Kids will love crafting these adorable animal finger puppets and writing a script for a puppet show. It’s an easy kids craft that you can enjoy with the entire family. You are welcome to create any animal of your choice, but we made wild cats for our puppet adventures. Farm animals would be fun as well — craft a barn theater out of cardboard or turn them into your favorite pets!
Have a birthday coming up? These paper mache puppets are the perfect easy party craft for kids. Make the paper mache puppets in advance, let the kids paint them, and add ears and tails at the party. Now you’ve got the coolest DIY party favors ever!
Let’s get started!
What You Need
- Newspaper strips
- Twisty balloons
- Balloon pump
- Paper mache paste (1 cup flour, 1 cup water)
- Acrylic paint
- Sponge brush
- Pipe cleaners
- Tacky glue
- Clear tape
Tie a knot in a twisty balloon, about 1.5 inches from the opening. Continue to tie knots in the balloon, about 1.5 inches from each previous knot. Use a balloon pump to blow up the first section. Tie off the end and then cut the section off just above the first knot. Blow up the next section, tie off the end, and cut just above the knot. Continue to blow up each section until you have the number of finger puppets you plan to craft. Tape down any knots on the balloons.
Mix one cup of flour and one cup of water. Dip a newspaper strip in the mix and use two fingers to “squeeze” off any excess paste. Lay the first strip across the top of the balloon. Continue to glue newspaper strips to cover the balloon, but stop before you get to the bottom. This will leave an opening for your fingers. We recommend at least two layers of newspaper on each balloon. Smooth out any lumps and place them on a cooling rack to dry overnight. Repeat with each balloon segment.
Once the finger puppets are dry, cut the balloon to deflate it and pull it out of the puppet. Shake out any glue flakes over a trash can.
Paint the finger puppets in a solid color of your choice using a sponge brush.
Add a face, leopard spots, or the markings of your choice, depending on which animals you decide to create. We used a toothpick to paint the face and spots.
TIP: For the leopard spots, paint tiny blobs in one color using a toothpick and then outline the spots—some completely and some partially in a second color using another toothpick.
Cut small ears out of felt and glue to the top of the puppet. You can add a pipe cleaner tail to the back as well, using tacky glue. Your puppets are now ready for an adventure!
For a few other puppet show ideas, check out these finger puppet Valentines, this post on how to put on a puppet show at home, and this adorable paper plate rainbow puppet. There are enough puppet ideas to keep your kids busy for days!