Here is one that we will be doing at our Pajama Party this month. It is a simple little frog puppet ~ actually it is two little frog puppets ~ because we want to use them with this little rhyme:
Two Little Green Frogs
Adapted from: "Two Little Blackbirds"
Aren't they TOAD-ally cute?
Oh ~ wait! These are frogs, not toads. :-/
They are cute though, aren't they? And they are simple to make! Plus the little ones love using frogs instead of birds in a rhyme that they are familiar with. Here's the adapted version:
***Wiggle your right puppet or finger for "named Jack" and your left puppet or finger for "named Jill".
*** Make your puppet or finger "jump away" by bouncing it up and down as you hid it behind your back while saying, "jump away, Jack/Jill".
***Make the appropriate puppet or finger bounce back into view while saying, "come back, Jack/Jill".
***Once again wiggle your puppet or finger when naming the frogs.
***Finally, just hop your frogs all around while saying, "Ribbit! Ribbit!"
Now that you have the rhyme and the motions down, let's make some cute frog puppets!
Things you will need:
Copy of frogs (front and back)
Colored pencils or crayons or markers
Popsicle sticks (jumbo)
I have been using this craft for a few years and I can not for the life of me remember where I first got it from. I will come back and post the information if I ever remember. Since I don't know where it came from, I am not going to post a template here. But if you would like a copy of the frogs, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org ~ I will try to send you an attachment. Or, if you are braver than I am, you can draw your own frog or let your child draw one.
After copying the frog pattern onto green construction paper, I cut the frogs out.
If your child is ready for scissors, I would allow him/her to do the cutting. Using scissors is one skill that many preschool children are lacking when they enter Kindergarten. The more cutting practice you give your child, the better!
If you don't want to have your child cut out the frogs (it might be too frustrating for some), maybe you could let him/her cut the scraps to make confetti for a "hill". Snipping pieces of scrap paper into smaller pieces will help to strengthen the fine motor muscles that are needed for the more controlled cutting.
Next, I used colored pencils to add details. you can use anything you have on hand ~ colored pencils, crayons, markers, small sticker dots.
Now it is time for tape and glue! Many times, we as grown-ups like to do these steps ourselves. But, here once again, your child needs practice using the right amount of tape and glue. Try to allow your child this opportunity if at all possible. As you can probably see from the picture, I use a very small bottle of Tacky glue. The smaller bottle allows a child to have more control over the amount of glue s/he is using.
First, I put a small amount of glue on one end of the popsicle stick and apply it to the frog's back. Then I put a piece of tape across it. This helps to keep it together if your child wants to play with the frogs before they are dry. Next, I add glue all around the edges and all over the back of the frog's front. I line the front and back up as much as possible and press them together.
The frogs are now ready to go hop, hop, hopping away!
In the top picture, I used a black Sharpie to write "Jack" on one stick and "Jill" on the other stick. This is another fine motor opportunity for child if s/he is ready to do some writing.
Now that the puppets are made, I am sure you and your little one will find many opportunities to play with them. Here are two suggestions that I do during my storytimes:
We like to use our puppets when we read Jump, Frog, Jump by Robert Kalan. It is the perfect book for using the frog puppets!
Every time my storytime friends here me say, "Jump, frog, jump!", they repeat the phrase while jumping their frog puppet. This is a fun way to engage the children while reading the book and to keep their attention focused on what is happening on each page.
Another fun activity that we do with the frog puppets is to use them while singing "The Little White Duck". If you are unfamiliar with this song, you can take a listen to Raffi's version by clicking here. It is a children's classic and lots of fun to share with little ones. The song has been adapted into book form with many different versions. One of my favorites is credited to Walt Whippo and illustrated by Joan Paley. You can probably find it at your local library. ;-)