Friday, July 30, 2010

Sock Puppets on the Road

Traveling with children, especially small children, can be difficult. You know they're going to get cranky and you're really not looking forward to it. Make and take some sock puppets on the road to help keep your child happy on the trip.

Almost everyone has lost a sock while doing the laundry. Some people have lost more socks than they'd care to admit. What do you do with all the unmatched socks? Create sock puppets, of course!

Before you plan a road trip with your children, let them create sock puppets out of some of the sock monster's leftovers. With some simple craft items, your child can make a number of sock puppets that they can play with at any time. They're particularly great for taking with when you're going on a trip.

What do you need to make sock puppets? In their simplest form, children can play with sock puppets made merely from an unmatched sock. They can be embellished to include eyes, hair, and even clothing. It all depends upon how creative and resourceful your children are. Here are some common craft items you can use to make your sock puppet:

Adult-sized socks
Buttons or wiggly eyes
Felt scraps or yarn
Pipe cleaners (also known as chenille stems)
Fabric paint
Craft glue
Needle and thread

If your child has a favorite story, you may want to help them create different puppets for each of the characters in the story. They can act out the story with their sock puppets on the road or make up stories of their own with the same characters. In fact, if you're going to be on the road for very long, your children can plan a whole story to share with the family that you're planning on seeing.

To give the sock puppet a little bit of weight and to help give them shape, push crumpled up tissue paper or cotton balls into the toe where the fingers are. You can then create nostrils for a dragon or horse by sewing and shaping the cotton balls to keep them in place.

Bring along stories on CD and let your children act out the stories while you're driving. Not only will this give them something to do, it's something that everyone except the driver can participate in. Practise the movements so they can put on a sock puppet show, with your help, when you arrive at your destination.

It has been proven that the act of creating things is good for your child's creativity and imagination. By taking their sock puppets on the road with them the next time you're traveling, you're encouraging them to use their imagination. Not only will they enjoy playing with their sock puppets, they'll be too busy to ask you if you're “there yet” - which will help you enjoy the trip, as well.

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