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Preview: Puppets for Kids

Puppets for Kids

How to make puppets that can be donated to the IWK for the kids.

Updated: 2018-03-06T05:15:14.323-08:00


Miss Piggy


(image) April wrote:
Here's a "finger puppet" for your blog that my mom (Wendy) made for BananaMuffin - it's from the handout I picked up at Atlantic Fabrics in Woodlawn with suggestions for finger puppets for the IWK - my mom used a heavy leftover yarn that increased the scale by quite a bit, and she glued on the bangs and facial features (which are made of felt). It was just a prototype, but had such unusual proportions and colours that I thought I'd send it along. It's no Japanese kimono finger puppet, but it's a finger puppet all the same.

Also, when BananaMufin was 3 months old she had a hearing test at the IWK. She received a finger puppet there that came home and lived on the knob of our kitchen window opener-handle. When she was about a year, she developed a fascination with shoes, and decided to call the finger puppet "Shoe". During the course of my pregnancy with Spunky, she would get finger puppets when we visited the IWK for appointments - the second finger puppet was tiny and pink and she named it "Sasha". Sasha and Shoe became best buddies. The next finger puppet she decided to also call "Shoe", so he became "Shoe Two." The last finger puppet she ALSO decided to call Shoe, but he had wild, red hair that reminded me of dreadlocks, so I called him "RastaShoe" - to this day, she still calls him "RastaShoe". So, we've got Sasha, Shoe, Shoe Two and RastaShoe. Sasha and Shoe got married, and I think Shoe Two and RastaShoe are probably Shoe's brothers. They're a happy family, but bear very little resemblance.
Linda's note: That smart little BananaMuffin already understands that families are created by love and bonding experiences; colour and shape of each member are irrelevant! Thanks, April and Wendy.

REALLY fancy finger puppets


(image) On the subject of "too fancy for mass production", check out these puppets from
They have LED lights inside, so when you squeeze them their faces light up. I would like to try making these some day for my own collection.

Felt Finger Puppet Patterns on Billy Bear 4 Kids


There are some good patterns at BillyBear4Kids. Some of them are a bit fancy for mass production but you can streamline sometimes.
and more. I want to make a few butterflies when I get back to sewing.

Chick or Bunny Knitted Finger Puppet


This pattern was provided by the Aliant Pioneers. If you want to print it, first click on the image to bring up a bigger non-fuzzy copy. If anyone makes one of these please send me a colour photo !(image)

Link to knit a Frog Finger Puppet


From the Craft Yarn Council of America. The photo on the page isn't very good but the froggie looks cute enough to go a courtin' anyway.

Chemo Caps and Aliant Pioneers


The Aliant Pioneers sent me to look at patterns for Chemo caps from Head Huggers is a Maryland, USA-based charity started in 2001 by Sue Thompson, a retired physician. Take a look, there are many wonderful patterns and ideas for knitted, crocheted and sewn hats.

I am proud to be an Aliant Pioneer. The Aliant Pioneers have over 8,600 members who are current and former employees of Aliant (and its predecessor companies). The Aliant Pioneer Volunteers focus on education and technology related projects within their communities. If you are a Pioneer and you spend time volunteering, including making crafts and garments for patients, please stand up and be counted - contact your local chapter to find out about reporting your hours.

Puppet workshop temporarily closed


Due to exciting but time-consuming events in the puppet person's life, the puppet workshop will be closed until August 1, 2007. However I will still check email, so if you have any photos, patterns, or information for me just click on "View my complete profile" to send me an email. Thanks.


Flower lady


(image) If you live in Nova Scotia, you're probably a bit sick of April showers (and they haven't been all "showers:" that was almost a hurricane). So, a couple of weeks early, here are May flowers. I cut a roughly round petal shape in felt, a contrasting circle for the centre, and hand-sewed the circle to the petal round. The eyes are hot glued, and the mouth, well, I have trouble cutting well-shaped felt mouths. I fiddled a bit, and got some shapes that were OK. I glued mouths on some and stitched others, then hot glued the whole flower assembly to the basic finger puppet form. I planned this puppet to use up some of the basic forms, already sewn, that Patti had sent me. Thanks again Patti! I'd love to see alternate designs for a flower puppet too, so readers, feel free to send them in. You can email me privately by linking to my profile.

Cancer Care Caps


(image) Also seen at Atlantic Fabrics in Dartmouth, a drop-off box for Cancer Care Caps. These are to keep heads warm and covered when hair loss is suffered as a result of cancer treatment.

