Accordion Critters Puppet Theatre

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Using the Accordion Critters as puppets can be great fun! Students will already be tempted to take their critters around the classroom to let the accordion-folded legs fly through the air. Take these spontaneous creative activities to center stage with a puppet theatre play.

Age: 6+

Duration: 20-30 minutes (plus drying times)

Learning Objectives: Use fine motor skills while assembling your Accordion Critters. Learn to fold paper. Create puppet theater performances with constructed puppet theatre. Use puppets in literacy projects.

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You’ll Need:

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Children can exercise some of their roleplaying skills while exploring literacy. Start with the separate pile of paper strips. The paper strip colors coordinate with the color of the critters’ body. Accordion fold the strips or combine with other colors to make interesting
braid patterns.

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Fold the strips forward then backward and continue all the way the length of the strip.

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When you are all done, you’re ready to attach the legs onto the Accordion Critter body!

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Roll the Accordion Critter into a tube shape and secure with tape. Tape the legs onto the leg indicators around the body shape.

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Hang your Accordion Critter by popping out the little holes on either side of its body and attaching some string.

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To make your own fun puppet theater, save an extra-large cardboard box from a recent purchase.

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Cut vertically across the small flaps to separate the box into one rectangle strip of
cardboard.

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Fold each large flap inside the box so that they meet at the back. These will form the side supports to hold up the puppet theater. Next, draw a simple double curtain shape in the center of the puppet theater.

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You will need to cut out the inside of it to allow your performers to stand behind the puppet theater. Alternatively, you can black out the center to appear like the back of the stage.

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Paint the curtains red or blue and add a gold line to represent the curtain tie and tassels.

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Add a few black vertical lines to show the folds in the curtain appearance. Instead of drawing on the gold ribbon and tassels, I attached small lengths of gold ribbon to each side of the curtain line.

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Leave the paint to dry overnight. You can set the makeshift puppet theater onto a desk and secure the sides with tape or place on top of an ironing board to make it easily adjustable for different heights. Students can stand behind the puppet theater and drape their accordion puppets in front or use the puppet theater simply as a backdrop. Get students to focus on the action of making their Accordion Critters move about, with the accordion legs bouncing up and off the ground. Add some fun, lively music and watch your students’ imaginations come to life!

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