I'm a puppet maker with a degree in theatre. A former lighting techie, stage manager and producer. And I like to think that with puppetry, the only limit is your imagination. More...
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This one should be fairly obvious - finger puppets are small tubes of material, which fit over one’s finger. These tubes are often decorated to look like animal or human characters, and can be quite detailed.
These puppets are generally sold in children’s toy stores and the like, because they are simple for children to use, and just as simple for parents to use.
Finger puppets are quite fun, but if you are planning on producing a theatrical event, then there is very little reason to use them. They are simply too small to be used in a large setting (even a small venue of 20 seats would overwhelm the size of the puppets), outdoors, or in other ways. Finger puppets are also very limited in the range of things they can do; they can’t pick up items with their hands, you can’t open and close their mouths, etc. If you are planning on using something like a finger puppet, I would suggest instead using a glove puppet, which offers more flexibility in movements and gestures. Glove puppets can also easily be made large enough to be visible in a theatrical setting.
However, finger puppets are a great way to get kids involved and interested in the craft of puppetry. They can be highly personalised, as well as made simply with a range of materials. It is also a worthwhile starting point for adults who want to learn how to make puppets.
Learn about the history of finger puppets, how to make one of these puppets here or here, find out how long it takes to make one here. Read about what kinds of materials to use, or find some free patterns. [links to be added]send feedback / have a question?
Australians may want to buy locally. Where? I explain here.