Earth Day Craft: Upcycled Puppets for Kids

April 19, 2013 in All Posts, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Craft, Play, Preschool, Preschool Craft

Earth Day is around the corner, so we are crafting with an upcycled theme at our house lately.  We’re making art out of found objects and raiding our recycling bin for craft materials in an effort to maximize the waste we have, while reducing the waste we produce.

The kids are also watching the classic and new versions of The Lorax on repeat!  (No exaggeration).  And we are loving the book.

Keep reading for how to reuse and recycle your “trash” into upcycled treasures … and how to save 20% off your order at Seuss Prints!

Upcycled Puppets

You know all about the stacks and stacks of magazines and catalogs at our house that we’ve used to make Christmas ornaments and Valentine’s Day cards, and those same mags are making another appearance:  this time as hair and accessories for our Cork and Bottle Cap Puppets.   If you happen to also have wine corks on hand (I think based on this themed party, you know that we do!) and a few other bits and bobs, you also have the makings of a permanent toy that has no additional impact on the environment and absolutely no harm on your wallet.

Outlaw Mom Upcycled Puppets Earth Day Craft for Kids


  • Magazines or catalogs
  • Corks
  • Glue or tape
  • Scissors
  • Optional:  bottle caps, chenille stems (pipe cleaners); googly eyes; markers/pens; feathers or other embellishments

Tips: Substitute paper towel or toilet paper rolls for the corks or simply use the magazine paper if you need to.

As always, supervise your young children and be mindful of possible choking hazards.


Step 1 – Cut out thin strips and other shapes of your magazine or catalog paper to make hair and clothing for your puppet.

Tip:  Magazine covers or laminated pages are more durable and can be curled with your scissor blade like curling ribbon for curly-haired puppets.

Step 2 – Tape or glue the hair and clothing to your puppet’s body.  If you’re not using a cork, cut a magazine page into thirds, roll up one third and secure for the body, ball up the second third to form the head, and then wrap the last third smoothly over the head for a surface to draw or decorate a face.

Outlaw Mom DIY Upcycled Puppets for Kids to Make

Step 3 – Give your puppet some personality with accessories!

Tip:  Try gluing bottle caps to the bottoms of the puppets for a more stable base.

I love that the kids have “new” toys that they can keep customizing so they’re never bored.  They’ve already created towns and play scenes using found materials as well as hand-drawn scenes on a large foam board.  These upcycled treasures have even found their way into their plastic dollhouses and toy trucks.

Extend This Activity

  • Make puppets for everyone in the family to encourage your child’s understanding of connectedness, bonding, and familial relationships.
  • Use the puppets to act out your child’s feelings if your child is unable to express herself through direct verbal communication.
  • Let your child’s imagination roam by encouraging fantasies and day dreams through the puppets.  Help your child set up the environment for his chosen scene.
  • Make puppets to demonstrate and reinforce the concepts of same versus different.
  • Add numbers to the back of each puppet for some math and number learning.
  • Dress or paint the puppets in different colors for color learning.  Or, with older children, practice patterning skills.

Now until April 29, 2013, save 20% on your entire order at Seuss Prints with code BARBALOOTS.  Free shipping on orders $100!


(c) 2013 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 1971 All Rights Reserved.

There are so many adorable prints available that fit nursery themes and are great for big kids (and grownups, too!)  I would love to do a series on my kids’ shared bedroom and maybe their initials above their beds.  Haven’t decided yet!

What’s your family’s favorite Earth Day tradition, if you have one? Share in the comments how you make the Lorax proud!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links.  I did not receive any compensation or prints from Seuss Prints.

Parents and friends: for more ideas, activities, and inspiration for #RaisingThinkingKids, click on an icon below to join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.

Fellow bloggers: join me at Bloggy Law, where you’ll find Simple Tips for Bulletproofing Your Brand and Blog and I’ll help you navigate the social media legal landscape a little more smoothly.

Chrissy – who has written posts on The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Creative Living in a Conventional World.

You Might Enjoy: