Literacy does not always mean you have to crack open a book. What if I told you that making origami finger puppets for pretend play was a gateway to literacy? Okay, you probably know origami is great for math and problem solving, but literacy? You might need some convincing.
Well, pretend play promotes creative storytelling and children engage the skills they need to be good readers and writers. Skills like learning cause and effect, developing characterization, motivation and emotion, creating narratives, using language for a purpose. Following directions is a key literacy skill. Even the act of drawing faces on the blank faces of origami puppets leads children to develop a cast of characters with their own personalities, wants and desires, an essential part of storytelling.
The instructions for how to make origami finger puppets for pretend play and theatrical storytelling couldn't be easier. As a bonus, kids are working fine motor skills essential for handwriting. The educational benefits of origami are many!
Your children will love this simple folding technique that creates a blank platform for their imaginations. They can even turn the paper finger puppets into animals or people with a quick folding switch at the ears. Make a family, a menagerie of pets, the characters from a favorite fairy tale; the possibilities are endless!
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Materials for Origami Finger Puppets
Gather together the following items:
Square paper. The most convenient way to make origami finger puppets is to use standard size sticky-notes, like Post-its. They come in lots of fun colors so you are not limited to yellow.
Alternatively, for the colorful finger puppets, We cut 6x6 (approximately) origami paper into four squares.
Creative kids! I bet your kids can learn how to make origami finger puppets easily by watching our video, but give them a hand if their fine motor skills need a bit of assistance.
Origami Finger Puppet Instructions
It is probably easiest to learn how to make the finger puppets by watching the video instructions. Below the video I have written instructions and photographs if you prefer learning the old fashioned way.
Step by Step Instructions:
Take your square piece of paper and fold one side approximately one third the way towards the middle. If using sticky notes, keep the sticky side up, and fold the non-sticky edge first.
Fold the other side down to match. You should now have a small, flat tube. Do not worry if you are using origami paper and the paper doesn't stick, you do not need to use tape to secure.
Fold down the top part of the tube down. This will make the head of the puppet, so make it as large or as small as desired.
Now. Decide if you are going to make a human or an origami animal finger puppet.
For people, fold the top edges of the head back slightly.
For animals, fold the top edges of the head forward. This will create "floppy" ears.
Next, fold the bottom corners of the head up and behind. Now you have a blank face!
Finally, give your origami finger puppet a face and decorate as you please.
Make as many as you want. Put on a show, tell a story and have fun!
TIP: Place the puppets on the end of pencils and use a diy table top puppet theater to put on an extra special dramatic performance!
TIP: For more finger puppets, check out these cute spring themed printable puppets
TIP: For more easy origami with a literacy twist, check out these heart bookmarks even origami beginners can make!
For even more fun, make a puppet theater from a cardboard box where your new origami finger puppets can put on a show!