Stick Puppets! Easy as 1,2,3,4,5

This wonderful musical puppet lesson plan comes to us from member Karen Surratt.


Puppets are a joy! Joy is what I see in the faces of children experiencing a program: seeing, hearing and participating. They are eager to help with puppet performances, and “controlled” helping adds to the entire learning process. The action provided by the use of puppets provides an added dimension. An added bonus is that children reluctant to participate in other circumstances are actually excited about participating with puppets. How rewarding is that–to inspire a timid child to be a performer!

Puppets do not need to be fancy or expensive to be effective as there are many different kinds. The following is a list of some puppets that are easy to use, find and manipulate:

Finger Puppets
Finger Puppets
Paper Bag Puppet
Paper Bag Puppet
Hand Puppets
Hand Puppets
Stick Puppets
Stick Puppets



Simple puppets can be such a great addition to a program, lesson or performance. They can be made from many easily accessible materials. I will start with stick puppets. I love stick puppets because:

• They are easy to make.

• They are inexpensive.

• Materials for their construction are easy to find.

• They are easily transported.

• Children can be a part of the performance or lesson.

• Children can see, concretely, the concept being presented.

I love using stick puppets for many of the “fives” songs (i.e., five frogs, five puppies, five pumpkins, five sharks, five fives . . . you get the drift?). These instructions are for five puppies.


 Now, for the making of stick puppets!

• Five large craft sticks.

• Pictures the “fives” you want to portray (you might use a calendar from a dollar store; paper pictures that might be found in educational stores or dollar stores; etc.).

• Laminator or contact paper for covering the pictures and making them.

• Permanent marker for writing numerals on the sticks.



• Select and cut out pictures of 5 animals or objects you want to portray (When portraying human-types, I always use pastels or rainbow colors rather than portraying as a particular race or ethnic background).

• Laminate or cover the pictures with contact paper and cut around the laminated pictures.

• Lay five large craft sticks on a heat resistant surface.

• Put hot glue on the first stick and place on the back of a the picture of the animal or      object (if you do not have a glue gun, you can use.

• Repeat this process for each laminated picture.

• Write the numerals 1-5 on individual sticks, front and back (so they can be seen by the audience and the “puppeteer.”

Optional: you can do ten pictures and make the puppets the same front and back so that the children can see the picture they are holding.


Stick puppets are just one of many types of puppets that can be made easily and quickly and used effectively (both in large and small groups). There are so many other ideas for making and using puppets with your performances. I love sharing ideas and would love to hear from you.

My daughter Laura Schachter is an extremely gifted teacher and her blog is a wonderful resource for fun and puppet-involved lesson plans. She also provides clear instructions for making other types of puppets, and provides information concerning educational application.

1 comment

  1. Thanks, Karen!

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