Hand Tracing Spring Garden Puppets
After the winter is over, the next season to come is spring! The days feel longer, warmer, and brighter in the springtime. As the winter weather leaves, new friends can be seen coming back outside. Leaves start to regrow on trees, flowers begin to sprout, and furry animals start to wake up from their long winter sleep, called “hibernation”. Spring is also the time for gardening! Many people start to plant seeds for flowers and veggies in the springtime that will begin to grow all throughout the season. Have you ever gardened before? What do you remember seeing in a springtime garden? You may remember seeing bright flowers and friendly critters like bugs and butterflies.
For our activity, we are going to make puppets for some things you may see in a spring garden! These puppets are special, though! Each puppet will be made by tracing your hand and transforming it into the shape we need! For some of the puppets we will be using multiple cut-outs of our hands, others we will be using just one! For some of the puppets our hands look like hands, and others, we will change them so that you might not even be able to tell you traced your hand to make the puppet!
Join me for this spring-tacular arts and crafts activity perfect for early school-aged and preschool kids! We will be making paper puppets of a snail, a flower, a bunny, and a butterfly using popsicle sticks and cut-outs of hand tracings! This is a great activity to practice fine motor skills, express your creativity, follow directions, and create a fun new way to tell stories!
5 Sheets of construction paper any color
1 Sheet of orange/yellow construction paper
5 Popsicle sticks
Walk the participant through your activity!
This should include things to prepare prior to activity, any tips for activity or reminders and be sure to make them developmentally appropriate; reminder no bullets or numbers!
Before we get started, make sure you have a clear, clean, and flat work space! Also be sure to get a caregiver’s permission to use scissors, glue, and markers - ask for help when using these supplies if you need to!
Step 1: To begin, we are going to make our bunny! You will need the sheet of construction paper in the color that you want for your bunny, your black marker, and your scissors. To start, we are going to use the hand that we don’t use to hold our marker, and spread our fingers out wide. Then, place your open hand down on your paper and pick up your marker - it is time to trace! Using your marker, you are going to trace around the outside of your hand so that when you lift it off the page, there will be the shape of your hand drawn on the construction paper. When you have your hand traced, you can set aside your black marker.
Step 2: Now, you are going to take our scissors and cut along the black line you just drew to cut out the shape of your hand. When you have that done, you can set aside the rest of the sheet of paper and leave the hand shape in your work station.
Step 3: Next, we need to find the third finger on the hand. To do this, you can start by counting at either the pinky or the thumb and count to 3. The finger you are touching when you say “three!” is your third finger! Once you find it, we are going to take our scissors again and cut off this finger - on the paper of course! Cut it off where the finger meets your palm, which is the area of the hand where all of the fingers meet the big circle-like shape.
Step 4: Now, we need to fold the pinky and thumb on your hand cut-out. To do this, give your hand cut-out a high five while holding it up! Then fold in your pinkie and thumb toward your palm to fold the pinkie and thumb of your cut out. You can finish folding them all the way down by laying the hand down on the table. Amazing!
Step 5: Next, we need to grab our sheet of yellow or orange construction paper, our black marker, and our scissors again, to cut out ears for the bunny. To do this, you are going to lay your pinky on your sheet of paper and trace it with the black marker.
You can lift it up and complete the shape so that it looks like an oval, which is like a circle that is really tall! When you have that shape drawn, go ahead and cut it out.
Step 6: Next, you are going to take that cut-out and lay it back down on your yellow or orange paper and trace it with the black marker. When you have it traced, go ahead and cut that out. You can set aside the rest of the yellow or orange paper when you are done.
Step 7: Now, we need our glue. You are going to add a bit of glue on the back of each of the yellow or orange ovals you just cut out. When you have added the glue, you can attach them to the middle of the two fingers on the cut-out that are pointing up and are not folded down. There are the two fingers that were next to the finger that we cut off earlier.
Step 8: Finally, we need to add details to our bunny! At the bottom of the palm, on the other end of the hand from the fingers, we are going to draw two small half circles, kind of like two lowercase “n”s or upside down “u”s, next to each other for the feet of the bunny. Inside each of the half circles, you can add 3 lines going up and down next to each other to add the toes.
Step 9: Now, we need to add our face. At the top middle of the palm, we are going to draw two small dots next to each other for the eyes.
Underneath and in the middle of those two dots, draw a slightly larger dot for the nose. Next, we need a mouth. Draw a short line going down from the nose. Connected to that line, draw a smile. Finally, we need whiskers. Next to the dot for the nose, on each side draw three lines going side to side.
Step 10: Our last step is to attach the popsicle stick. Flip over the bunny and grab a popsicle stick and your glue. Add a small amount of glue to the top of your popsicle stick and press it down in the middle bottom of the bunny, so that you have most of the popsicle stick sticking out at the bottom for you to hold on to.
When you have that done, you can set it aside for later, since we are now done making our bunny!
Step 1: We are going to make a snail, now! We will need another piece of unused construction paper and our marker again. To make the shape of our snail, we need to make a first with our thumb sticking out, like a thumbs up! Then move your thumb over so that part of it touches your first finger in your fist. Place that hand down on your page and trace it with your marker.
Go ahead and cut it out.
Step 2: On the same sheet of paper, we need to cut out two circles. To make these circles, we are going to trace around the top of our glue stick. Once you have traced two circles using your glue stick, go ahead and cut those out.
Step 3: Now, we need our yellow or orange construction paper. We are going to trace an oval using our pinky finger. When you have the shape, go ahead and cut it out.
Step 4: Next, we need to cut this oval in half, side to side. So, place the oval so that it is taller than it is wide. Then cut it in half, side to side, so that you have two shorter pieces.