A blogger named Bev has knitting loom patterns for these caps at

Also this website has a free pattern for a cap (a "beanie"). "You will need one set of circular needles, one set of straight needles and a tapestry needle to complete this project. Needle size is determined by your gauge choice (see pattern for details)."

Pigtail Poppets


(image) Our 12-year old friend Nick had a blood test at the IWK today. He claimed not to want a puppet, but manged to emerge with one for him and one for his kid sister too! What strikes me about these is the time that went into the 3 bows on each hair-do. A very caring person made these little poppets. And I do mean poppet, which according to the Oxford Dictionary is British usage for an endearingly sweet or pretty child, but to me means a sort of homespun, cute and floppy dolly.

Easter Bunny


At first I embroidered a sort of pink nose and mouth on the felt, but changed it to the heart-shaped snout with whiskers after playing around with it. It was difficult to embroider the whiskers on the puppets after they were sewn. I should make sure I'm satisfied with a face design before sewing around the edges. But it's best to glue the eyes on after sewing as they can be a bit bumpy under the presser foot of the sewing machine. Don't forget pompom tails. Happy Easter!


In like a lion...


(image) An old truism says that if March "comes in like a lion", it "goes out like a lamb": if March 1 is blustery, March 31 will be fine, and vice versa. Both March 1 and 31 were fine, if cold, in Nova Scotia, though March 2 and 29-30 provided wintry weather in various parts of the province. This year, the early daylight savings time change on March 11 meant we could bundle up for outdoor play (bikes, scooters, road hockey) after supper in the light. A great way to start spring.

I wanted to make a lamb to go with the lions on this theme, but I can't quite get the face and ears pattern in my mind. I usually look in books and at images on the Internet, but anyway, the lamb design eludes me for now. Maybe a reader can send in a design at some point. I really welcome posts about your own designs for puppets!

Blankets of Love


I read in Tuesday's Chronicle-Herald that volunteers around Nova Scotia make quilts and afghans, and send them to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia where they are delivered to mental health patients in hospital. Over 250 blankets have been delivered so far. Kathy Higgins of the Mayflower Quilting Guild said, "We can't be with all of the patients to provide them with a hug... so this is our way of being able to do that." For more information call the Foundation at 902-464-6000. The Herald article was by Lois Legge. I have requested a photo for this post as I don't think I can legally reprint the one from the Herald.

Zucchini felt finger puppet


(image) This zucchini puppet is pretty basic. I guess she could be called a little green person too, but I was thinking zucchini when I made her. If it was a person I might have added hair.
Any resemblance to a certain animated vegetable character involved in "Sunday morning values, Saturday morning fun!" is purely coincidental though quite flattering.
The photo was taken on my front lawn.

Thanks for the contribution!


(image) I haven't even launched my blog yet and already the love is coming in! My friend (my new friend and my sister's old friend) Patti looked at my blog. And then she outed herself as a finger puppet lover too, and waxed lyrical over the common crow. To quote:

"I wanted to let you know that I have made a great finger puppet. The crow. He is made much like your pig. Two pieces of black felt sewn together. Add googly eyes, and a V shaped gold nose and glue some great black feathers to his back rising up like a great tail. I also stuck a tongue depressor up inside (instead of a finger) and added a magnet to the back so he could rest on your fridge when he wasn't in use. I think crows get a bad rap in this world, they are very smart and help with keeping the earth clean. What is so bad about that?"

Patti claims to be retired from finger puppet construction, so she sent me her leftover supplies - a whole bunch of sewn bodies (or heads - I guess it depends what the puppet turns out to be) awaiting features , and lots of eyes and pompoms. Woo hoo, we're in business. Can't wait to make a crow though I can't quite figure the feather bit out.

I can tell where this is heading - soon I'll need to hold a Glue 'n' Chew party. You've heard of Stitch 'n' (you know what); well a Glue 'n' Chew is when you gather pals of either sex, assemble crafts with a glue gun, and of course, have snacks. My son's school has one every year to create Christmas ornaments for their Sharing Tree. When a child brings in a book to go under the tree, they take an ornament home as a souvenir. The books are sent to a designated charity. In 2006 it was North Queens Elementary School in Caledonia, NS. It was destroyed by fire the previous summer.

Anyway, maybe we'll have the Glue 'n' Chew to celebrate the launch of the Puppets for Kids Blog. Hey Patti, do you feel like coming to town and making puppets with us?

Wanted: Puppets


Atlantic Fabrics, Dartmouth Nova Scotia: the collection basket is decorated by some really amazing puppets! Dig the elephant.

