St. Augustine’s: 4 Strengthening the Puppets and making their Books

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Art Room Session (hour and a half)

The children were delighted to see their puppets again. Using my demo from the previous week I talked them through how we were now going to add a Papier mache skin to the puppet to make them strong. First of all we all tore tiny strips of newspaper together, creating a stack for each child. When everyone was ready I used the glue that Carmel had prepared – a mix of wallpaper paste and PVA – to show them how to cover the paper and masking tape of the puppets. As they worked we assisted them individually with the more challenging aspects – covering the eyelids, the joint between neck and head etc. They did one layer of newspaper and then another of newsprint.

They worked so well and quickly that there was time also to make the puppet’s hands. Together we worked out how to break the hand down into simple shapes to make a drawing in permanent marker onto the plastic from milk bottles. Then each child drew a pair of hands, being careful to create two opposing ones as we had discussed but looking at our own hands. They then cut them out receiving help where necessary from the adults. As well as the art teacher we also have very good humoured assistance from a SNA who is also creating a puppet.

Class Room Session (half hour)

We returned to the questions from the previous week and read them out, preparing to answer them on behalf of their new puppets, and added one or two new ones as well.

I then introduced the idea of their beginning to make a Book of Life for their puppet, where they could “discover” and  create its character. I referenced Baby Books and passports, and the teacher told me how they use a passport system in the school too to share information about each child as they move from class to class. We made these books together, folding A4 pages in four, hole punching them and then using pipe cleaners to hold them together – this means they can be opened and added to again later if necessary. Then they cut them to create a book. They then drew a picture of how they imagine their puppet will look when it is finished.


Art Room:

Brown paper

Plastic bottles

permanent marker per child

Scissor per child


PVA / wallpaper paste

Glue brushes

container per child

Aprons per child

Class Room:

Last week’s questions.

A4 paper, pencils, coloured drawing materials.

Scissors for each child.

A4 sheets of paper

A4 sheets of colored card for the covers.

Coloured drawing and writing materials

Niamh brought:


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