When the kids are home, it can be exhausting trying to come up with activities to keep them occupied all day, especially if you’re already really busy with your own projects. Whether you’re ready for a family afternoon of crafting or would prefer to let your little ones get creative on their own, there’s no easier (or more fun) activity than turning novelty socks into one-of-a-kind puppets!
Here are some tips for this fun and family-friendly activity.
What You’ll Need
You really don’t need much to put together a collection of cute and creative sock puppets! In fact, you can reuse many things you already have lying around the house as your starting point.
Before digging into your craft bins for fun decorations, double-check you have enough of the basics to create something that looks convincing enough to be a sock puppet. (Pro tip: you don’t have a SOCK puppet without a sock!)
- Crazy socks are a must-have for a sock puppet. The bolder, more colorful and fun you can find, the better! Pick longer pairs that come up to at least the elbow, so the secret of who’s behind the puppet is never revealed.
- Googly eyes give your puppet characters a quirky almost-human quality.
- Extra buttons can be used as eyeballs, too, or to dress up the puppets in little outfits.
- If you plan to sew the accessories onto the puppet, a needle and thread would be helpful. Otherwise, craft glue or hot glue can work well, too.
Once you have all the foundational pieces in place for your fantastic sock puppet creation, it’s time to pull together all the really fun stuff.
From felt to pom poms, these are the accessories that will take your sock puppet from traditional to terrific:
- Colorful felt can be used for a sock puppet’s face, as well as to create accessories.
- Bright yarn makes luxurious locks for your puppets.
- Craft paper is an easy-to-use material that can become whatever your little ones imagine.
- Ribbon, pom poms, sequins and beads can be sewn onto your fanciest, sparkliest sock puppets.
- Fuzzy pipe cleaners can be shaped into fun accessories, like eyeglasses or hats.
- Dowels are useful for making props to use along with your puppets.
You can also repurpose old clothing or other household items and use them as props. A pair of kids’ sunglasses can sit perfectly on a puppet, just as a hand towel could become a new dress or beach towel for your sock puppets!
Creating the Sock Puppets
Step 1. Start with one or a few of the novelty socks you set aside to volunteer as members of the puppet show. Remember, the crazier, the better! Sock puppets aren’t meant to be bland and boring.
Step 2. Give your puppet some eyes. If you don’t have googly eyes to glue on, you can sew on some mismatched buttons for a little extra character! It’s helpful to have your little one try the sock on for size, so you can see where exactly to place the eyes.
Step 3. Make the mouth. You can use leftover fabric or even some craft paper to create the shape; simply glue or sew in the fabric to fit where the mouth would be formed with your hands or your little ones’ hands.
Step 4. Get decorating! Now’s the time to have extra fun. Add yarn, sparkles and pom-poms — heck, add all the bells and whistles for quirky puppet characters that’ll make the whole family smile. There’s really no limit to how creative you can get with turning socks into puppets.
Making Some Props
Even though you don’t necessarily need props for your sock puppet performance, they can certainly add to the excitement of all the stories you tell.
- Printer paper is all you need to make a chef’s hat, a cloud or a sparkly smile.
- A piece of green craft paper and a wooden dowel are all you need to make a tree — what really is a show without somebody playing the part of the tree?!
- Yellow felt and gold glitter can become a bright, shining sun on a new day.
Let the little ones’ imaginations soar. You can really use whatever you have in the craft bin to make some creative props you can reuse for any future show!
Sock Puppet Inspiration
There are so many different types of puppet shows your little ones can put on, which gives them the chance to make special puppets for every type of performance!
Here are some ideas for how to create a cast of quirky characters for your puppet show:
- Create a zoo-themed puppet show, with sock puppets inspired by the kids’ favorite animals.
- Retell a classic fairy tale with princess puppets and a knight in shining armor.
- Beware an alien invasion with puppets made from the brightest and boldest crazy socks you can find.
- Put on a different kind of puppet show with rock star puppets that jam out to some great tunes.
As fun as it is to create assortments of different puppets, keep in mind that you really don’t need to follow a certain theme to have a fun puppet show. Your little ones can make the leopard dance with the alien, or have the princess join the rock band — it’s even more fun that way!
Ready for the Show
It’s not always easy to keep kids occupied, especially when they’re cooped up at home, but turning socks into puppets is a fantastic activity that fights off boredom and inspires a little creativity, too! Whether you choose to supervise or sit back and watch the show, this simple project is a welcome experience for everyone.