Making split-pin puppets has always been a big hit with the kids but we don’t do it frequently enough. We tend to only make them when we have some sort of project on the go. For example, we once made a set of gladiators and a lion when we were learning about ancient Rome and we have made fairytale characters to act out little story plays. It may be because the split-pins (which I think are called paper fasteners here in the US) are tucked away in a stationery box in the study that I forget about them existing and, therefore, the creative possibilities for a rainy day. In any case, when we plucked the “split-pin puppet” slip from the random box of activities, the kids were very happy.
Since we are not working on a project with a specific theme, the boys had complete freedom to choose what character they were going to make. They selected some thick card to work on and I decided to experiment and use watercolour paper so that I could paint my puppet with watercolour. We each drew our characters onto our chosen card being sure to make the tops of the limbs chunky enough to be able to attach the limb to the torso. Then we cut out the individual pieces, coloured and decorated them, and then pushed the split-pins through in order to join all the pieces together in a way that enabled them all to articulate. We used a drawing pin to make the holes so as to avoid any tears and to be super precise with the positioning of the holes.
My 10 year old, an utter comic book nerd, made Wolverine; my oldest and youngest sons chose to make random characters from their own imaginations; my 9 year old made a bright red demon; and I made a zombie.