contributed by Leanne Guenther
We had loads of fun playing with this frog puppet. I must admit that I hogged him quite a bit. You'd be amazed at how much better children listen when the frog tells them to clean up a mess than when mommy asks them to. *grin*
- a paper lunch bag
- a printer and paper
- green paint or green construction paper
- glue and/or tape
- something to color with
Get Familiar with Your Paper Bag:
- We're going to hop on through this slowly, so bear with me. Look at your paper bag.
- It should be closed and flat like a piece of paper. Just like when they are brand new.
- On one side, it's all smooth. This will be
the BACK of your frog
- It's important that all the kids get the back and front straight at the beginning!
- On the other side there's a flippy tab (which is
typically the bottom of the bag when you're carrying your lunch around...)
- This flippy tab will be the frog's HEAD.
- Lift the flippy tab up a bit. Underneath of
the FLAP will be the frog's mouth,
- When the child put's her hand in the bag, she'll be able to make the puppet talk.
- Look at the rest of the front of the bag. (The 3/4 or so of the bag below the part with the flippy tab) This will be the BODY.
- Look at the sides of the bag. There should
be a SIDE FLAP of paper.
- We'll be slipping the arms into this flap.
- If the kids goof and glue the arms onto the front or back of the bag, it isn't a big deal.
- OK, now that we're comfy with our bags, let's craft (you can always peek at the photo above if you get confused)!
Putting the Frog Puppet Together:
- Paint the front of your paper bag green (we don't have many paints in our
house -- just red, yellow, blue, black and white. We mix all of our
own colors which is loads of fun for the girls). Set aside to dry.
As an alternative to painting: trace the body of the paper bag and the head of the paper bag onto green construction paper. Cut it out and glue it to the bag.
- Print the template pieces:
- Color the largest circles and arms green (or whatever color your frog is going to be.
- Color the long rectangle (ish) piece red (FRONT AND BACK!).
- Color the smallest circles black.
- Cut out the pieces.
- Put one of the green circles in front of you. Glue the medium sized (white circle) onto it. Glue the small (black) circle onto that. Repeat with the other set of circles. Now you have two eyes!
- Take the red long rectangle and wrap it around a pencil to give it a curl. This will be the tongue.
- By this time, your bag should be dry.
- Glue the eyes onto the top of the HEAD. You can see from the photo above that the eyes stick up over the top of the head.
- Optional: draw two tiny black lines (nostrils) onto the head.
- Lift the FLAP and glue the tongue underneath.
- Glue the arms into the SIDE FLAP. When you do this, glue or tape them onto the top of the flap not the bottom. That way when you're using the puppet, it's arms will reach forward in a hugging motion instead of bending way backwards. Now, I give these instructions to make sure I've given you as much info as I can -- use your judgement when balancing whether to share the directions with the kids or let them get creative on their own.
- Optional: You can personalize your basic frog puppet in a lot of
ways. By this point the Age 2 thru 4 group will be happy (going
further may make the project too time consuming for their young attention
spans), but older children might like to extend the craft. Here are just a few
ideas for them:
- Put a construction paper or gift wrap bowtie on the frog.
- Draw marker or paint speckles/warts/dots on your frog's body.
- Take a small black pom pom. Attach some wax paper wings and small googly eyes to make a fly. Glue it to the frog's tongue.
- Glue something into the frog's hand
Put a small piece of velcro on the frog's hand. Put Velcro on numerous objects. That allows you to change the frog's "props" during a puppet show. If you chose to do this, you'll want to back the frog's arm with a thin piece of cardboard (old cereal box) so it doesn't flop around.
- Glue some construction paper froggy feet to the bottom of the bag.
Cut feet in one of the shapes to the right out of green construction paper. Bend the tabs at the top of the feet and glue or tape the tabs onto the INSIDE of the paper bag. That will give the feet a 3D floppy feel.
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).