just used sticky tape to attach them to a popcicle stick.
3. I have used felt cut outs that are used for craft as well as foam cut outs to glue to sticks which then create a puppet character.
4. I have made a puppet theatre using a cardboard box, with coloured paper just sticky taped to it.
5. I have made a puppet theatre using a cardboard box with paper mache.
6. Let the children use your puppets under supervision! There is nothing more "special" than getting to use the teacher's things.
I like these quick and easy experiences because they are somewhat 'instant' and can be made quite quickly and used til they collapse or fall apart. It shows the children how to recycle and reuse materials. It shows creativity on your part (when we are always expecting it from children). It fosters creativity and story telling! The children can tell the traditional stories, variations of the traditional, or they can make their own stories up. I even did a 'group' where the children came up in pairs and shared a story with their peers (this was semi-successful as some of the children really werent intersted).
Here are what the puppets looked like photocopied
So all I did was cut them out, and then use some sticky tape and attach some paddle pop sticks for 'instant' puppety goodness ... The children used these for a couple of weeks but their interest did taper off a bit.
I have also colour copied them, and laminated them and attached velcro hook spots on the backs and used them as felt stories with and for the children. I often do this with my felt story resources as this way my personal property is protected, but it gives children another resource that fits within a tight budget.
A basket of random characters next to a felt board stand has been also a popular experience for the children - especially those who are creatively inclined! It helps to children to share, fosters negotiation skills, memory and story telling, imagination and language and literacy skills. I have also put felt characters into a basket at a table with four small felt boards for quiet time experiences. These lived on our manipulatives shelves and the children were free to select them as they wished.
While the photos are my copyright - the images of the puppets are the property of Rainbow Educational. I highly recommend their puppet set as it has been a worthwhile purchase and has had much use over the past 3 years!
The link for the puppets if you're interested in purchasing them is here:
(c) Teacher's Ink. 2012 All Rights Reserved