Monday, 14 April 2014

Easter Holiday Fun Making With the Kids.

'It's time to light the lights and get things started on our puppet show tonight!!'...
Last week we had a little girl's birthday to celebrate in our house - it also happened to be the start of the Easter holidays and things were looking a bit rainy so we (my husband and I) scratched our heads and tried to come up with something fun and memorable to do with our girls to make their school break special.  

This is what we came up with - a great big cardboard box converted into a puppet theatre.  Partly inspired by the current Muppet Movie and partly inspired by one of my favourite scenes from 'The Sound of Music'.  I've always wanted a puppet theatre as a child, so here was my big chance to make one with my daughters...


It all began with a huge box for a toddler's rocking horse.  We worked out what we wanted to create, but I must confess, at this point, my husband got stuck in and worked out the construction and did the 'build'.  He seemed to be having loads of fun so who was I to stop him - I mean, look, there's even a spirit level! it's fair to say he was seriously involved at this stage!...


Here's the first peep of the overall construction - it was a case of cutting out holes front and back, cutting a scalloped edge in a semi circle to the top flap where the box opens to make the top piece of the theatre. Then using lots of packing tape to hold everything together in the place you want them...


Then a quick lick of left over pink emulsion to cover the markings.  Be careful not to overload with too much paint - best to do a light coat and touch up where you need to as you don't want to weaken the cardboard too much.  To help strengthen the box and enable us to move it about easily - we inserted holes either side at the top of the front and back of the box and inserted garden canes to act as rods.  We also added another cane to run across the top, just above the stage hole, to act as a curtain pole... 


Talking of curtains, whilst my husband was busy cutting and folding cardboard, I was with the girls helping them to sew the tops of old tea towels so that we could thread them onto the 'curtain pole' cane...


I also helped the girls get designing, cutting and gluing the shapes they wanted to put on the front and sides to decorate their puppet theatre, which was lots of fun and a great way to spend an afternoon...


As you can see from the 'crafter-math' above, the girls took this project very seriously too.  My eldest daughter came up with the overall design, all I did was glue the things in place, and help with a few of the the tricky things like the sun - but overall, those flowers, birds, bees and butterflies are the result of their hard work and imagination...


Ta Da! and here it is, set up and ready for the birthday celebrations - didn't they do well? I'm such a proud mummy!

The next part of the project was when my daughter's friends came round for a birthday tea and crafty afternoon making puppets for the theatre...


We used wooden spoons as the base for each puppet - and the children had plenty of glittery strips for hair, feathers, buttons, pom poms, bows, sticky shapes, googley eyes and glue on hand to make their puppets from...


Whilst lots of pretty puppets were letting their glue dry, the children made up a play to perform with them (well sort of - they were very excited and didn't have much time to come up with it). There was lots of laughter and a great time had by all.  Then after we'd eaten, they put on a little puppet show for us before it was time to head home with smiles on their faces and freshly made wooden spoon puppets in their hands...


It's amazing how much enjoyment for so many people can come out of something that was heading off to a recycling centre!

This is a make with the kids I would highly recommend and we are already thinking up the next thing we can make from cardboard for the summer holidays.

Best wishes

3 comments:

  1. That looks like fab fun, I bet they will remember that forever!

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  2. Thanks. I hope so...but if they don't remember, at least we will and have taken plenty of photos and videos to remind them! ;) x

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