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Paper Bag Puppets


Very simple puppets made from small paper lunch bags. You can make a raccoon, dog, cat, rabbit, bunny, mouse, pig, panda, or frog.

Supplies needed:
  • Paper bags
  • Scraps of construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons
  • Optional - googly eyes, pipe cleaners for whiskers


Make bulging frog eyes by cutting two strips of green paper that are rounded on one end. Fold the straight end under (at the dotted line), and glue on an eye (made of paper or a googly eye).

Glue or tape the folded base of the eyes onto the paper bag.

Cut a long tongue out of paper. Glue in in the frog's mouth.

Glue on two short arms and two long legs, and decorate the frog with green paper patches.


Fold the two square edges of a paper bag under (at the dotted lines), to form the animal's head.

You now have the shape of the animal's head.

Cut out ears, eyes, and a nose. Glue them to the raccoon's face.

Cut out ears, eyes, a nose, and a tongue. Glue the tongue inside the mouth. Glue the eyes, nose, and ears to the dog's face.

Brown Bear
Cut out ears, eyes, and paws. Glue them to the bear. Using a black crayon or marker, draw a nose and mouth. Cut out tiny claws and glue then to the paws.


Fold the two square edges of a paper bag under (at the dotted lines), to form the animal's head.

You now have the shape of the animal's head.

Cut out long, pink ears, eyes, a nose, and paws. Glue them to the bunny.

Cut out ears, eyes, a nose, and paws. Glue them to the panda.

Cut out ears, eyes, a snout, and paws. Glue them to the pig.

Polar Bear
Cut out ears, eyes, and paws. Glue them to the polar bear. Using a black crayon or marker, draw a nose and mouth. Cut out tiny claws and glue then to the paws.


Fold the two square edges of a paper bag under (at the dotted lines), to form the animal's pointed snout.

You now have the shape of the animal's head.

Cut out ears, eyes, a nose, and whiskers (made of thin paper strips or pipe cleaners threaded through the paper bag). Glue them to the mouse.

Cut out ears, eyes, a nose, paws, and whiskers (made of thin paper strips or pipe cleaners threaded through the paper bag). Glue them to the cat.

Paper Frog Puppet

A simple-to-make frog puppet made from a piece of paper. This puppet's mouth moves!

Supplies needed:
  • A piece of green paper
  • A small strip of red construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons
  • Optional - googly eyes
Fold a piece of green paper in thirds, forming a long rectangle.
Fold the long rectangle into fourths, making a "W" shape.
This "W" shape will be the frog.
Draw eyes on the frog (or glue on googly eyes).
Cut out a long tongue from red paper and glue the end of it in the frog's mouth.
Put your thumb in the frog's lower jaw, and put your other fingers

3-D Fruit  

These 3-dimensional fruits are made from paper. You can make apples, watermelons, pears, plums, peaches, strawberries, oranges, and other great-looking fruit.

Supplies needed:

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, paint or markers
  • Yarn or string
  • Glue (or a stapler)
  • To make a mobile: twigs or clothes hanger wire

Fold a piece of construction paper in half and draw the outline half of a fruit on it around the fold line. Cut along the line.

Using the finished fruit as a template, cut two more exactly like it.

For cored fruit (like the apple), cut out a semicircle from each piece (when you open the fruit, there will be a circle missing from its center).
Color both the fronts and the backs of the fruits you just cut out to look like a cross-section of the fruit (showing both the inside and the peel of the fruit).
For hollowed-out fruit (like the cored apple), on one piece, cut halfway through the fold line from the core. On the other two pieces, cut halfway through the fold line from the outside.

For solid fruit (like the watermelon), on one piece, cut halfway through the fold line from the bottom. On the other two pieces, cut halfway through the fold line from the top.

For hollowed-out fruit (like the cored apple), insert half of the apple slice that was cut on the outsides into the core of the other two slices. When you straighten out the pieces and align them, they will form one 3-dimensional fruit.

For solid fruit (like the watermelon), slip the slits inside each other, making one 3-dimensional fruit.

For hollowed-out fruit (like the cored apple), cut out a few tiny seeds from dark construction paper. Glue or staple a string to the fruit along a fold line - make sure that the string extends through most of the core. Glue the seeds to the part of the string within the core (gluing two seeds to each other around the string works well).

For the solid fruit (like the watermelon), glue or staple the end of a length of string or yarn to the top of the fruit.

Cut a leaf or two from green construction paper. Glue to the top of the fruit or to the string. You can now hang your beautiful 3-D fruit from the string.

