We did a little twist on this Leprechaun puppet craft and added some soft and squishy texture. This was a team project because some of the squishing and scrunching was hard for a 2-year-old... and because I wanted to color too!
Materials Needed: Washable markers, yellow felt, scissors, Sharpie, tape, glue stick, Elmers glue, paper lunchbag, Leprechaun puppet pattern (or make your own), and orange and pink tissue paper (you can use any color for the bowtie).
1. Print out your leprechaun puppet pattern. We printed it on regular copy paper, but cardstock would probably hold up better.
2. Start coloring the Leprechaun jacket. We used a lot of different colors and didn't just stick to green.
3. While your little one colors, cut out four buttons from your yellow felt. I used a Sharpie to draw four buttons on the felt.
4. Put some Elmer's glue on the paper and have your toddler match the yellow felt buttons to the ones already on the coat.
5. Next, rip up some of your tissue paper into little pieces. Have your toddler scrunch and squish the paper between their fingers to make little balls. This is hard for little guys, but works on some good fine motor skills.
6. Put glue on the bowtie and have your toddler stick their tissue paper pieces onto the bowtie.
7. Set the jacket aside to dry.
8. Color the Leprechaun's hands, pants, and shoes. My little guy wanted to do pink and purple shoes and polka dot pants.
9. Once the clothes are done, start on the Leprechaun beard. We scrunched up pieces of orange tissue paper and then covered the Leprechaun beard with glue.
10. Stick the scrunched up orange tissue paper onto the beard. It is fun to feel how soft and bumpy the Leprechaun's beard is!
11. Lastly, color the Leprechaun's hat, nose, and ears.
12. Take out your lunch bags and play with them for a bit.
13. Cut out all the parts once they are dry and lay them out. Can anyone guess which part I forgot?
14. Use your glue stick to attached the puppet parts to the lunch bag.
I also used tape to stick the hands to the puppet (once I realized they were missing)
15. Play and cuddle with your Leprechaun puppet. My little guy wanted to watch a Max and Ruby about puppets. Later we're going to take our Leprechaun on a trip around the house to find a pot o' gold.
It would also be fun to read some stories about Leprechauns and act out your own versions. Some fun Leprechaun and St. Patrick's Day stories can be found here at Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile.
Language Building Activities:
Some things you could do with your puppet or while you're making this puppet are listed below...
- talk about textures while you are creating and use a variety of words- squishy, soft, fuzzy, rough, bumpy, etc.
- have your Leprechaun talk to your toddler about St. Patrick's Day and talk about himself- have the Leprechaun say what he likes to do, what his favorite foods are, favorite toys, etc. Practice asking your toddler questions (you can be the Leprechaun). This is a fun way to practice answering "Wh" questions (What, Where, Why, Who, When).
Ex. Where is your room? (upstairs), What toy do you like? (trains), Who are your friends? (George, Grace, Izzie, etc.), Who is that? (with Leprechaun pointing at mom, "Mommy!") Who are you? (Andrew!)
- have your toddler take the Leprechaun on a tour around the house to show his favorite things or maybe look for some gold, like in our Pot O' Gold hunt activity.
- talk about the Leprechaun parts you are coloring but add a little more description- bumpy orange beard, soft yellow buttons, green dotted pants, etc. instead of just saying "beard" or "hat."