Easy Puppet Crafts To Do With Your Kids!
by Karen Falk
Looking for ways to spend creative times with your family? Here’s some inspiration from the home of Jim and Jane Henson.
Jim and Jane Henson met as college students in the mid-1950s. Both studied art, and they used their wide-ranging skills to make puppets and design sets for their first television show, Sam and Friends, which ran from 1955-1961. Once married, they enjoyed creative time with their five children, which was central to the Hensons’ family life.
As professional puppeteers, Jim and Jane shared their craft with their five children. Along with specially chosen store-bought puppets, the Hensons and their children often hand-made puppets of all types. Their puppets were performed in a wooden puppet theater that Jim built or on a makeshift stage created from a cardboard box. The family collaborated on storylines for their characters (even recording a “Henson Family Fairytale” at one point) and everyone pitched in to design backgrounds. They shared their fun with the community, performing a Henson Family Puppet Show at the local elementary school, and with a broader audience, in a 1969 feature in Woman’s Day magazine. The same year, Jim made a series of videos for public television demonstrating how to make puppets at home.