beads/buttons/googly eyes/cotton balls
You can use any materials you have at home. If you don't have paper plates, you can use cardboard or a cereal box. Just something that will be more sturdy then construction paper. You can use any arts and crafts materials you have at home for decoration.. pieces of pasta, rice, buttons, old clothing material, yarn, toothpicks, use your imagination. The more of a variety of materials the better. It is important for children to be able to choose and use their imagination and creativity!
Have all materials on the table handy and ready to go. Draw a picture of a few things to show your child how to draw and what kinds of things they can make.. The drawings don't have to be great or even good. You can draw basic outlines to demonstrate. I drew a butterfly, dog, cat, and a fish to show them.. And I used basic simple shapes for example a circle for the face and two triangles on top for the ears and tada.. you have a cat.. add on the wiskers and eyes and you're done..
Incourage your child (depending on their age) to draw on the paper plate the shape of the animal they choose.. they can then cut out the outline (or you can assist with the cutting if the child is younger).. next have the child color the animal and then decorate using the materials they want.
After the glue has dried tape the straw to the back of you animal and get ready to play with your animal puppets!
What is your child learning?
There is so much learning going on with any arts and crafts activity. The most important thing is that they get to spend some quality time with you. While making the crafts, you can talk about the animal the child chose. What do they know about that animal? what sounds does that animal make? Where does the animal live? Can this animal be a pet? Why or why not? You can go to the library to extend the activity and read about that animal. Talking and listening to your child while making these crafts is also a great way to build their vocabulary. Another way to extend this activity would be to write a story using the puppets as a main character. Depending on the child's age they can tell you the story and you can write it down for them. Or they can write down the story on their own! To help them come up with the story ask them open ended questions with no wrong answers.. remember in stories arts and crafts there's no right or wrong!
Some of the other basic things your child is learning is eye hand coordination, building their small motor skills, leaning how to hold a pencil, learning how to use the materials, and much much more!
Above you will find pictures of the materials we used and how our project turned out! Hope you can enjoy this project with your little ones!