Knitted puppets at Atlantic Fabrics


(image) (image)


Here are the knitted/crocheted puppets donated by an anonymous crafter and modeled by a helpful shopper. Above: close ups of a few others.
Does anyone know - when using knit as an adjective, are they knit puppets or knitted puppets? I am using knitted for now, as "knit puppets" sound too much like a command.

Atlantic Fabrics in Dartmouth



I found out about the IWK Auxiliary puppets for kids project at my local Atlantic Fabrics store. They have a basket of wool near the checkouts (presumably donated by someone) and an appeal for puppets to be made and dropped off at the store. When I was in the other day there were quite a few knit or crocheted (I can't tell the difference) puppets there awaiting pickup.
By the way, you can get lots of craft stuff at Wal Mart and dollar shops but we need to patronize our dedicated fabric/craft/wool shops too, because they carry such a good selection, and have knowledgeable staff. Crafters and seamstresses / seamsters need these stores.
After cooing over them, I am now keen to learn to knit or crochet these puppets as well as make the felt ones. My last attempt at wool craft was in Grade 9 Home Ec. at ARHS, when I took a whole term to crochet a pink yardstick cover, a really useful item, eh? I think I was at the stage of "I am so embarrassed to be in Home Ec." that I didn't try very hard!
Now, working away with wool in front of the TV is appealing, if there is anything on TV that I actually want to see. The felt puppets involve sewing on the machine and hot-gluing so they are not as TV-friendly though good for listening to the radio or MP3. I think if one had a good, even blanket stitch, one could sew the seam on the felt puppets by hand in front of TV, but my blanket stitch isn't at that level. Any advice from readers as to whether I should attempt knitting or crocheting first?

Knitted finger puppets


In August 2006, Ariannah posted about the finger puppets needed by the IWK. She provided a photo of adorable puppets knit and crocheted by her and her daughter. Check out her adorable puppets at

Read to Me program


Something else I have recently learned about the IWK Health Centre is that they have volunteers reading to kids. This quote is from the Winter 2007 Newsletter on the Read to Me Website:

"A hospital waiting room can be a stressful place for children and their families. In January 2002 Read to Me!launched a reading program at the IWK Health Centre for children who are awaiting treatment. The program runs in the Emergency Department, Outpatient Day Clinics, Same Day Surgery and has recently expanded to the Perinatal Follow-up Clinic. The simple act of sharing a story with a child can bring comfort and joy and help make the time seem to fly by."

The Read to Me program gives a literacy kit containing books and other literacy materials to all 10,000 babies born in Nova Scotia each year. What a great way to start a lifelong love of books!

Banana felt finger puppet


(image) (image)

Bananas are shaped like fingers so this seemed a natural for a finger puppet. It's a prototype and I am not sure if this design will be a keeper.

Viking felt finger puppet


Vikings are cool. Dig the uni-brow.

To make this Viking, I sewed two colours of felt together, then pressed the seam down and cut 2 of the basic shape with the seam in the centre. I cut the horns of contrasting felt and just laid them out with about 1/2 cm extending inside the puppet. You can pin it, but I find felt sticks together pretty well as it is being sewn. Though perhaps they would have turned out symmetrical had I bothered to pin... next time.

I sewed around the top curve and hot-glued the other features on. You can't see it in the photo but the stitching is beginning to come undone at the bottom. This was the prototype on which I learned the importance of back-tacking (aka back-stitching).

Pig felt finger puppet


It's Year of the Pig (started February 18, 2007) for those celebrating Lunar New Year. This felt finger puppet is easy to make. I cut the two main pieces and sewed them together, being sure to back-tack to make the two bottom corners durable.

The ear details, snout and eyes features are glued on with hot glue. You can use white craft/kids glue for felt if it is just for a decoration, but not if it will be handled and used; we tried that and all the features fell off quickly. The two nostrils are detailed with my silver Sharpie marker.

Welcome to Puppets for Kids!


You can do something to help children in the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This fine hospital for children, women and families, serves its community well. The IWK Auxiliary oversees a project to provide finger puppets to kids at various places in the hospital, including when they have blood tests. Oooh, a pinch. Oh, a puppet!

You can create puppets from yarn by knitting, crocheting, spool knitting or weaving. Or you can make puppets from felt by sewing and gluing. Note that puppets with parts that can fall off, such as googly eyes, will be used for children over 3. They can be dropped off at locations of Atlantic Fabrics or to the IWK itself, more details to come.

I welcome posts and photos of puppets you have made (either for the IWK or otherwise) and instructions or patterns!