Help your kids craft their way to happy as they construct characters and creatures out of mini cereal boxes. These puppets are just the right size for tiny hands!
This is a simple craft that requires only safety scissors, glue or tape, and a bit of imagination.
Help kids cut holes in the cereal box for their fingers to poke through. Fingers pointing up become the creatures’ arms, head, hands, neck, stick-out ears, and spiky hair. Fingers pointing down are paws or dancing feet.
Encourage children to make up songs and think up stories for their new companions.
Younger kids may be just as happy fooling around with a simple cereal box with finger holes, but you can also add optional decorations including: construction paper, contact paper, acrylic paint, felt-tip markers, plastic bottle caps*, soft leftover fabric and felt, chenille sticks, yarn, wiggle eyes*, buttons*, cotton balls, curling ribbon, and more.
Remove the bottom flaps of a mini cereal box. Cut four holes in a wide side of the box for the pig’s legs. Slip your child’s palm into the box, fingers heading down (they’re the feet), with a nose-hole cut in front for the middle finger (option: use a bottle cap for a piggy nose). This is little piggy number one! Create three little pigs and voilà—you and your child can act out the classic story.
If you like, help her cover all sides with pink construction paper or pink paint, and then add wiggle eyes, red felt lips, and a curly pink tail made of ribbon.
Remove top and bottom flaps of a mini cereal box. Cut a hole in one narrow side for your child’s thumb. This can be is the turkey‘s head, or if decorating the box and adding eyes, its beak. His four remaining fingers can stick out the top as feathers.
To dress up the bird, help your child wrap the box in brown felt,. Glue on overlapping brown and black felt strips to create feathered wings, or use craft feathers on the sides and top. Add a red felt wattle and wiggle eyes. Show your child how to gobble, gobble, gobble like a turkey.
This puppet is a little different. Instead of finger holes, your child uses her hand to operate the puppet mitten-style. (Position her hand as though making shadow puppets.) Here’s how:
Stand the box upright and draw a horizontal line midway across the box, all the way around. Cut along this line on three sides of the box, and then bend the top section back to make the lamb’s mouth. With a black felt-tip marker, draw eyes and a triangle nose. Recite “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” or tap your child’s inner ventriloquist.
Older kids can decorate the lamb with cotton balls for wool (or cover in white felt), wiggle eyes, droopy fabric ears (mismatched prints are awesome), and fringed black construction paper for eyelashes.
Thumbs-Up or Thumbs-Down Emoji
Open the bottom of the box. Cut a thumb hole in one of the narrow side panels. Using a black felt-tip marker, draw fingers on the box on both sides. Now your child can let the emoji do the talking: Thumbs up says yes and thumbs down says no. Encourage him to make other favorite emoji puppets and display his collection.
Aliens from Outer Space
Hold a mini cereal box upright and open the top and bottom of the box. Cut a pair of holes in each of the two narrow sides of the box. This makes a four-armed alien with a finger-face sticking out the top.
Or create other other-worldly creatures. Your child can paint each fingernail a different color (or you can do it for little ones) and decorate the box with chenille stick hair or antennae, fabric-scrap spacesuit, bottle-cap goggles, and a button or wiggle eye or many eyes.
Crossing Guard or Policeman
Hold a mini cereal box upright. Cut armholes on the sides for your child’s fingers. Draw a face on the front of the box. Add a safety sash using a marker, ribbon, or reflective tape. Gather tiny dolls and mini cars to create a street scene. Let your child’s fingers direct traffic and help the pedestrians cross the street.
*Indicates a possible choking hazard for children under age 4; parental supervision is a must.