How to Make Finger Puppets with Gloves: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Finger Puppets with Gloves: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Finger Puppets
Finger Puppets

Puppetry is one of the several ancient types of artistic expression. It is a form of storytelling, and it is also used in human theatrical productions. In puppetry, specialized mimetic objects, like finger puppets that are controlled by a puppeteer, act out a story. However, the audience may or may not see the puppeteers.

Different types of puppetry arose in many parts of the globe. In fact, different variations of puppetry are still being used at present in many countries, such as the United States, Germany, Japan, Indonesia, China, and many others.

Because of the art of puppetry, there are several puppets or characters in puppet shows that have become internationally-known television icons, such as the Muppets by Jim Henson, Lamb Chop, as well as Howdy Doody.

Finger puppets are regarded as one of the many forms of puppetry. They are a source of entertainment for people of all ages. Creating finger puppets is simple.

Anybody who is creative can make finger puppets. Through imagination and resourcefulness, you can make them look like anyone or anything. Making finger puppets is not only a fun art experience, but it also helps improve your imagination and creativity.

The History of Finger Puppets

Art specialists believe that puppetry as a form of art started to develop in ancient societies. It is believed to be more than 3000 years old. In fact, some experts in the field of art say that even before human actors came on, people were already making use of puppets in the theater arts.

The first puppets almost certainly came from Egypt. It was also where clay and ivory puppets have been dug up in tombs.

In addition, a few authors from 422 B.C.E. had talked about puppets in their writings. In fact, during Greek’s olden days, both philosophers Plato and Aristotle made reference to puppetry.

Finger Puppets are More than Just a Form of Art

Do you think making finger puppets is just a mere form of art? Of course not! They are not only a form of entertainment but also an incredible form of interactive learning. In fact, puppetry, as in creating finger puppets, promotes child development.

Making finger puppets and practicing puppetry both encourage kids to improve their language development, to develop their self-esteem, as well as to build their social skills.

In addition, they help educators in letting children experience a new and creative way of learning in the classroom. They encourage children to take part, and they also aid in keeping kids involved.

The bright colors, designs, and textures of the different materials used in creating finger puppets increase children’s attention span as well as their eye tracking skills.

For that reason, using finger puppets is a fun and creative means through which you, either as a parent or a teacher, can teach kids about a lot of things. Also, puppetry is an effective tool to improve their imagination as well as to boost their self-esteem.

What You’ll Need in Making Finger Puppets

Art Materials
Art Materials
  1. Gloves
  2. Sharp scissors
  3. Glue
  4. A set of googly eyes
  5. Buttons
  6. Permanent colored markers or tailor’s chalk
  7. Sequins
  8. Yarn or thread
  9. Felt paper
  10. Needles

