Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cut Paper - Paper Bag Puppets

The children use paper and glue to turn ordinary paper bags into charming puppets. For Ages 3 to 6. Plan 1 session.

KEY IDEAS
  • Cutting with scissors
  • Using glue
  • Learning to contrast colors
LANGUAGE
puppet, contrast

YOU WILL NEED
  • Brown paper bags (small lunch-size bags)
  • Colored construction paper
  • Glue sticks
  • Slightly dampened sponges to wipe sticky fingers
  • Scissors
THE PROJECT
Preparation
  • Set out paper bags and colored construction paper.
  • Set out scissors, glue, and slightly dampened sponges.
How to Begin
  • In this session the children will be making paper bag puppets. Explain that a puppet is a toy person or animal that is controlled by a person’s hand. Place an undecorated paper bag on your hand with four fingers in the folded section. Animate the bag, making it “talk” by opening and closing the folded area.
  • With the bag unopened, show the children that the face of the puppet should be glued to the bottom panel of the bag and that the folded area will be the mouth where a tongue or teeth can be glued.
  • Tell the children that they will be sharing the colored paper on their tables to make their puppets. Each child should start by choosing one color of paper. When finished cutting from it, he or she should return the paper to the middle of the table for someone else to use, and then choose another color. Assure the children that there is more of each color if needed. (A bin of left-over papers is fun to search through for special and unusual colors.)
  • Demonstrate the proper way to hold and use scissors. The thumb goes in the small hole and two or three fingers go in the larger hole. With the blade of the scissors opened wide, place the paper deep into the opening, taking advantage of the whole blade while cutting.
  • When decorating the puppets, explain that colors that are different, or contrast, will be easier to see. Demonstrate this by placing a piece of paper on top of another that is the same color, such as red on red. Then place the same piece of paper on a different color of paper, such as red on yellow. Ask which is easier to see.
  • Explain that glue should be applied to the smaller piece of paper that is then pressed onto the paper bag. Caution the children about using too much glue. Sticky fingers can be wiped on the dampened sponges.
  • Have the children cut and glue paper to their bags to create their puppets.
NOTES
  • Paper bags made with strong fibers hold up better and are easier for the children to manipulate.
  • Use a plain paper bag with no decorations for your demonstration so the children can use their own imaginations to create their puppets.
  • Be sure the children understand to not glue paper over the fold that will serve as the puppet's mouth.
  • The ball of yarn in the cat's paw shown in the first photograph was made with a stray piece of yarn that the child found in the art room. Adding props such as the yarn or the lipstick in the lady's hand in the second photograph can make these characters even more charming.
LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR WORK
  • Point out colors on the puppets that contrast and are easy to see.
  • Discuss additions to the puppets that give them character.
  • Let the children become puppeteers to show off their work.
What the children might say...
  • My scissors won’t cut the paper.
  • I made a long tail for my cat, but where can I glue it?
  • How can I make feet for my puppet?
  • Can I make my puppet talk now?
What you might say...
  • Your scissors will be easier to use if you put your thumb in the small hole and your fingers in the larger hole.
  • You can glue the cat’s tale to the back of the paper bag.
  • Feet are not necessary, however if you’d like, you can glue them to the bottom of the bag.
  • You can put your puppet on your hand and make it talk very carefully until we are sure the glue has dried.
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