April is Earth Month and it’s all about recycling and living green. Here are recycled cardboard crafts for kids. Make a recycled cardboard puppet theater and and homemade puppets from all from your recycle bin! These cardboard crafts for kids come from 30 years teaching puppetry, puppet making and puppet show production.
For homemade puppets, you will need:
4-6 brads (also called paper fasteners) per child
assortment of recycled cardboard scraps in many shapes and sizes. You can use scraps from other recycled cardboard crafts and projects. There should be some plain geometric shapes and also some more complicated shapes. Each piece should be no larger than 6-8 inches in diameter and no smaller than two inches or so in diameter. There should be long, thin shapes as well as broader shapes. Cut some inch-wide strips of cardboard and keep those separate.
decorations: (these are all optional; use whatever you have available) wallpaper sample books, recycled bin paper scraps–gift wrapping paper scraps, tissue paper scraps, recycle bin construction paper scraps. recycled paper tubes, ribbon, crepe paper and yarn scraps, faux feathers and gems, glitter or glitter glue, markers, paint, silk flowers, pipe cleaners
Procedure to make homemade puppets. Children will assemble a puppet from found pieces of cardboard. Found means children must use recycled cardboard scraps as they are, no cutting or reshaping. The idea is to assemble puppets using whatever is available. Puppets may represent people, animals, fantasy creatures, aliens or even non-living things like vehicles. Our youngest son loved construction vehicles and made his puppet a personified “scooper-upper truck” (power shovel).
Lay out pieces recycle bin puppets before assembling. Puppets should have at least two body parts, preferably 3-5. Cover or decorate each individual piece before assembling homemade puppets. Children may trace and cut paper to fit puppet pieces and glue paper on. They may paint or color puppet pieces. Feathers, gems, flowers or other embellishments should be attached after puppets are assembled.
Assemble puppets in this way: Attach moving parts–arms, tail, head, legs–with brads. Punch holes through the fixed and moving part of cardboard. Push fastener through and fold metal prongs back. Attach stationary parts with tape or stapler. Attach embellishments with stapler, glue or tape. Attach two recycled cardboard strips, sticks or rulers to use as handles to move the puppet. Children should work together in groups to create a story using incorporating each of their homemade puppets into the plot.
Make a simple puppet theater cardboard crafts for kids from a large refrigerator box. Cut a closable flap window. Kids get inside cardboard puppet theater and animate their homemade puppets in the window. When finished store puppets in the box and close the flap. You can also make smaller puppet theater crafts for kids by cutting open a cardboard box. Stand box on table and have children stand on chair behind puppet theater. For more cardboard crafts for kids, visit Free Lesson Plans 4u.