Doesn’t it seem that every time we do a load of laundry that at least one pair of socks suddenly becomes a single? Where the heck could that other sock have gone? To the Upside Down? Now you’re left with one sock that doesn’t have a partner and all that’s left to do is throw it away.
Not true. You can use this sock to create something new and teach the kids all about recycling in one afternoon.
Recycled Materials: The Creative Process
No doubt you’re already familiar with the expression “Waste not, want not.” Why would you throw out a perfectly good sock? You might not want to wear it anymore, but it can be repurposed and made into something totally new. It can be made by your child into a unique, interactive toy. What kind of toy you ask? Do you remember Lamb Chop’s Play-Along? Yeah, that’s right, we can make a new puppet friend with our mismatched socks and other supplies—all it takes is a little imagination!
- Sheet of foam (about 1 cm thick)
- Pair of scissors
- Tube of tacky glue
- Skein of yarn (Optional)
Once you’ve gathered all your materials, you can begin creating your new puppet playmate following these easy how-to instructions!
- On a flat work surface, use your pencil to draw two eyes and a tongue on the foam. For the eyes, draw two full or half circles. For the tongue draw an oblong or shape. If you would like the eyes to be a different color from the tongue, use two different colored sheets of foam.
- Cut out the eyes and tongue you have drawn on the foam with scissors. Place to the side.
- Put your hand into the sock and start envisioning the puppet’s face. Determine how you (or your child) will make the puppet speak. What kind of expressions will it make? This will help you to determine where the eyes and tongue should be glued. Mark the areas for the eyes and tongue with a washable marker.
- Place the sock back on the work surface. Glue the foam eye and tongue pieces to their designated areas and allow to dry.
- After the puppet has dried, have your child play with it. Does the the puppet need a nose or hair? Maybe the puppet needs some more friends?
If you want to add hair (or whiskers) to the top of your puppet’s head, here are a few more steps to follow:
- Cut 10 lengths of yarn from the skein, about twice as long as you want the hair to be.
- Carefully dab each of the 10 pieces of yarn with tacky glue and position the “hair pieces” on the head of your puppet. Allow to dry.
For whiskers or a mustache, repeat the above process but glue the yarn pieces to the mouth area. This would be where your four fingers make the top of the puppet’s mandible.
If you have more mismatched socks, repeat the above process with different combinations of foam colors, eye shapes and hair-do’s top make a whole puppet family!
Using foam craft supplies and recyclable materials from around the house will make the project a fun sensory experience for your child and will be an enjoyable bonding experience for you both. And, hey, after you have created your puppet friends you can put on a show for the dog or start a new project and build a grand puppet stage! The choice is yours.
This post is brought to you and contributed by Audrey Hobbs.