- To learn about owls and have fun creating a whimsical owl puppet
- To encourage creativity and build fine motor skills
- To provide opportunities for dramatic play and story telling
Before You Start: Gather brown, orange and yellow construction paper, glue/ glue sticks and tape. Have children recycle a clean paper lunch bag from home (or the teacher may want to provide some). Provide small paper cupcake cups to use for eyes. Set out Colorations® crayons, markers and other collage materials for the children to decorate their owls such as glitter and feathers. Create a few simple examples of what each of owl parts may look like to show children before they begin. The teacher may want to discuss some unique features of owls as a class and have some pictures hung up for the children to reference when creating their puppets. Note: Although the teacher should create examples to start the creative process, please allow the child to create their own owl. It is not necessary for a child’s project to look like the real thing. Allow the child to be creative.
Let's Get Started! Step 1. Provide children with their own sheets of construction paper, and if needed, help trace and cut out wings, claws and a beak for their owls. Note: children can easily trace their hands on a piece of construction paper to create wings.
Step 2. Have children position their bags with the bottom flap facing up. The bottom will be the owl's head. Show children how to tape or glue the wings into the side flaps of the bags. This is easier if the bags are opened slightly and the wings are taped so they reach forward in a flapping motion.
Step 3. Demonstrate how to glue the cupcake cups near the top of the owl's head for the eyes. The cups can remain open or be flattened depending on the child's preferences. Children may want to color the inside of the cups to finish making the detail of the eyes.
Step 4. Allow children to decorate and personalize their puppets any way they like. Have them draw on their owl's face and body with crayons and markers and then glue on the beaks and claws and add other decorative items. (The teacher may want to show children where the claws may be positioned near the opening of the bags.) Children could also make a crest for the top of the owl's head out of construction paper or feathers and glue on their bags.
Step 5. Now everyone has a puppet for open-ended play! Have children play with their owls in small groups to create a story, or simply display the owls around the classroom.
Furthermore: Puppets provide an ideal opportunity to expand children's creativity through imaginative play. You may want to have children act out puppet shows to demonstrate the stories they've created in their groups. Or, gather the class in a large group and have children take turns sharing their puppets. The teacher may also correlate this activity to a lesson about owls. A great related book for circle time is "Owl Babies" by Martin Waddell.
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