School of Fine ArtsBallard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
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The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a public research university in the U.S. state of Connecticut. UConn was founded in 1881 and is a Land Grant and Sea Grant college & member of the Space Grant Consortium. The university serves more than 30,000 students on its six campuses, including more than 8,000 graduate students in multiple programs.

Hand Puppet Workshops

Sock Puppet Workshop with Maggie Flanagan

Make a fun sock puppet with your stray socks and a few items you can find around your house! Recommended for ages 6+.

Materials needed: sock; cardboard and felt; construction paper or markers; items to use for eyes (buttons, plastic Easter eggs, ping pong balls, or egg carton); any decorations you’d like to add: feathers, pompoms, and beads; hot glue; optional: you can use bits of fluff and cut up rags to make puffy noses/heads/bumps

Originally streamed on Facebook on 4/17/20.

Paper Puppets with Felicia Cooper

Are you home and in need of something to do? Recommended for ages 4+

Use paper, tape, and a pencil to make yourself a few friends to play with! All you need is some paper, tape, and scissors to make fun masks and origami puppets! 

Originally streamed on Facebook on 3/25/2020

Ping-Pong Ball Puppet Workshop with Elise Vanase (Part 1)

Ping-Pong Ball Puppet Workshop with Elise Vanase (Part 1)

Hand puppetry doesn’t have to be complicated! In the first part of this series, learn how to make an effective hand puppet using just a ping-pong ball (or other available object) on your finger. We will also explore methods of personalizing this puppet! Hold on to what you created because in the second session of this series, we will explore performance techniques for these puppets using fun exercises! Recommended for ages 5+ (with adult supervision when using the X-Acto knife). Materials needed: ping-pong ball (if you don’t have a ping-pong ball, you can sculpt a head using newspaper and masking tape!); X-Acto knife; things to decorate (such as permanent markers, paint, googly eyes, paper, yarn, etc.) Originally streamed on Facebook on 5/20/20 and 5/22/20.

Ping-Pong Ball Puppet Workshop with Elise Vanase (Part 2)

In Part 2 of this series, we will learn how to perform the puppets we created in Part 1 through a series of fun exercises! No materials required! Recommended for ages 5+. Originally streamed on Facebook on 5/22/20.

Wrist Puppet Workshop with Elise Vanase

Come turn your hand into a walking puppet with just a few simple materials! Recommended for ages 4+. Materials needed: old sock, scissors, hot glue or tape, cereal box cardboard, markers, yarn (optional), pipe cleaners (optional) Originally streamed on Facebook on 6/3/20.

Literal Glove Puppet Workshop with Elise Vanasse

Have any spare gloves around the house? Join Elise to learn how to turn them into quick, funky puppets! Recommended for ages 6+. Materials needed: gloves (dishwashing/cloth work best), glue, permanent markers, yarn, googly eyes

Originally aired on 8/14 on FB Live

Puppets for the Screen Performance Workshop

We’ve spent so much time this summer building puppets! Let’s let them do what they do best—perform! On Wednesday, August 19, join UConn Puppet Arts students Felicia Cooper and Elise Vanase to learn tips and tricks for performing puppets on screen in this age of virtual meetings and performances. Recommended for ages 5+. Materials needed: Peepers! If you don’t have a pair, that’s okay! Puppeteer Hobey Ford will show you how to quickly make a set here: This workshop is made possible with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Originally aired on 8/19 on FB Live