Make Pop-Up Puppets Activity

3.4 based on 25 ratings
Updated on Jun 25, 2013

Everyone enjoys puppet shows, and now your child can host his own! Using plastic cups, dowels, and fabric, you can make a fun puppet that pops up out of its cup when in action and hides out of sight when not in play.

This activity helps your child develop his fine motor skills through cutting, pasting, and assembling the puppet. But the learning (and fun!) doesn't stop there: your child will set his imagination free creating stories for his puppets to act out. Putting on performances for others is also a great way to help him build confidence and learn to be comfortable speaking in front of people.

What You Need:

  • Plastic cup
  • Colored felt or fabric pieces
  • Hot glue or rubber cement
  • Wooden dowel
  • Wooden ball
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • String

What You Do:

  1. Start by cutting a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup. Next, let your child guide the wooden dowel through the hole, leaving the dowel poking out both ends.
  2. Ask your child what kind of puppet they want to make. Will it be a boy or a girl? What kind of outfit will it be wearing? Help your child create the puppet's shirt by cutting a large circle out of a piece of fabric. Drape the fabric round over the top of the cup (let the fabric drape over the dowel as well). Glue the edge of the fabric to the inside rim of the cup. Let the glue dry.
  3. After the glue has dried, cut a small hole in the middle of the fabric round just large enough for the dowel to fit through. Gently feed just the tip of the dowel through the hole, then glue the dowel to the fabric so that the fabric shirt rises with the dowel when the dowel is pushed up.
  4. Next, carefully glue the wooden ball to the top of the dowel right above the shirt. This will be the puppet's head.
  5. Let your child cut out fabric arms and hands for his puppet and glue those to the shirt.
  6. Have your child draw a face on the puppet's head with markers. If your child wants the puppet to have hair, glue pieces of string to the puppet's head. Encourage your child to think of fun accessories to add to his puppet such as a hat, bowtie, or scarf. Set the puppet aside to let the glue dry.
  7. Once the glue is dry, it's time to test out the puppet! Show your child how the puppet hides when the dowel is pulled down and reappears when the dowel is pushed up again. Let your child try it for himself!

Now let the show begin! Your child will delight in making you and his audience laugh with his fun performances.