Friday, 14 January 2011

Owl Babies - Story Puppets

Minnie always has a selection of books ready at the end of the day for her bedtime stories, & often during the day she asks for books to be read to her, or she sits & ‘reads’ stories to her toys. One of the best parts of the day is sharing a story with Minnie, she gets so engrossed in the book & it’s just wonderful to watch her eyes as they scan the illustrations. It’s lovely when she starts to join with a repeated refrains as well, or completes a sentence by adding the last word. (Books that have a rhyming text are particularly good for this).

One of Minnie’s current faves is “Owl Babies” by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson.
(Now available at Amazon for only £2:99)

This is a beautiful book which tells the tale of three baby owls as they wait in their nest for the return of their mother. It’s a reassuring story for any child who worries about Mummy leaving them alone. The illustrations fill the page & draw the reader into the story. Minnie loves to join in with the repeated phrases; “All owls think a lot” & “I want my Mummy”

To encourage Minnie to explore the story we made three owl puppets. These were made from recycled materials we had at home.

I cut three sides out of an old cardboard box, & drew an owl shape on one of them. I cut this out & used it as a template for the other two owls. We had some odd scraps of felt which I cut into feather shapes (paper would work just as well.) We then cut six small white circles out of card for eyes & added some black circles in the centre with a pen. To make the beaks I cut three triangles from some gold coloured wrapping paper.
We used glue sticks to attach the fabric & card to the cardboard shape which dried quickly & held the materials together well.
We had some large lolly sticks left over from a previous craft, & attached these to the back of the owl with some sticky tape. These were a perfect size for Minnie to hold & meant she could hold two or more owl puppets in one hand when telling the story. (Pens, paintbrushes, or strips of thick card could be used instead of the lolly sticks)

 Soon she was retelling the story & adding her own interpretation. It was fascinating to listen to the amount of language she used, & how much of the story & sequence of events she had remembered. I love observing her creativity & imagination.

The owl puppets have since had a tea party & visited the dolls house & the sandpit, who knows what adventures they will have next…
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