If you have little ones, this is a craft that you will want to have handy. It is a fun one to do, and they will probably want to do this time and time again. It is easy and simple to do, there is some basic prep work of cutting up some pieces for younger children to glue on to the lunchbag puppets. Making lunchbag puppets can be fun for an afternoon or a rainy day on a weekend when you are looking for something fun that will give the kids an activity to do after the craft has been completed – because they can also play with the puppets after they have dried!
To make lunchbag puppets you will need:
a package of lunchbags, smaller brown paper bags
googly eyes, or small buttons like half an inch wide (caution, these can be a choking hazard – adults should glue them onto the lunchbag puppets and keep an eye on children when around these items)
colored construction paper to cut into face shapes
– or – foam to cut into face shapes
yarn for hair
markers or crayons
safety scissors for children (if they are old enough to do scissorwork on their own)
adult scissors (so you can cut shapes)
Begin by taking the lunchbags and glueing the googly eyes or buttons onto the bags for eyes for the puppets. You will want to do this ahead of time, before the children are ready to make puppets. The eyes will take about twenty minutes or so to really dry well. Children have lots of fun making these puppets and usually they want to make at least two or even three puppets, so count out the lunchbags and plan ahead of time how many puppets you would like the children to make.
If the children who will be making the puppets are little ones and you do not feel they are ready to handle scissors on their own, consider making some face shapes for them to glue onto the puppets. Make lips, noses, eyelashes, ears and clothing items. Consider also making your child’s favorite animal so they can make that as a puppet. It can be easier to cut the shapes ahead of time because children become very eager to glue the items onto the puppets. You may decide to cut the items as they are making the puppets, do whatever you feel is going to be best.
Explain to the children how to make a face if they are very young. They may even want to look in the mirror at their face, to see that they have two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth, and so on. Some children will become very imaginative and they will glue an ear right on top of the head! At least they are thinking creatively – some children will imagine monsters or fairies or other types of creatures. They will probably tell you stories about their puppets if you ask them.
Once the face is on, then add some yarn for hair. Then add a costume. The child can draw with markers or crayons or they can put pieces of pre-cut paper that have been made into costumes.
Let the puppets dry for at least twenty minutes or better yet, half an hour. They really need to dry. Puppets that fall apart can be very upsetting, much more upsetting than having to wait twenty minutes to play with them. You can cheat a little and blow them with a hairdryer on low or no heat to speed up their drying. Don’t use high heat.
Then the fun really begins! Let the children put on a puppet show and watch their imagination really take off!