Making Finger Puppets in These Seven Easy Steps

Making Finger Puppets
Making Finger Puppets
  1. First, think of the design that you want to make or the characters that you like to copy.
    • Once you have already decided on the look of finger puppets that you want to achieve, you will know the materials that you need to buy. If you want to create ones that look like animals, pick the closest color that looks a lot like the animals’ coat. On the other hand, for your finger puppets to resemble a person, you may choose from a lot of nude colors for their skin tone.
  2. Gather the materials that you need.
    • You will need different colors of felt paper, cloth gloves, strong glue, sharp scissors, string or yarn, needles, and any colorful materials that you want to decorate your finger puppets with.
    • Buy cloth gloves from any gardening stores. You should choose cloth gloves that are bigger than usual. This will let you put more decorations on them.
    • As additional decorations as well as to make your finger puppets more colorful, you may use assorted colors of felt paper.
    • To make them seem like more alive, you may also add googly eyes.
    • Carefully think of and choose which colors of felt paper you will need. The color of the felt papers that you will use must match the color of the skin or animal coat of the animals that you are trying to copy.
    • You should make sure that you achieve the right skin tone for the characters of your finger puppets. If the characters are sea animals – a shark, for instance, you should use a gray colored felt paper.
    • Make sure to buy additional sheets of felt paper so that if you make mistakes, you still have extra felt papers to use.
  3. You may now cut each finger off of your gloves.
    • Look at the gloves. You must discard any finger that has damage (tear or hole). They won’t be useful.
    • Of course, not all people have the same hand or finger size. Some have small fingers, while the others have bigger ones. For that reason, as you cut every finger, make sure that each will fit all your fingers. In case your fingers are smaller, you need to cut the higher part of the glove’s fingers.
    • The part of the gloves that you cut off will function as the body of your finger puppets.
  4. To prevent them from separating, you should enclose the bottom of the fingers.
    • You may simply sew them to make sure that they will not disentangle. But then again, a strong glue will also work just as fine if you prefer not to stitch up. Just put glue around the edges of each finger.
    • When each finger is securely stitched or glued, you can continue using them even after your first use. When all the fingers are properly enclosed, they will surely last even a hundred uses.
  5. Take layers of felt paper in your preferred shade.
    • For this step, you may either put your finger or your kid’s finger on top of your preferred felt paper color. And then trace around a quarter of a centimeter around the edge of each finger. You may use any marker or a tailor’s chalk. Just make sure that they will clearly write on the felt paper.
    • If you want to put arms on your finger puppets, draw them as you trace each finger.
  6. After tracing and cutting, stitch or glue the pieces of cut gloves together.
    • Always remember never to glue the bottom part of the gloves because that is where you need to insert your fingers. When you are making finger puppets together with your child, tell him that this is something he must never forget.
    • With a needle and a thread, simply stitch around the perimeter of each finger puppet. Keep in mind, though, to sew very close to the edge of each finger puppet so that you have enough space for each finger as well as to make sure that there is ample space for your decorations. Making finger puppets is also an effective yet fun way to learn how to sew, if ever you are still trying to learn how.
    • If you want a faster way to make finger puppets, you may opt to just use a strong glue instead of stitching. You also have to make sure that the glue is close to the side of the felt paper. There must be no traces of glue in the middle of each finger puppet.
    • You must do this particular step properly as this could make or break your creation of finger puppets. Make sure to align the felt paper. It must not be uneven.
  7. When you have already done the primary steps, choose and work on the finger puppet design that you want to make. You may then start forming the face of each finger puppet and decorating the body.
    • The face of each finger puppet can be similar to anything that you want it to resemble. You may make them look like animals, cartoons, and the like.
    • For your finger puppets to look more animated, you may use googly eyes. Another option is to cut out small circles from a black colored felt paper. When cutting, make sure that you are using sharp scissors to ensure precision.
    • For the nose, you may also cut out and glue on a small circle from a dark colored felt paper. If you want a different material for the nose, opt for tiny sequins or small buttons. Either will do.
    • For your finger puppets’ mouth, the best material to use is a glitter stick. Not only will it make them sparkle but also more lively. But then again, if that is not your preference, an alternative would be to cut a smile-resembling shape from the felt paper, and then glue it on.
    • Some finger puppets are bald, while the others need hair. For your finger puppets’ crowning glory, you may use string or yarn. If you want them to look like a person, of course, put the yarn or string at the top part of each finger.
    • On the other hand, if you are trying to create animal finger puppets, glue on pieces of yarn or string around every finger. If you want an alternative to yarn or string, you may use light wool, as well. This material will make your finger puppets more realistic.
    • Also, for finger puppets that resemble a person, you may use felt paper to create clothes. Just draw on any colored felt paper, trace, cut, and then glue the cut outs on each finger puppet. Make sure that the size of each cut out that will serve as your puppets’ clothes matches the size of every finger.
    • And finally, you must be able to insert each finger puppets into your fingers or your child’s fingers.

Voila! You now have your own finger puppets. Now, it’s time for you to let you and your child’s imagination run wild. Enjoy storytelling with your child. Bonding over finger puppets is not only entertaining but also a fun and helpful way of learning.

Basic Types of Puppets

  • String Puppets or Marionettes

This is a type of puppet that is controlled by a person through the use of strings.

  • Shadow Puppets
Shadow Puppets
Shadow Puppets

These are figures which are placed between a screen and a light source. As they are moved, they produce the illusion of images in motion on the screen.

  • Rod Puppets

Unlike the string puppets, these ones are controlled from under. The person who controls them uses metal rods; hence, their name.

Benefits of Playing Finger Puppets with Children

Teaching and Learning Using Finger Puppets
Teaching and Learning Using Finger Puppets
  • Kindles your child’s imagination.
  • Encourages shy kids to speak up and share their feelings through active participation.
  • Improves your child’s motor skills as he uses his fingers to move the puppets.
  • Helps parents, like you, better communicate with your child since using finger puppets is an effective way to make your child listen and focus on what you are telling him.
  • Builds up your kid’s speaking skills as they tell a story using their finger puppets.
  • Adds the element of entertainment and fun in the learning process.

Related Questions

  • Aside from those mentioned above, are there still any other types of puppets?

Yes. There’s actually a lot. Other types of puppets are:

  1. Water puppets
  2. Sock puppets
  3. Push puppets
  4. Human arm puppets
  5. Banraku puppets
  6. Black light puppets
  • What are other fun ways where finger puppets can be used?
    • Teachers, as well as parents, can also use them to show how certain words must be properly pronounced. This makes fingers puppets an inexpensive, yet effective learning tool that educators can use in the classroom.
    • Those who practice child psychology can also use finger puppets to encourage their patients to open up their emotional troubles in an indirect way.

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