Project: Puppet theatre – Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

After the success of the felt playset based on an Eric Carle book, I decided to start another project, inspired by a popular title: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
brown bear

For those who are not familiar with this book (a collaboration between Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle), it’s targeted at preschoolers, and introduces a list of different brightly coloured animals (including a purple cat and a blue horse) using catchy repetitive text. I love this version on Youtube read by Bill Martin.

To bring Brown Bear alive, I decided to make a mini puppet theatre, complete with the various animals introduced in the book. The “theatre” was a recycled cardboard box from a previous book purchase, decorated with coloured construction paper to form a backdrop. C and G chipped in to make the backdrop, with C painting the paper plates for the trees and bushes, and G fluffing and pasting the cotton wool for the clouds.

I had initially wanted to make handpuppets, but decided to make my life easier by printing and laminating the various animals instead. To make the animals stand on the stage, I used a piece of cork, and pasted a piece of magnet underneath (I’ve these left over from old magnetic toy pieces). With a magnetic strip below the stage, the show begun!

I see a red bird looking at me.

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me.

With a bit of practice, I was able to control the movement of the puppets so that they turned and moved on cue as I read from the book. The kids were amazed to see the animals come alive on the stage! To quote C: “They are moving by themselves! It’s magic!” Of course, she found out about the magnets later, and wanted to try it herself (the magic of magnetism will be explained to her in due course).

The whole cast

The whole cast

I decided to velcro the tree stump and tree so that the “theatre” can be easily folded and kept (with puppets stored neatly inside). This can be reused for the next story telling session, with different props and puppets.

Judging by the looks on the kids’ faces during the performance, I think they liked it 😉

Have you read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? Which is your favourite Eric Carle book?


14 thoughts on “Project: Puppet theatre – Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

    1. mummyshymz Post author

      Thank you for your compliments! I had wanted to stick the cutouts on popsicle sticks, but didn’t quite like the effect. The magnets gave the puppets a certain lifelike (and magical, haha) quality somehow, and I’m glad I used them 🙂

  1. Zee

    Wow I am so impressed!! And the use of a magnet is such a simple concept but such an ingenious idea! I can imagine why this would be a hit with your kids. I loved puppet shows as a kid, no matter what form they took 🙂 They were a whole load of fun!

    1. mummyshymz Post author

      Thanks! Yes, I loved puppets too! And I’m glad the kids enjoyed watching the “show” as much as I enjoyed the crafting process. The look in their eyes is priceless 🙂

  2. beautifullyrenewed

    Hello! I wanted to let you know I really like your blog and enjoy reading your posts! I am passing along the Liebster Award to you today in appreciation for your great blog! I hope you have fun with it if you chose to participate, and have a great day!

  3. Grace of Mae

    That’s great! I’ve been meaning to bring more stories to life do that L can be more involved in them! Thanks for the inspiration! Hairy Maclary a favourite in this house at the moment so I might give that a go!


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