Homemade Paddle Puppets are easy to make using a paddle cut from a piece of cardboard. Your kids can decorate them with paint to make a self-portrait, or jazz them up with yarn, fabric and stickers. They can even decorate both sides of the paddle to make a 2-sided puppet.
Cardboard Paddle Puppets for Pretend Play, Role Play or Puppet Shows
If your kids love putting on puppet shows and making homemade puppets, they’ll love these paddle puppets. They’re quick and easy to make, and fun for all ages. Kids can use their puppets for pretend play, role play or to put on puppet shows.
This was our first time making paddle puppets, and they were a big hit with my daycare kids. No surprise really… the hooligans love to make self-portrait art and they love making puppets, and these are a combination of both.
I got the idea to make these puppets when I saw a package of these these white cardboard paddles (<– that’s my Amazon affiliate link) at a craft store recently. I thought “Hey, we can make some of these at home using plain cardboard.”
The paddles in the package incorporated pony-tails and what-not into their shapes, but the hooligans didn’t want theirs to have any hair.They just wanted an oval that they could paint their face on and they would let their own hair be the puppet’s hair.
That made things easy for me. I just drew a paddle on a piece of paper, and they traced it onto cardboard to make their puppets.
Download and print our template:
Click here to download and print our paddle template. Feel free to add hair to the shaper of yours, or, or if your kids want to, they can glue yarn hair onto their paddle puppet.
How to Make a Cardboard Paddle Puppet
- paddle template (click here to download mine for printing)
My kids just decorated their paddle puppets with paint, but you can get creative here with yarn, ribbons, sequins, stickers, google eyes etc.
Your paddle puppet doesn’t have to be a person – it can be an animal or an alien or a character from your child’s favourite book or movie.
You can decorate both sides of the paddle to make a reversible puppet too.
The hooligans got such a kick out of their finished paddle puppets, and so did the parents when these faces greeted them at the door at pick-up time!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.