Friday, April 13, 2012

Paper mache hand puppets - grade 5/6

Here is another amazing project I picked up in Iceland! While I was visiting the art teacher, she showed me a collection of elaborate paper mache heads. She showed me the technique that she had used, and I tried my best to recreate it with my grade 5/6 class. Here's a photo from the Icelandic artroom:
Below is the steps I used:

1. Using a Styrofoam ball as a base, build the features of your puppet using plasticine. Cover your shape with paper mache. 

2. When dry, cut a hole in the bottom of your head.

3. Carefully cut around the head (you'll fix it later.) Remove the Styrofoam ball (this is kinda tricky, but my kids were able to do it!)

4. Re-paper mache your head back together. The paste will act as a glue. Don't cover the bottom hole that you've made.

5. Allow your newly reconstructed head to dry.

6. Paint your head!

When they finished, we used fabric to make costumes. I had considered sewing them, but we ended up just hot glue gunning the fabric together (impossible to navigate 34 kids with 1 sewing machine.) They've literally probably put over 10 hours into the construction of these puppets. I am so, so proud of their work.

We are currently studying to do a play for literacy - students are working in groups, and have been practicing for weeks. The puppets that they made are based on their plays. I am going to feature each group on my blog, as they really all deserve to be on here (this means there will be about 5 more puppet posts in the next week or two!) This is the first group I'll highlight - L'herbe est toujours plus verte, et ne reveillez pas le chien qui dort (just a note - the sheep has been sick for a week, but when she has her puppet done, I'll get her up here!)


  1. Would those small water balloon, inflated, work as well as the styrofoam ball? As well as the craft challenge you came up with a theme - you are awesome Aly. I wish you'd been my Art Teacher :-) Hugs - Auntie Nancy

  2. Those puppets are great, I love paper mache and this is a wonderful idea alltogether!

  3. Hand puppet are very popular among kids and hand puppets you shared is good.
    string puppets for sale


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