To make a fruit mobile, tie twigs or clothes hanger wire together to make the mobile structure. Then hang your fruit from the structure. Hang the entire mobile from another string.

Birthday Wheel

Make a Birthday Wheel, a handy birthday reminder. This device is made from stiff paper. Twirl it around to see whose birthday is coming up!

Supplies needed:

  • Stiff paper
  • A printer (or a compass to draw circles)
  • Scissors
  • A brass paper fastener
  • A pen or pencil
  • Crayons or markers to decorate it

Cut out 2 large circles that are the same size as each other. On one, draw a wedge that is 1/12 th the circle. On the other circle, divide the circle into 12 wedges, then draw a series of concentric circles.

Cut out the 2 large circles.Bottom
Cut out the wedge shape from the top circle.
Write the names of the months along the top of the lined wheel: January, February, March, April, May June, July, August, September, October, November, December.
Put the top and bottom together using a brass paper fastener.
Write the birthdays of your family and friends in your amazing birthday wheel! Decorate the cover.

Paper Bag Monster Pinata

A simple-to-make pinata made from a paper bag and tissue paper. Pinatas are great at children's parties.

When you're done making your candy-filled pinata, you can hang the pinata up and have children break it open with a soft bat (like a Nerf bat or a tightly-rolled-up and taped newspaper).

Supplies needed:
  • A large paper bag
  • String
  • Tissue paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crepe paper streamers
  • Optional: Googly eyes, paint
Fill a paper bag about half way with goodies (like candies and small toys).

Roll the top of the bag down, staple the folded top shut, and punch two holes along the top.

Cut strips of tissue paper and cut fringes in them.
Glue the fringes of tissue paper to the bag (glue along the top of the fringes). Cover the bag with tissue paper.
Decorate with paper cut-outs, markers, paint, and/or googly eyes.
Tie a long string through the holes. You will eventually hang the pinata up using this string.
Glue long crepe paper streamers from the bottom of the pinata.

You now have a scary monster pinata. Hang it up and break it open with a soft bat (like a Nerf bat or a tightly-rolled-up and taped newspaper).


A colorful butterfly card made from construction paper. This card is great for birthdays, Mother's Day, or other occasions.

Supplies needed:
  • Construction paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Glue stick
  • Markers or crayons
  • Optional: Glitter glue or glitter
Fold two pieces of construction paper in half, making two card shapes.

Put the two folded cards together (one inside the other).

Along the fold of one of them, draw half a butterfly.

Keeping the two cards together, cut along the line you just drew. You will now have two butterflies.
On only one of the butterflies, fold it in half again and draw a smaller butterfly within it.

Cut along the line you just drew.

Using the hole punch, make a series of holes along the edges of the two pieces you just cut.
Glue one of these pieces onto the larger, uncut butterfly.

Flip the large butterfly over, and glue on the other cut piece.

Cut a black or brown body for your butterfly. Glue it onto the inside of your butterfly.
You now have a nice butterfly card. Write a message on your card.

Optional: Decorate your butterfly with crayons, markers, glitter glue, or glitter.

Rabbit Mask

Make a cute rabbit mask out of paper plates.

Supplies needed:

  • Two plain, white paper plates
  • Pink construction paper or pink paint
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Crayons, markers, or paint
  • Optional: small pink pompom
  • Optional: elastic
Making the rabbit's ears: Either paint the center of a paper plate pink or cut a circle from pink construction paper (it should be the same size as the inside of a paper plate); then glue the pink paper circle to the center of a paper plate.
Cut the paper plate in half (the two halves will be the rabbit's ears).
Making the rabbit's face:Using a new paper plate, cut a wedge (about 1/4 of the plate) out of the paper plate (the large part of the plate will be the rabbit's face).
Staple the ears to the face.
Cut two eye holes in the face.
Optional: glue a small pink pompom to the center of the face (this is the rabbit's nose).

Optional: staple a piece of elastic (about a foot long) to the mask to keep it in place.

Decorate your mask with crayons, markers, or paint. Don't forget to draw whiskers!

Dancing Lion or Dragon Toy

Make a dancing paper lion or dragon toy for Chinese New Year.

Traditionally, on Chinese New Year, two people wear a huge lion or dragon costume and dance. This toy is a tiny paper version of this traditional puppet.


  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue, tape
  • 2 wooden barbeque skewers (or 2 straws or disposable chopsticks)
  • Optional glitter, feathers
Draw the head and tail of a lion or dragon on a piece of paper.
Cut the head and tail out and decorate with bright colors.

Optional: Decorate with glitter and feathers.

