Source Ideas for Creative Lesson Planning


Source Ideas for Creative Lesson Planning Recently a teacher asked me, “Where do you get all your ideas?”

I had to ponder that question because there isn’t a simple answer. I get ideas everywhere!

Here is my Top 8 Inspiration List (not in rank order): [Read more…]

How to Get Puppets for Your Classroom

How to get puppets for your classroom

So now that we’ve spent some time on puppet skills, you are ready to use them in your teaching. If you don’t already have some puppets for your classroom, where can you get them?

Here are my three best sources for pre-made puppets:

1- Yard Sales, Thrift Stores, and Kid Consignment Sales/ Stores:

Most people are drawn to puppets but, sadly,  just don’t know what to do with them. As a result, you can often find puppets for super-discounted prices at sales and discount shops. Start keeping your eye out for them, and if you have a friend or relative who likes to “yard sale” for fun, tell him/her to pick up puppets when they are available. You’ll build up a collection in no time!

2- Let your school families know that you collect puppets and appreciate receiving them as donations or gifts.

It’s almost time for my annual teacher gift list post (see last year’s suggested gift list here.) Often families are happy to donate the puppets collecting dust on their shelves or cluttering the playroom floor. They also love having a good suggestion for an inexpensive class gift for occasions such as Christmas and Teacher Appreciation Week. Make it known that you love puppets!

3- Shop Smart!

As you know, puppets are widely available in stores. I see them in toy shops, bookstores, and often even discount retailers like TJ Maxx. However, sometimes you might be looking for a particular character or you want to purchase a set. Here are a few of my favorite online shopping spots:

[Read more…]

Puppet Tips from a Pro!

Puppet tips for teachers from a pro

Today I am super excited to introduce you to one of my most important sources of “puppet inspiration,” Becky Becker! Becky is a professional puppeteer who has been making puppets, supporting teachers, and filling children with WONDER for years!

She has some really great tips and tricks for making puppets and using them effectively.

Recently I boldly invited myself over to Becky’s house to interview her for this blog. It was the BEST TIME! She filled her living room with dozens of her wonderful, handmade puppets and we spent a good hour just visiting with them. Truly a magical experience!

One of the things I love most about Becky’s creative process is the way she takes a regular, everyday object (often something most of us would discard or ignore) and transforms it into a beautiful,  magical character! For example, in the photo above, she bought giant sized “Easter eggs” on the clearance rack and then added feather boas and big button eyes. To give them handles, she drilled a hole in the back of each egg and glued in a short wooden dowel. Aren’t they fantastic? I want one! Just wait until Easter is over- I’m finding a big, discounted egg!

Becky leads workshops especially designed for teachers, sharing strategies for making puppets and bringing them to life. I asked her to share a few of her ideas with us and she kindly obliged. (She even agreed to a video right there on the spot! What a sport!) You will love her ideas:


And she means what she said at the end of the video- she has hundreds of ideas and only had time to share a few!

To recap, here are a few of her suggestions:

1- Use large photographs or illustrations to build a puppet. Adhere them to a sturdy backing like cardboard, create a “handle” on the back, and then embellish with fabric, felt, ribbon, trim, etc. to add character. *A long piece of fabric makes a beautiful “body.”

2- Hunt in thrift stores and at garage sales for things that you can repurpose as puppets. Often items like holiday decor make a quick and easy puppet friend.

3- Socks are a fun and easy base for a puppet. Becky suggests using craft foam as a way to add features and details. Make sure to use hot glue for adhering foam to the sock, but craft glue works fine on the foam itself.

4- Look for ways to reuse everyday objects and turn them into puppets. My favorite example from the video is the Valentine’s Day chocolate box. Isn’t she lovely? I must have one of those too! She would be great for passing out kind messages that the children write to one another, or for “watching” the class to “catch someone doing good” and then reporting on Friday afternoon. So many fun ideas for her!

I have more advice from Becky coming in my next post. Hooray! And if you are interested in learning more about Becky, her puppet shows (absolutely enchanting!) or her workshops for teachers, visit

Other posts in this series:

Puppet tips for teachers

Your class needs a puppet mascot!

Tips for teaching with talking puppets

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