FOURTH OF JULY COMES ALIVE!
Summer where we live is famous for its rainy afternoons. So what do you do when your granddaughter is staying over a few days during the Fourth of July week when rain and more rain is predicted? Bring out the PUPPETS! Of course, store-bought puppets are great, but how about creating your own?
Our local Dollar Store is always a treasure trove of goodies, and true to form, they had die-cut shapes for the Liberty Bell, George Washington, and other patriotic figures all neatly packaged up.
Susan and her granddaughter used a small puppet stage cut out of a cardboard gift box, and began to explore ways to use the patriotic figures to tell the Independence Day story. Attaching straws to pre-cut figures allowed us to “drop” the figures into the scene from the above the stage. Attaching a bend-y straw to the Liberty bell, allowed us to move it back and forth as it “rang.” We added our own sound effects for the ringing bell!
While crafting the story, this sharp second-grader began to think of more things that we could add to the pre-cut pieces. We found a picture of Betsy Ross – yes, we definitely needed her to make the flag! How about the White House in the background? A little poetic license and Washington, D.C. was able to look into the future. Soon a whole array of props and puppets, including drawings of two happy faced puppets to show Susan and her granddaughter enjoying their freedom.
Plans are to add clothes to the hand-drawn people later this week. Susan keeps a box of fabric scraps, yarn, buttons, and all kinds of leftover goodies to adorn the puppets. The art box comes in handy and allows us to give wing to our imaginations and creativity.
Although Susan and her grandchild chose to tell about the 4th of July, you can choose any favorite story, or create characters for bugs, or even invent fruit that talks. (Remember “heard it on the grapevine….” and the Fruit of the Loom dancers?) Explore emotion by having your puppets show empathy, excitement, eagerness, or curiosity. Make up interesting voices, lip sync to a song, play an instrument – you’re only limited by your imagination. So whether or not you have rainy afternoons to fill, add a little drama to your life with homemade puppets – and have a wonderful afternoon of fun!
Mary and Susan