We haven’t made paper mache puppets in ages due to the time consuming steps involved. Eliminating the paint/dry/paint steps saved work time and prep time. Students started with a styrofoam ball and then added Model Magic to form animal heads. They carefully wrapped the heads in aluminum foil to hold the Model Magic in place. Ears were cut from cardboard, covered in foil and then taped to the head. I had to cut slits in the head to hold some of the wobbly ears. Students added 2 layers of tissue paper and Mod Podge for color. Felt scraps, fun foam shapes, wiggly eyes, pom poms and chenille stems were available for the details.
An old pencil inserted into the styrofoam acts as a handle.
We stuck the pencils in a styrofoam block to dry the heads.
These pirates were a big hit with the fourth graders. The head was constructed from a styrofoam ball. The neck was a cut tp tube that was taped securely to the head. Each student was given a sandwich baggie with a lump of premixed paper mache pulp. Students kneaded the bag gently, then patted the lump into a thick pancake. They put the pulp on top of the styrofoam head, then worked it down to the edge of the neck. They smoothed the pulp before resting the head in a plastic margarine tub. The felt body was designed and cut while the head dried. Students placed a pattern on top of the felt, then held it in place while they cut up the sides and under the arms. Stripes, vests, etc. were cut free form. After painting the face with acrylics, students added hair, beards, dread locks, pirate hats, and even a parrot.