Making sturdy storytelling characters with children.


This short (I hope) article carries on from yesterday’s one about making standing figures for table top puppet shows. This one involved the children as well and could easily be adapted to make a set of characters for stories with five or six characters…Rata and the Totara Tree, ( Rata could have a headband and a small feather glued in. And I want to get some quilting scraps from my quilting friend to make him a simple loin cloth…keep watching!), Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, the  men in the Three Little Pigs ( and many blessings on all those four legged animals who can hold themselves vertical with no help at all!), and so on.


Rata arrives at the totara tree and promptly collapses.

Whenever I am in a centre and want to tell a story with table top puppets,  there is invariably a problem that all the two legged characters behave as though they are permanently inebriated, There are the cute family dolls with bendy bodies and large wooden feet and, with a chair or a wall, they can cope relatively well. But there they must stay.

Then there are the Lego characters who  have large heads and smallish feet and cannot maintain their balance without a vehicle to prop themselves up in. Steiner dolls are great at standing for the most part but they don’t survive very well with children reared on indestructible plastic toys. Also they usually tend to be girls because their flared bodies lend themselves well to a skirt shape. And of course they have no feet. But this is surmountable with some imagination. Which children usually have ten fold or more.