Sock puppet theatre

This activity is great for helping children with their communication skills with role play and props. It also helps them gain confidence and encourages children to play as part of a group.

What you will need

There are two ways of doing this – one for children old enough to thread a needle and one for those who aren’t there yet.

For the would-be tailor and seamstress you need odd socks, old buttons, a needle and thread and some odd bits of material.

For young children you need an old pair of tights, some PVA glue, scraps of material and coloured paper – or some basic colourful stickers in various shapes.

The only other thing you need is a sofa.

The sewing method

  1. Your child needs to put their hand in the sock and work out where they would like the eyes to be – usually they look good on the back of the hand, or the knuckles.
  2. Then sew as many buttons on to the sock (having removed their hand!?) as they would like eyes. If it’s an alien sock puppet there tend to be quite a few.
  3. Next the puppet needs a tongue – put the hand back in the sock and make a mouth. Note where you need the tongue, remove the hand, and sew on a tongue-like scrap of material.
  4. Any remaining scraps can be sewn on for hair, or ears, or a beard, or a mane…

The non-sewing method

  1. Tights work better than socks for this as they are easier to stick things to. Cut your old tights into two separate legs and then decorate using either coloured paper and glue or stickers to make the eyes.

Putting on your show:

  1. Once your actors are ready, move the sofa forward from the wall. This space is now “backstage”.
  2. The puppets appear above the back of the sofa, while the puppeteers do the voices and movements behind it.
  3. You do need an audience, so you may need to enlist some teddies, which can double as extras in action sequences, or additional family members.
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