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super snow day crafts: sock puppets!

Jan 30, 2011 // 13 comments // Categories: pretend play.

Cora has fallen hard for her Laura Joffe Numeroff mini-library that arrived under our Christmas tree this year (and who wouldn’t?). Although we’ve had her books for years now, we’ve never had the mini-versions, and Cora really loves them.

In the spirit of If You Give A Moose A Muffin,  she’s been asking me to make sock puppets all month long.  Every single day.

So when the storms hit us this past week, and we were without power, before our fingers got too cold to move, we rocked the sock puppet for our little Cora.

And Cora was one happy gal.

  • Sock Puppets: I am no seamstress.  I am so far from a seamstress that it’s not even funny.  We don’t have a sewing machine, and I don’t know how to hem.  I can barely do buttons.   Maddy and I both beamed for days after our daisies and first day flowers, and that was (gulp) years ago now.

So these sock puppets took us time that I was not prepared for.  Luckily, we had no power, so we had all the (daylight) time in the world.  But they came out so cute, that it was well-worth our time. Maddy and Cora have had fun playing with them and doing their hair until their little arms get tired from holding their puppets up.

The lonely sock basket–a happy home for un-matched socks

We started by getting our sock basket–the home for all unmatched socks.  No time for sock  sorting today.  We were on a mission to find the best socks for our sock puppets.

Cora checks out Moose’s sock puppets.  A little too tricky for us.

Cora grabbed If You Give A Moose A Muffin so we could see exactly what kind of sock puppets Moose and his buddy made. They’re animal puppets! Cora said.

Right. And after a little bit of convincing, she understood that they might be a little tricky for us to make.

Cora puts her eyes, nose, and mouth in place.

We can make girl puppets instead, I said.  Look at all the yarn we can use to make long, long hair.

We do have a ton of yarn from my wild and crazy scarf-knitting days. Who knew that years after knitting scarves, the leftover yarn would become sock puppet hair?

Rapunzel! Let’s make Rapunzel puppets! Cora had a new goal.

We pulled out a few reams of yarn, but the girls decided on thick brown yarn for their sock puppets’ hair. I made huge loops and secured the top with rubber bands.  Then the girls cut the loops from the bottom so that all the ‘hair’ hung loosely.

We  had enough loops so that if we braided the hair, each strand would be two pieces of yarn thick. It was perfectly perfect.

Cora cuts her sock puppet’s hair.

Maddy sewed her girl’s hair on, using whatever method she wanted, and she did a super job.  I didn’t really know of a great method, and neither did she. We were both just doing what we could to keep the hair secured.

Cora and Maddy chose eyes, noses, and mouths from a sewing kit that my mom made for Maddy, and the girls made tiny pencil dots where they wanted everything to go.

What we realized way too late was that our future sock puppets have to be made from adult-sized socks. I struggled trying to fit a needle and my big hands into the teeny socks they chose. But you live and learn, and I’m sure a more skilled crafter would have a better idea as to how to make this work.   I did not.

Maddy and Cora sat patiently as I tried and tried again, and occasionally they’d hang out in the living room where Owen was playing a Gobble It marathon with his dad.  He wasn’t feeling the sock puppets, and that’s cool; sock puppets are a hard sell when your dad’s home and is as much as a game-player as you.

Maddy’s sock puppet is ready to meet her sock puppet sister.

So we finished up the sock  puppets, as our morning was almost over and it was time to get snow clothes on so we could head up to the sledding hill.

It was fun–a learning experience for us all–and great fine motor practice for Maddy with the bit of sewing and braiding she did.  Not to mention that the pretend play that comes along with dolls of any kind is a super way of passing time on a stuck-in-the-house, way-too-cold-to-go-out snowy morning.

I love that it was If You Give A Moose A Muffin–a book we’ve read dozens of times in the past but one that Cora saw with different eyes–little eyes that inspired us to craft it up with sock puppets. 

As with Cora Cooks Pancit, my tiniest really wants books to come alive for her in a way that I don’t recall with Maddy and Owen when they were her age. I’m sure it was because my hands were so full back then that I couldn’t even think about doing that for them, or perhaps it’s just the beauty of how different we all are, how we all see things with a slightly different set of eyes, that they never really thought that way.

Whatever it is, I’m enjoying the ride.

And remember, if you’d like to guest post on teach mama, sharing a way that just 1 book moved you or your family, let me know!  I’d love to share other ways that books inspire families to craft, travel, cook, whatever. . .

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  1. You’re such a good mom.

    Reply
    Brandy
    30/01/2011
    • As are you, my friend–we’re all just doing the best we can with what we have, right? And I just so happen to have a huge basket of un-matched socks and two girls who wanted puppets. :*)

      Reply
  2. I so want to know where you got a mini-library of these books! I love miniature books, and so does my daughter.

    Reply
    • Ticia–
      Costco had them at holiday time, but I’m not sure if they’re still around. . . five books, perfect size for tiny hands. Awesome.

      Reply
  3. If You Give A Moose A Muffin is my favorite of her books. The pictures are hysterical!
    I am beyond impressed with those sock puppets. I don’t own a sewing machine and can’t hem either, but I think I might have to try these guys out. I linked to this post on my blog because I was writing about my puppet activity with my kiddos. I used plastic spoons and paper. :)
    http://sit-a-while.blogspot.com/2011/01/not-by-hair-of-my-chinny-chin-chin.html

    Reply
    • Callie–
      Thanks so much for your pat on the back–and for the link! Can’t wait to check out your puppets, from one non-seamstress to another! :*)

      Reply
  4. Love this! What I love most about it, though, is how you reached OUT of your comfort zone to help your kids experience something new, and to gain the experience of making it themselves.

    Awesome!

    Reply

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