There’s a reason paper bag puppets are a timeless preschool craft. Not only do they combine art and scissor skills, they can be tied to so many preschool themes and be used for story telling and pretend play. In celebration of Community Helpers Week, we’ve been reading a lot of books about the workers in our community that help. One of our very favorites has been Whose Hands Are These? by Miranda Paul. We loved guessing which hands of the workers and the tools they use belonged to whom.
As an extension of our reading, we created some community helper puppets to have some interactive fun. These community helper puppets encourage creativity and reinforce shape identification. They are great additions to a dramatic play center!
GET A FULL WEEK OF COMMUNITY HELPER THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE PRESCHOOL LESSON PLANS.
- small brown paper bags
- assorted construction paper
- multicultural construction paper
- markers and/or (multicultural markers)
- googly eyes
To prepare this puppet craft activity, cut some simple shapes for clothing. We cut out various sizes of rectangles, ovals, and semicircles to represent the uniform, arms, hands, and shoes of each community helper.
As you introduce this community helper puppet craft, discuss with children the various community helpers they have learned about. For example- a mail carrier, firefighter, doctor, nurse, or police officer to name a few! Use our free community helper printable for children to identify and describe their community helper, the tools they use, and specific ways they help. Younger writers can draw pictures or you may dictate for them.
Create Your Community Helper Puppets
To get started, review the shapes that will be used. Help guide children to deciding appropriate uses for each shape. For example, a semicircle for the hands, small rectangles for the arms, or ovals for the shoes. Start off by choosing the large rectangle to represent the community helper’s uniform. A small triangular slit will need to be cut along the pants and neckline.
Once your cuts have been made, involve children in helping you fold the creases for the collar of the shirt. This is great fine motor practice! Glue down to the paper bag once folds have been made.
Choosing smaller rectangles for the arms, carefully glue and slide them under the uniform and between the paper bag.
Grab another large rectangle for the hat and make a small fold to represent the bill of the hat. Glue down to the top of the paper bag.
Add some googly eyes and grab some markers to accessorize!
We added facial features, a belt, and buttons. The mail carrier got some creative added features as it was pointed out that a mail bag to deliver the letters was needed.
For our firefighter, we followed the same steps as the described for the mail carrier. We then added more accessories with yellow paper- a belt and signage for the hat was a must!
Extended Writing and Play!
Once your community helper puppets are created, it’s time to play! We had so much fun role playing with our community helpers. Fires were put out, important mail was delivered, and kitties were saved out of a tree!
These puppets would be great for a dramatic play center or a classroom puppet show. We hope you have as much fun learning about and playing with these community helper puppets as we did!
GET A FULL SET OF COMMUNITY HELPER THEME ACTIVITIES
The 169-page Community Helper Lesson Plan Set includes printable lesson plans full of hands-on activities and these additional printables:
1) Community Helpers Class Book Covers and Page Template
2) Counting Puzzles (6 versions in both color and b/w)
3) Community Helpers Emergent Reader (3 versions)
4) Community Helper Photograph Posters
5) Communit Helpers Roll and Graph Math Game (in color and b/w)
6) Mailing Shapes Sorting Activity (in color and b/w)
7) Build a Word Sight Word Construction Mats and Word Cards (in color and b/w)
8) Community Helpers Picture-Word Cards (in color and b/w)
9) 0-35 Community Helper Number Cards (in color and b/w)
10) Put the Fire Out Number Games (2 versions, in color and b/w)
11) Put the Fire Out Uppercase and Lowercase Matching Game (in color and b/w)
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.