Puppet Fun!

puppets-10

There are dozens of ways to make puppets at home, many requiring only simple items you likely already have on hand. To wit, below are three kinds of puppets that we tried out this past week. Don’t forget to have a puppet show at the end!

Perhaps the easiest puppets ever, snip the fingers from rubber gloves, and let your child decorate with markers. Travis told me this was a girl and her smile!

puppets-4

I added animal faces to a few of the other fingers to spark his imaginative play. He was equally delighted by the glove that I left intact, which became a puppet and toy all of its own, no decoration required!

Next, we made “walking finger puppets.” Draw the head and torso of people or animals on poster board, then cut two slits near the bottom big enough for your child’s fingers to fit through.

puppets-7

The fingers become the “legs” to walk about. Travis was initially hesitant at this new idea, but once he got the hang of it, he loved walking his puppets everywhere.

puppets-11

Finally, we made a paper bag penguin puppet (how’s that for alliteration!). I mostly put the craft together myself, but Travis and I discussed the shapes as I cut them out: white ovals for body and face, an orange triangle for the beak, orange rectangle strips for the hair, and two black triangles for the feet.

puppets-13

Next, he helped glue on two googly eyes. Once the glue dried, we colored over the brown bag with black marker.

puppets-14

Although he was least interested in the preparation of this puppet, it was far and away his favorite to play with. He loved “talking” with the penguin while it was on my hand, telling it stories and asking for more.

puppets-17

I’d love to hear about any other easy puppets you’ve made at home in the comments!

Mini Pumpkin Pies

mini-pumpkin-pies-6

We gave this mini pie recipe, adapted from High 5 magazine, a pre-Thanksgiving trial run today. Kids can help with almost everything, from rolling and cutting the dough to mixing the batter and filling the pie shells! Look for prepared vegan pie crusts from Whole Foods or Wholly Wholesome in the freezer aisle; let the crusts thaw about 15 minutes at room temperature, then remove from the aluminum pie tins and use as directed below.

Roll 2 (9-inch) prepared pie crusts to about 1/16-inch thick on a floured surface. This was Travis’s first time standing on his stool to reach the kitchen counter, and he loved it!

mini-pumpkin-pies-1

Using a 5-inch bowl or glass, cut 3 circles from each pie crust, and place in large muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

mini-pumpkin-pies-2

To prepare the filling, mix together 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree, 14 ounces sweetened condensed coconut milk (from Let’s Do Organic), 2 Ener-G eggs, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

mini-pumpkin-pies-3

At this point, Travis discovered what batter tastes like – cue the happy smile.

mini-pumpkin-pies-4

Spoon the batter carefully into the prepared pie shells. Preschoolers can definitely help with this step, although toddlers will likely need you to do most of the work.

mini-pumpkin-pies-5

Note: You’ll have a bit of filling leftover – might I recommend a pumpkin pie smoothie for breakfast one morning?

Bake the pies at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes, until the filling is set.