Building a Puppet Theater with the Girls

One day when my daughters and I were making sock puppets, Elaina very casually asked me to make her a puppet theater.  She wanted it to be pink and purple, with pink curtains.  Challenge accepted.  While I am not much of a DIY person, this seemed like something fun that we could all do together as a family.

Ok, Puppet Theater / Restaurant / General Store

This all started out when Elaina and Gabriella started asking me if they could color some of my socks to make puppets like they did at the Child Development Center.  It seemed like a fun activity, so I got some of my older socks and we had a good time decorating them.

Cue the “Before” picture!

They began making them all the time at school, so every now and then I would put together a very rudimentary puppet theater out of chairs, pillows, and a blanket so they could perform.  It served its purpose, but after a while, the girls wanted more.

So when did shopping carts get so cool?!?

So off to Home Depot we went to pick up 2 x 4s for the exterior, a soft wooden board for the stage, and decorative pieces for the edges.  And of course the girls got to pick out their favorite pink and purple paint for the exterior colors.  After we got home, I did a little sawing in the garage while the girls rode their bikes out front.  They immediately rushed back inside when it was time to paint.

“We’re painting the roses red… I mean, we’re painting the wood boards pink, we’re painting the wood boards pink.”
Inside out shirt?  It is almost like Dad knows what he is doing…
“Finally, something that is in MY color.”
“Time’s up!  Now you are on shift, Dad.”

The girls both did surprisingly well painting, not just in not getting it all over them, but also fully covering the pieces that they were given.  Granted, I had to do the second coat, but I was very proud of them for helping me.  At least now it can be said that we built it together, as opposed to just Dad doing it.  When they went to bed, I started working on the more intricate parts that required more focus, such as drilling holes in the pieces and putting the screws in.  I also had to do more detailed cutting, which I did not want to do with the girls around (for all of our safety).  Then over the next few days, the puppet theater slowly started to take shape.

“It’s the claw!!!”
Getting a little pinker… maybe a little more usable…
Can you guess which pieces the girls picked out?

So while I worked on the finishing touches of the stage, the girls just had to try it out.

The only things missing are the “Psychiatric Help 5¢” and “The Doctor is real in” signs.

When they went to sleep, I finally got a chance to put the stage on.

Not bad… not bad at all…

Now that it was completely usable, I moved it to our foyer so that the girls would have more room to play.

Ready for playtime!

Before I stopped working on it for the night, I added the bar for the curtains.  While it was good enough for now, eventually I planned to sew curtains for the theater.

If it is any indication of how quickly they started playing, they are both still wearing their clothes that they went to bed in.

Elaina and Gabby were ecstatic when they woke up.  After scoping out the puppet theater, they ran to their playroom to grab (way too many) toys to use with it.  While it was for puppets, they played restaurant with it most of the day.

It’s a hit!
Pretty sure Elaina is showcasing her toys… no more Wheel of Fortune for you!

The girls absolutely loved it, which made me very happy.  They played for hours and hours that first day.  In complete honesty though, it took me a while before I got the curtains up.  We had to pick out the linen and I had to learn to sew… so there was that.

The Finished Product
Still more symmetrical than their pigtails…

And even though the curtains were “barely passing” for me, the girls loved them, so it did not matter (pretty sure I have written about that before…).

Which one is the star and which one is the wallflower?

After the curtains went up, they went into performance mode.  The puppets and dolls came out, and they took turns performing while the other one ate popcorn and cereal.

“Starring Fancy Nancy!”
“And starring the Gabbs!”
That smile is what makes all this hard work worth it.

This was a fun experience and with it came a prop that we can use for the rest of their childhood (or until the movers break it).  The girls helped me every step of the way and made sure that I built it precisely to their specifications (more pink!).  Thank you for checking in on us and I hope that you are enjoying these posts and our story.


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