Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr

Dancing Blue Heron Puppet

Use pom-poms to make a heron marionette that can really move!

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Average Rating:
Participant Age: 7 to 12, Under 7
Approximate Cost: Under $10
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Scraps of blue craft foam
  • Scraps of orange craft foam
  • Craft glue
  • 2 googly eyes
  • Blue pipe cleaner (optional)
  • 20 small orange pom-poms
  • 3 small blue pom-poms
  • 3 large blue pom-poms
  • 5 medium-size blue pom-poms
  • 2 medium-size white pom-poms
  • Scissors
  • Blue thread
  • 2 wooden dowels
Make the Heron's Neck, Legs, and Torso

Make each of these body parts and let the glue on them dry.

  • Neck: Glue five medium-size blue pom-poms, one on top of the other.
  • Legs: For each leg, glue nine medium-size orange pom-poms, one on top of the other. At the end of each leg, glue one medium-size orange pom-pom sideways, as shown, for the top of a foot.
  • Torso: Glue three large blue pom-poms, one on top of the other, for the back. For the belly, glue two medium-size white pom-poms to the underside of the back, as shown. Fill in any holes with small blue pom-poms. Glue them in place. At the end of the torso, glue one small blue pom-pom for a tail. 
Glue Neck and Legs onto Torso

Glue the bird's neck onto the torso as shown. Let dry. Then glue the legs onto the torso, and let them dry.

Cut Out Feet

Cut two bird feet out of orange craft foam and glue them in place.

Cut Out Beak

Cut two beak shapes (see photo) out of blue craft foam and glue one on top of the other. Let dry. Then glue the beak onto the end of the last blue pom-pom (the bird's head).

Add Eyes

Glue googly eyes onto the head.

Glue Dowels Together

Form a cross with the two wooden dowels and glue them together where they intersect. Let dry. To make the cross more secure, wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle (optional).

Prepare Thread

Cut five pieces of 24-inch thread. Fold each thread in half so that it forms a 12-inch piece of doubled thread.

Attach Thread to Pom-Poms
  • Loop the thread (at its center) around the small blue pom-pom that forms the tail, and glue or tie in place. Then wind the open end of the thread several times around an arm of the dowel cross.
  • Attach the other threads the same way. One thread should loop around the bird's beak. One should loop around the middle of the left leg, and one around the middle of the right leg. And one thread should loop around the top of the neck.
  • Now pull the threads with your fingers and make your heron dance!

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