I have to share the cutest puppets that are made out of felt. The patterns and directions are found in the book "Successful Puppet Making - Learning Language Skills Through Play" by Valerie Bendt. My boys love them!!! So far we have made the bear and the fox. The book has patterns for the following puppets - Animals on the Farm (cow, sheep, pig, cat, dog, horse, duck, and hen), Animals in the Woods (mouse, rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, owl, fox, deer, and bear), and Animals in the Jungle (frog, snake, monkey, parrot, hippo, elephant, lion, and tiger). There are color pictures in the book showing what the puppets should look like. These puppets are super easy to make. You just cut out the felt using the patterns provided, sew it using yarn and a large tapestry needle, and then glue the felt details on with felt glue. Super easy!!! My boys are not reading yet but when we they do I will use them for reader's theater. Reader's theater is basically performing a play where the parts are read - not memorized. The focus is on fluency and expressive voices. It is a great way to practice reading in a meaningful context. The play can be presented to younger siblings, family members, or even at a retirement center for the residents. Here are a few links to Reader's Theater Scripts - http://www.teachingheart.net/readerstheater.htm , http://www.timelessteacherstuff.com/ , and http://www.cdli.ca/CITE/langrt.htm . The puppets are also great for the younger crowd in building language and imagination. Here is a picture of the two puppets we have made so far.