Fold a piece of paper in half the long way. Cut along the fold line, making two long rectangles.
Fold each piece of paper up like an accordion. Glue or tape the two pieces together, forming one long piece that will be the animal's body.
Glue or tape one end of the body to the head. Glue or tape the other end of the body to the tail.
Tape one skewer (or straw) to the head and the other skewer (or straw) onto the tail.

You now have a dragon or lion that can dance for Chinese New Year.

Delightful Dog Card

Make a great dog card for dog lovers.

Supplies needed:

  • Card stock or construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons
  • Googly eyes and glue (optional)
You'll need a square piece of paper. To make a square from a rectangle, first fold the corner of a rectangular piece of paper over.
To finish making the square, cut off the small rectangle, forming a square (which is already folded into a triangle).
Fold over two triangles (to make the dog's ears).
Put a face on your dog. Gluing on googly eyes gives the dog a cute look.

You can write messages under the ears and on the inside of your new card.

Litter Bug

Make a litter bug for Earth Day. This easy craft is made from an egg carton section and junk. This project is not only inexpensive, but is also excellent for encouraging creativity. Children have to find or change items to resemble eyes, ears, a mouth, hair, legs, etc.

Supplies needed:
  • A segment of a paper egg carton
  • Glue
  • Junk, recycling material, twigs, and other found objects, like plastic lids, bottle caps, packing material, etc.
Use a single segment of an egg carton for the litter bug's body.

Use discarded objects to make eyes, mouth, legs, hair, and other body parts. Glue them to the egg carton segment.

Flower Crown

Make a pretty flowery crown from a paper plate and paper flowers. These are fun to make for Spring or Easter.


  • A paper plate
  • Colored construction paper or tissue paper
  • Paint, markers, or crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Optional - glitter, crepe paper or other ribbons

Cut a slit through the center of the paper plate, leaving about an inch at the edges of the plate. Cut three more slits.
Bend the triangles formed by the cuts upwards, forming leaf-like shapes.

Paint the crown light green (or use markers or crayons to color it). Let the paint dry.

Cut out some construction paper or tissue paper flowers for your hat. Any shapes will do - let your imagination run wild and invent your own flowers.

Glue flowers to the crown.

Optional: Decorate it with glitter and/or staple two long ribbons of crepe paper to your beautiful hat.

Variation: Instead of flowers, make paper eggs, decorate them, and put them on your hat.

Paper Family Tree

Make a child's family tree from construction paper.

Your child can make a simple but pretty family tree and learn about family's heritage.

Supplies needed:
  • Sky blue and green construction paper
  • Crayons, tempera paint, or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
Draw a large tree with many branches.
Cut out leaves from the green construction paper.

Each leaf will represent a person in the child's family and should be big enough to write that person's name on the leaf. Cut enough leaves for each of the child's siblings, parents, and grandparents (or more!).

Write the name of each person on their leaf. You might want to include the relative's relationship to the child, like "Grandma Joan Smith."

Glue the leaves to the tree. Put the child's generation at the top of the tree, the parents at the second level, and the grandparents at the bottom.

A reader from Alaska wrote to say that she and her son added extra leaves for local animals (birds, wolves, moose and bears). She also suggested using leaf-rubbings instead of plain construction paper leaves!

Tie Card for Dad

Make a great tie card for Dad.

Supplies needed:

  • A piece of card stock or heavy construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons
  • Glue
  • 5 small white shirt buttons (optional)
  • A piece of colored construction paper or an old tie (ask Dad for an old tie you can cut up, just don't tell him why you want it)
To start making the shirt, cut the top of the card stock into an "M" shape.
Fold over the M-shaped area.
Draw a line down the center.

Either draw 3 buttons, glue on three paper circle (cut with a hole puch) or glue real buttons on the paper to the right of the line you just drew.

Either make a tie from construction paper or use the bottom part of an old tie (ask Dad for an old tie you can cut up, just don't tell him why you want it).
Glue the top of the tie to the card. The rest of the tie should be free to move.
Fold down the collar flaps and glue them down.

Either draw a button on each collar flap or glue on real buttons.

Write a message to Dad on the tie, on the underside of the tie, and/or on the area of the shirt that is hidden by the tie.

Optional: Make a pocket with a handkerchief. Glue a small paper rectangle (the same color as the shirt) onto the shirt. Only put glue on three sides of the pocket -- do not put glue on the top so the handkerchief can slip in and out of the pocket. Cut out a small piece of paper that will fit into the pocket -- this will be the handkerchief. Write a message to dad on the "handkerchief."

