Your kids can create their puppet theater all by themselves.
Here is what they would need though
* a table,
* a table cloth large enough to completely cover the front and sides of the table, leaving the back exposed
* stiff white cardboard or colored paper
* pencils and coloring materials
* time and creativity
Ok. I'll be the first to admit that this puppet theater is nowhere near these kids puppet theaters but this homemade puppet theater is cheap to make. Your kids would be occupied for quite some time just making their puppets. Ideal if you are on a tight budget with a bunch of kids that need to be kept out of mischief.
We will make finger puppets for this theater as these are the easiest to make.
My 6 year old kid thought up this puppet design all by himself. He used colored paper, wrapped loosely around a finger. He taped the the paper shut, loose enough so he could put on or take off the puppets as he wished. Then he drew a face on the tip of the puppet. His elder brother liked that design and helped him make a variety of such finger puppets with different colors and different expressions.
The puppets I had initially taught them to make required much more work. Here's how you can make some simple puppets.
1. Decide on the story line, the characters and what puppets are needed for the show.
2. Draw pictures of these characters on stiff white cardboard. Each picture has to be just big enough to cover 1 finger.
3. Color the pictures.
4. Cut out these pictures.
5. Cut a white strip of cardboard about half an inch thick, 1 and a half inches long. This is going to be like a ring around the child's finger, attached to the puppet so that your kid can make the puppet move around.
6. Form a circle with the white strip.
7. Glue this circle behind the picture so that a finger can go through it to support the puppet.
8. Let the glue dry completely and you have your finger puppets.
Once you have enough puppets, you can make the theater.
Drape the table cloth over the table, so that the front and sides are completely covered, but the back of the table is fully exposed.
That covered table is the puppet theater.
The children can hide behind the theater, put on the finger puppets on their fingers, lift their hands over their heads to perform the puppet show.
Be attentive when your kids perform their puppet show for you. Your attention means a lot to them.
The writer is the webmaster of http://www.toyskidslove.com which features the toys that kids really like, some of which are highly educational.