Step 5: We need to make our shapes look like a snail! We will need our marker at first. Using our first cut-out, we need to add an eye and a smile to the tip of our thumb. On the side facing away from the rest of the first, draw a dot for the eye near the top of the thumb, and a half circle underneath it, touching the far edge of the thumb for the smile.
Step 6: Time to outline the shell. Draw a circle around the edge of the first shape. On the inside, you can decorate the shell however you want! I am going to draw a swirl starting in the middle and moving out toward the edge of the circle. To do this, you start like you are drawing a circle, but as you make your curved line, you make it bigger so that you don’t ever touch the line that you started with.
Step 7: When you are done with that, flip over your snail so we can attach the antenna. Add a line of glue to the back of the head of the snail and attach one of the half ovals so that it sticks out the top of the head.
Step 8: Next, add a line of glue on top of that oval on the back and attach the other half oval so that it also sticks out at the top of the head, making a V shape with the other half oval we glued before.
Step 9: Now, let’s attach the popsicle stick. Add a small amount of glue to the top of your popsicle stick and press it down in the middle bottom of the back of the shell (the fist shape). When you are done with that, you can flip the snail back over.
Step 10: Finally, let’s attach the circles to the top of the antenna. Add a small bit of glue to the very top of each of the half ovals sticking out at the top of the snail’s head. Press one circle down on the top of each of them.
When you are done with that, you can decorate the antenna with your maker if you want!
And, you are done with the snail now!
Step 1: We are going to make the butterfly! We will first need the piece of construction paper you want to the color of the butterfly’s wings, the black marker, and scissors. To start, fold your construction paper in half so that the two short sides touch each other. Some people call this type of folding “hamburger style”.
Step 2: Now, you want to spread your hand open wide again and place the base of your hand where it meets your wrist right at the fold on the paper, with your fingers pointing towards the short sides we made touch earlier. You can trace your hand with the black marker now.
Go ahead and cut this out, being sure not to cut on the fold.
Step 3: Next, you will need your yellow or orange sheet of paper. You will place your pointer finger, which is the finger next to your thumb, down on the page and trace around it. You can lift it up and complete the oval.
Go ahead and cut this out when you are done. This is going to be the body of the butterfly. You can set aside the rest of the yellow or orange paper.
Step 4: Then, unfold the hand cut-out we made earlier and add a line of glue on the fold. Press the yellow or orange oval we just cut out down on the line so that the oval covers it up.
Step 5: Next, we need to add the details to our butterfly! First, we need to add a face. At the top of the oval (the top is on the side with the thumbs sticking up), we can add two eyes and a smile.
Then you can decorate the wings of the butterfly however you want! You can do swirls, hearts, stars, polka dots, stripes, zig zags - you choose! A fun fact about butterflies is that they are symmetrical! Do you know what that means? That means that both wings look the same! So, if you were to fold your hands back together, the patterns should line up and match each other on the inside! How cool?! You can make your butterfly symmetrical if you want, or you can design it so that the wings are different from each other - up to you!
Step 6: Finally, we need to attach our popsicle sticks. For this one, we need two popsicle sticks and the glue. Flip your butterfly over. Add a small amount of glue to the top of both of the popsicle sticks and place one on each side of the middle of the bottom of each hand, between the pinky and the fold.
Now you have a butterfly puppet that you can control the wings for! Go ahead and set this aside.
Step 1: Now, we are going to make our flower! We are going to need two pieces of construction paper and our marker at first. To begin, fold each piece of paper in half “hamburger” style (so that the two short sides touch each other).
Step 2: In the middle of each piece of paper, without our hand touching the edge, we are going to trace our hand. This way, when you cut it out, you will get two separate hand cut outs for each sheet of paper. So, go ahead and trace your hand on the sheets of folded paper.
When you are done with that you can cut them both out, so that you have 4 hand cut-outs.
Step 3: Now, we need our yellow or orange sheet of construction paper. We are going to cut out a circle to be the center of our flower. The size of this circle should be about the same size as your fist. So, we can trace our fist on the page and then cut that out. When you are done, you can set aside the yellow or orange sheet of construction paper.
Step 4: Next, we are going to glue together our flower pieces. We will need our glue stick for this step. We are going to start with one of the hand cut-outs and put a line of glue at the bottom of the hand. Then, stick one of the other hands on top so that the two bottom parts of the hands are connected with the fingers pointing in the opposite directions. Do the same thing with the other set of hands.
Step 5: You should have 2 sets of hands that are connected at the bottom. Lay one set of the hands down on your work space so that the fingers are pointing up and down. Add more glue to the top of where the hands connect. When you have that, place the other set of hands on the, so that the fingers are pointing side to side. Now, all of the hands should be connected with fingers pointing in all directions.
Step 6: We need to attach the center of our flower next! Add another bit of glue to the center of the hands, where they all connect. Place the yellow or orange circle we just cut out on top of that.
Step 7: Finally, flip your flower upside down, so that the circle we just glued is touching the table. We are going to attach the popsicle stick now! Add a small amount of glue to the top of your popsicle stick and press it down in the middle of the flower so that some of it sticks out from the bottom as a place to hold.
You have now made your flower puppet!
This spring, be sure to keep a look out for all of the gardens you can find! What other things do you see in those gardens? Can you make puppets for those items too? Do you think you can make the shape of those items by tracing your hand? You have four very cool spring puppets to start off with, but I hope you try to build your collection to create an entire, complete garden of spring hand tracing puppets to play with!
Thank you so much for joining me today for this arts and crafts activity. I hope you had a blast making these puppets, like I did! Now, it is time for you to go start rehearsing to put on a show for your friends and family with your new puppets! What will it be about? A happy spring day? A carrot gone missing in the garden? The first garden in space? There are so many possibilities and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Don’t forget to check out other Get Your Play Online activities in the future, too!