Sock Puppets Galore, by Rachel Sharpe
Each month, we have an elementary craft program called Stories & Such. I’ve been searching for a while for a way to incorporate our iPad into the program and finally found a way to add a digital element.
I decided we were going to make sock puppets but add in the opportunity for the kids to film a short skit of their puppets interacting.
Additionally, I had remembered seeing posts from Allison Tran and Emily Lloyd about their success with using the Sock Puppet app in their storytimes, and I thought my elementary kids would enjoy the app just as much. Using the app, I filmed several 30-second segments starring the pig and zebra puppets.
In the first video, I had the puppets introduce the craft, while the other videos featured the puppets demonstrating what the kids could talk about in their videos.
When the kids arrived for the program, we watched the first video and read Smitten by David Gordon. Then they chose a sock base (which were donated socks left over from a program) and went to town, grabbing ribbon, felt, beads, googly eyes, and whatever else I set out. I gave them 20 minutes to design their puppets.
While their puppets dried, we watched the remaining videos, and we brainstormed about what they could talk about in their videos. I also had all the parents fill out permission slips that allowed me to film their children. The slips asked for the child’s name, description of the puppet, and parent email.
For our puppet stage, I took a table, covered it with a sheet, and placed it near a solid-colored wall. When the kids were ready to be filmed, they gave me their permission slips and climbed behind the table. I gave them one minute to do whatever they wanted while I filmed them with the iPad mini.
After the program, I edited the videos, uploaded them to YouTube, and sent the links to the addresses the parents provided. The response has been great. Several parents commented how much fun their kids had during program and how much they loved the videos.
1. Don’t use Elmer’s glue with fabric. It doesn’t dry fast enough, and nothing sticks to the sock. Although it was hilarious to watch puppet parts fly off while the kids were filming. Thankfully, everyone had a sense of humor.
2. Speak up! It was really hard to hear the kids who were performing the puppet show.
3. Have a separate area for filming if possible. For the most part, the kids who weren’t filming were quiet, but I had a few really excited kids who would keep laughing or talking while I was filming. You could hear them quite clearly on the video.
Overall, the kids were really receptive to the change of pace. I’m excited to see how else I can incorporate the iPad into more of my craft programs!Rachel Sharpe
Library Assistant II
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