Several weeks ago I was commissioned to design and build a puppet character for a little girl and her family who spend quite a bit of time in hospitals. This character was intended to lift spirits and entertain while waiting for doctors - what better animal than an energetic and happy little monkey!
The fabrication of this puppet was really interesting and there were quite a bit of considerations, such as;
- This puppet would be used by a young child, so it must be durable and free of things that could be swallowed.
- The puppet would visit hospitals and there should be a way to clean it.
I chose to line the inside of the puppet with antimicrobial fabric so that it could be cleaned easily. The arms, legs and tail were all attached with doll joints as well as sewn on for added security.
The puppet was also designed so that it can wear Build-A-Bear and/or American Girl doll clothes.
During the last four months, I have had the pleasure of teaching with Eastern Michigan University Bright Futures 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
I have been teaching puppetry classes at a handful of the program's sites, ranging from 2nd grade to 8th grade students.
My class was titled "Puppetry 101."
The class was essentially a survey of many different puppetry styles, learning about and designing/performing a new technique every-other week. While we created many, many puppets throughout the four months and were very creative - we focused mainly on developing teamwork and collaborating together in order to bring a puppet character to life and develop performances.
The Puppetry techniques we covered were;
• Paper Bag Puppets
• Hand Puppets
• Rod Puppets
From the Bright Futures Website;
"EMU’s 21CCLC Bright Futures are high quality after school programs.
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