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Friday, December 7, 2012

CBC Day 7 - Elf Finger Puppets

Book #7 - The Little Red Elf
by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet

This is the cutest Christmas version of "The Little Red Hen" story.  Here, a Little Red Elf, who is a very hard worker, is busy with preparations for the holiday - from growing a tree, to decorating it, and baking cookies for Santa - she cannot seem to get any help from her lazy North Pole friends, the reindeer, penguin and hare.  In the end, the Little Red Elf does grow frustrated, but then surprises her friends with very fitting gifts.  The illustrations in this book are absolutely adorable!  Tiny little details that will make you giggle.  All three of my boys said this was their favorite book so far : )

Our Day 7 Christmas Book Countdown Activity
Elf Finger Puppets
These finger puppets are made very simply out of coin wrappers that have been covered with felt!
Genius!  I saw some other holiday versions at Urban Comfort - where you can see how to also make a reindeer, snowman, and Santa in addition to elves.  suuuper cute!

For this activity you will need:
coin wrappers (we used penny wrappers)
felt - white for the belt and collar, black for the buckle, beige for ears,
and then any assorted colors you like for elf clothing
1 1/4" unfinished wood ball or ball knob
hot glue gun

I cut my felt puppet pieces ahead of time for my little guys.  Each puppet used:
1 rectangle large enough to cover height and circumference of the coin wrapper
1 slightly smaller rectangle for cape/jacket
1 pie-shaped piece to be rolled into a cone hat
roughly 1/4" wide strip long enough to wrap around for a belt
1 tiny black square for the buckle
1 even tinier white square for the inside of the buckle
1 strip roughly 1/2" wide for collar, long enough to wrap around (shaped later)
1 piece of beige for ears, roughly 1" by 1/4" (shaped later)

I have been using a plastic tray to prep my supplies each day, so I spread out enough 
pieces for all of us to do the project and present it like a platter at Thanksgiving ; )
I made a variety of elf colors for my guys to choose from.  Mixing and matching is fun, too!

To assemble your elf puppet:
Use thin lines of hot glue to attach one edge of your body piece to the coin wrapper.
Then roll it all the way around and glue the opposite side, so that the wrapper is...wrapped!
We glued our belt around the middle next, added the bucklethen moved to the cape.  
The cape went most of the way around, but not the whole length of the wrapper, 
and was left open by only gluing at the top edge.
The collar we shaped by folding in half and cutting an arc at the center.
The collar gets glued around the top edge of the cape.
Then you simply glue the wood ball on top for the head.
To shape the ears - cut your beige strip in half, stack both pieces, and cut a curve on one end.
Hot glue the ears to the wood ball head on either side (we did ours curved edge on the bottom).
Roll your pie-shaped felt into a cone with hot glue for a hat and glue on top.  
We added a pom to the tip of the hat.  Some we left straight up, and some we glued folded over at the top.
Draw your face on the front of the ball with sharpie.
Little Man's elf looked a lot like him ; )
Our finished elf puppets

These were sooo fun to make!  And my boys have been playing with them, too.
Oddly enough, the craft stick sleds that we did on Day 3 are the perfect size for these elves : )
Next year, I'd love to try the reindeer or snowman version of this coin wrapper craft.

To recap once again:
You can see pics of our Christmas Book Countdown activities on instagram,
with the hashtag #CBCatcraftinterrupted.  Feel free to tag and share your own!

And if you are just joining us
here is this year's CBC Book List
and also a Supply List for all the activities


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