Rainbow Streamers

Make a handheld rainbow that you can use while putting on your own St. Patrick's Day parade or while dancing a jig.

Supplies needed:
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple crepe paper streamers
  • A paper plate for each child
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
Cut the center out of a paper plate.
Cut long pieces of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple crepe paper streamers. Each streamer should be about two to three feet long.
Staple a rainbow of streamers onto the paper plate.


Paper Plate Maracas

A maraca is a Latin American and Tupi rattle. The original maracas were made from hollow gourds filled with pebbles or seeds.

You can make simple maracas from one or two paper plates stapled together, containing dried beans or popcorn. These are fun to make at a party for preschoolers - you can then make a lot of noise!

Supplies needed:
  • One or two paper plates
  • Dried beans, rice, or popcorn
  • Stapler
  • Paint, markers, or crayons
  • Optional: crepe paper streamers
Put a handful or two of dried beans, rice, or popcorn in a paper plate. Staple a paper plate securely on top of it.

[You can use a single plate for each maraca by folding a paper plate in half, adding the beans, then stapling the rim to itself.]

Decorate the maracas with crayons, markers, or paint.
Optional: Staple long crepe paper streamers to the maracas.

You now have great maracas that you can use to make music.

Duck Paper Plate Craft

This easy-to-make duck is a cute craft that is made from a single paper plate and construction paper.

Supplies needed:

  • Paper plate
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stapler
  • A pencil
  • Yellow and orange construction paper or oak tag
  • Crayons, paint or markers
  • Googly eyes (optional)
Trace your hands on yellow construction paper, then cut the hands out. If you don't have yellow construction paper, use stiff white paper, then paint it yellow (or use markers).
Fold a paper plate in half.

Paint it yellow and let it dry

Staple the hands near the fold on one end - these will be the tail feathers.
Using yellow construction paper or oaktag, cut out a circle (about 3 inches across or a little bigger) -- this will be the duck's head.

Using orange construction paper or oaktag, cut out an elongated oval with one end cut off -- this will be the duck's bill. Fold the end of the beak over, making a small tab (this is where you will put the glue).

Glue the bill onto the circle (put the glue on the small tab that will be folded under the bill). Draw eyes above the bill (or glue on small googly eyes).

Staple the head to the paper plate (near the fold line, opposite the tail feathers).

Using orange construction paper or oaktag, cut out the duck's feet - they should be connected by a short strip of paper. To draw each foot, start with an oval, then draw a zigzag on one end.

Fold the paper where the feet meet the strip of paper.

Staple each foot to the bottom of one side of the paper plate, right inside the fold line of the foot.

You now have a cute duckie that will stand up.

Sun Paper Plate Craft

This is a simple craft made from a paper plate and a child's handprint cutouts.

Supplies needed:

  • A paper plate
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue (or a stapler)
  • Crayons, paint or markers
  • Googly eyes (optional)
Paint the back side of a paper plate yellow.

Trace a child's hand on yellow construction paper about 7 times.
Cut out the tracings.
Glue or staple the handprint tracings to the paper plate - the fingers are the sun's rays.
Color in the sun, drawing a mouth and a nose. Either draw the eyes or glue on googly eyes.

Memory Box

Create a wonderful box to help you remember the year, a vacation, a person you miss, or an important event in your life. Decorate a box and fill it with items that remind you of that time, event, or person. This is a nice project to make at the end of the school year, at the end of the calendar year, or to give to a friend who is moving.

Supplies needed:

  • An old cigar box (or other small, lidded box)
  • Mementos of the year (like awards, ribbons, a paper handprint, photos, drawings, playbills, ticket stubs, pressed flowers, clippings, hand-written poems, scraps of fabric, sea shells, trinkets, etc.)
  • Glue
  • Paint, permanent markers, and/or glitter
Decorate the outside of the box.
Arrange the mementos in the inside of the box and glue them in securely.

Tissue Paper Flowers Craft


Supplies needed:

  • Tissue paper (crepe paper)
  • Green pipe cleaners (or twist ties)
Cut a few pieces (about 4-6) of tissue paper (crepe paper) about 8 x 10 inches (the exact size doesn't matter).

Put the paper in a pile and fold it like an accordion.

Tie the center of the folded paper with a green pipe cleaner (or twist tie).
Gently pull each piece of paper towards the top center of the flower, separating each sheet of paper from the others (forming the petals of the flower).


