There are some toys that children will always enjoy playing with an a puppet theater is one of them.
This super easy craft is made from just one large box, some sono tubes, paint and some decorative paper.
Easy enough for the children to make for themselves other than cutting the hole for the theater in the front and the escape hatch in the back.
I made this to look like a castle which gives it all sorts of opportunity for the children to make up stories for Rapunzel, and other fairy tales, Lords and Ladies, Knights and Princess or where ever their imagination takes them.
Easy enough to construct in an afternoon with some time given for the paint to dry.
The construction of the puppet theater started with a box from an oven and two sono tubes. Sono tubes (or builders tubes) are the cardboard tubes that are used in construction when pouring cememt.
You can buy them at most big box building supply stores.
You are going to start by cutting a back door in your box to get in and out. Just cut it on three sides (top, side, bottom) and bend the 4th side so your door will be hinged.
Depending on the height of your box and the height of your children you can decide where to cut the theater opening. Just make it a straight rectangle. If they are very short you can place a stool inside for them and if they are tall they can kneel on the stool.
The sono tubes generally come in 8 foot lengths and their width can be 6inches, 8 inches or 12 inches. Depending on the size you want your towers to be you can chose which size tube to buy. They tend to be relatively inexpensive and even though I did this craft several years ago I believe the cost of them was under $10.
I cut the tube in half with a hand saw ( 2 four foot tubes) but if you don't have a hand saw you could very carefully cut it with an Exacto knife. I used two bolts for each tower and cutting a hole in the side of the tube with the Exacto knife I pushed it against the cardboard box, marked the box and made another small hole. I then simply bolted the tubes to the box.
The children painted the box and sono tubes with some left over interior paint that we had.
I had some gift boxes that had a blue snowflake pattern on them and cut them into two cones to fit on top of the towers, a dental pattern on the top of the box, strips for beside the opening and a decorative flourish above the opening.
You can do this same design by using Bristol Board in any matching color paint.
To get the correct size for the cones try making a pattern from newspaper first to make sure you have the right size.
With a bit of black craft paint I painted in windows on the towers.
You can customize your puppet theater any which way that you want with left over bits of paint and paper.
If I was to make this again I would have done curtains in the opening that they could have draw open and closed.
This simple toy lasted for years and their friends use to delight in putting on shows with them.
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Copyright Ingrid Talpak 2012