Hand puppets for learning

Type of tool: 
60-90 min
Topics addressed: 
Group dynamics

Hand puppets for learning" is team building activity that is based on following principles: 1) playfulness when we learn about each other, 2) power of creativity when we create with our hands and hearts, 3) upcycling-contribution to sustainability.


The aim of the activity in training situation is to stimulate positive team building and team learning process within the group.


Storytelling, peer learning, learning by creating with hands

Step by step process: 

1. Introduction with the process and some already made puppets. Introduction with the main principles: a) power of creating with your hands and hearts - there is no right instruction how to make something, everything is possible and everything that you make is good; 2) playfulness with ideas, puppets, materials - use and play with everything that is around you; 3) upcycling - we use as much as we can second hand materials for everything that we make to contribute to environmental sustainability.

2. Creating a story. This process can be done in 2 ways: a) facilitator read 2-3 short stories, they can we about specific issue or moral. In our work we tell short stories that were created by children in Africa; b) participants make their own stories. Then we divide group in 4-5 smaller groups. Each group member receives small piece of paper where is written his/her role/character. Group puts these roles together and create their own group story.

3. Preparing performances. Groups receive different materials in order to make hand puppets and everything else that they need for performance;

4. Hand puppet performances. Each group presents their performance;

5. Reflection.

Materials and resources: 

Materials needed for learning:
+ 15 pairs of socks;
+ 30 needles;
+ colourful threads;
+ 40 buttons;
+ colourful papers


1. Celebration. Performance is very clear result of the process that we as society associate with applauses and celebration, therefore puppet performances bring joyful and positive atmosphere in a group;
2. Strengthened linked: individual - group process. Each participant is very important in a group, participants are involved individually (making puppets, creating his / her own story) and in group (building common story and performance).


Based on evaluation of previous experience, I would be happy to improve following aspects of this tool with a help of Tool Fair:
1. In case participants create their own stories - how to make this process smooth;
2. During the puppet making process - how to facilitate better collaboration among story groups.

Notes for further use: 

Delivering a WORKING WITH TOOLS workshop

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