  Easy way to make an image of a leaf, using a real leaf, a piece of paper and a crayon (or crayons).
Find a nice leaf.
Put it on a flat surface, like a desk or counter-top.
Cover the leaf with a piece of paper.
Crayon on the paper over the leaf.
Magically, a leaf image will appear.

Handprint, Photo Blossom

Supplies needed:

  • A piece of light-colored construction paper (white, pale blue, pale yellow, etc.) - for the backgound
  • One piece of brightly-colored construction paper - for the flower petals
  • A photo of the child
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Green tempera paint
  • A brush (or just use your finger)
  • Pen or pencil
Cut a circle around the head of a picture of a child (this will be the center of the flower.

Cut a flower shape out of colorful construction paper. Make sure that the flower is a bit bigger than the round picture of the child, but small enough so that it will fit on the paper.
Glue the paper flower towards the top of a piece of paper.
Using green tempera paint, draw a stem for your flower.
Have the child make two green handprints near the base of the stem - these will be the flower's leaves.
Glue the picture of the child to the center of the flower.
Write the child's name (and the date, if you wish) on the paper.

Handprint Rainbow

In this project, the handprints of many children form a beautiful rainbow. It makes a great classroom decoration or bulletin board. This project is good for a group of children (it is too big a project for one or two children).

Supplies needed:
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple construction paper
  • A large piece of neutral-colored paper (about 2 1/2 feet by 1 1/2 ft long), or work directly on a bulletin board
  • Scissors
  • A pencil and a marker
  • Glue
Using the colored construction paper, have the children trace their hands. Make about 10 handprints of each of the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple).
Cut out the hand prints and put the child's name on his or her print.
Glue the handprints onto the paper (or staple on a bulletin board) in a rainbow shape.

Pompom Spider   

This cute spider is made from a yarn pompom and pipe cleaners.

Supplies needed:

  • A lot of yarn
  • Scissors
  • 4 pipe cleaners
  • Scrap cardboard
  • Googly eyes and glue
Cut a piece of yarn about 2 feet long; put it aside for later. Cut a piece of scrap cardboard about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide.
Wrap about a yard or two of yarn around the rectangular piece of cardboard (don't wrap the yarn too tightly or it will be hard to take it off the cardboard).
Carefully remove the yarn loops from the cardboard (make sure the loops retain their shape).

Place the 4 pipe cleaners on top of the loops. Tightly tie the 2-foot-long piece of yarn around the middle of the loops plus pipecleaners.

Cut the yarn loops at their edges. Trim the pompom so that it makes a nice circle.
Bend the spider's legs and glue on googly eyes.

Now you have a great, spooky spider.


A simple-to-make Rainstick.

Rainsticks are ceremonial musical instruments used to invoke the rain spirits. They are made by people who live in the deserts of northern Chile. In Chile, rainsticks are traditionally made from dead cactus tubes with hundreds of cactus spines hammered into the tube. Tiny lava pebbles cascade gently through the tube, sounding much like rain.

This rainstick is definitely not traditional. It is made from a cardboard tube (instead of the dried cactus) and aluminum foil (in place of cactus spines).

Supplies needed:

  • A paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small dried beans (like lentils), unpopped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta.
  • Brown paper (from a grocery bag) or construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers

Trace around the end of your tube onto a piece of brown paper (or construction paper).

Draw a bigger circle around that circle and then draw a lot of spokes between the two circles.

Cut along the spokes.
Put glue on the spokes and glue the cap onto one end of your tube.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is about one and half times the length of your tube and about 6 inches wide.
Crunch the aluminum foil into two long, thin, snake-like shapes.

Then twist each one into a spring shape.

Put the aluminum foil springs into your tube.

Pour some dry beans, dry rice, or unpopped popcorn into your tube. The tube should only be about 1/10 full. You can experiment to see how different amounts and different types of seeds and beans change the sound.

Make another cap from brown paper (the same as the first three steps) and cap your tube.
Optional: Decorate the tube by covering it with brown paper or construction paper, and then making designs with crayons or markers (or cut-out paper or stickers).

Rainforest designs are nice, especially brightly-colored butterflies, frogs, and flowers. Tiny construction paper butterflies (like the one on the right) are nice glued onto the rainstick.


This is an easy way to make a guitar using an old shoe box or tissue box, rubber bands, scissors, a paper-towel tube, and a pencil.
  • Find an old shoe box, tissue box, or other cardboard box.
  • Have an adult cut an oval-shaped hole in the top.
Stretch a few rubber bands around the box and over the hole.
Put a pencil under the rubber bands on one side.
Optional steps. Tape on a paper-towel tube and decorate the box.


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