Put on a Puppet Show
This gathering will be fun for kids from about 3 to 10 and even older if they are fond of drama. You can look forward to a lot of creativity and imagination with this theme.
Set Up: Before the kids arrive, you will need to provide a space for a puppet theater. This can be as simple as letting the kids hide behind a table covered with a floor-length cloth. You could also hang a sheet on a cord strung across one end of a room at about waist height. This might be a good choice if you will have several puppeteers presenting at one time, because it will allow more room.
You will also need to decide if you want to use ready-made puppets or have the kids make them as a part of the fun. Simple puppets can be made from socks, with faces drawn on with permanent markers. Another easy idea is to use tongue depressors with colored faces and scraps of paper used as hats, robes or other accessories. If you decide to provide puppets, you can borrow them from friends or ask at a library that has a good children’s section. Sometimes they will let you check out puppets, too.
Invitations: The Muppets are among the most famous puppets, so if you want to use Kermit or Miss Piggy on your invitations, that would be fun. Many of the Sesame Street characters would appeal to younger kids, as well.
Arrival: As kids come, it would be a good idea to have a teen-age helper or another parent reading some basic fairy tales to give the kids good ideas of stories they could act out with their puppets. Stories with 3 or 4 main characters like “The 3 Little Pigs” and “The Gingerbread Man” work the best.
Main Event: Divide the kids into performance groups of about 4 and help them choose a story to act out. Younger children may have trouble choosing a play and should just have it assigned. Give them time to practice in separate corners of the room. When all groups are ready, let them use the theater area you have set up and perform for the rest of the group. Take video and replay it for everyone so that the kids can see what their play looked like to the audience.
Refreshments: Popcorn and small candies will give the feel of being at the movies.