New Victory Arts Break: Europe – Play

Welcome to “Play” week of our Europe adventure. We have learned a bit about the continent, got an up-close look at Oily Cart’s artistry and community and had the chance to customize some art of our own. Now it is time to take all of this to the next level to master some other theatrical traditions with a pop of personalization: puppetry and parading!

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New Victory Arts Break Play

Taking It to New Heights

Happiness, color and movement are only some of the fantastical elements of an Oily Cart show, from a Doorstep Jamboree for a full audience to a puppet show for one family. Oily Cart puppeteers took flight this season as they created bird puppets that could dazzle audiences from a safe distance. Now it’s time to make and puppeteer some puppets of our own. What better way to fly into this new art form than by creating our own flying puppets!?

Follow these steps from New Victory Teaching Artist Spencer Lott and create your very own bird puppet.

Materials: Paper, crayons/markers, scissors, tape

Step One: Take a piece of white paper and fold it in half (hot dog style).
Step Two: Draw a bird outline and cut it out – color it in, add pizzazz/personality, etc. Using the excess paper, cut some strips to make the tail and attach with tape on the inside of the fold.
Step Three: Take another piece of paper and fold like an accordion. These will be your wings!
Step Four: Cut a quarter-sized slit towards the front of your bird’s back and slip in your folded wings.
Step Five: Attach the control rod and then tape the folded edges of the belly together.
Step Six: Have some fun moving your bird puppet around!

Make a Bird Puppet

How to Make a Bird Puppet page 2

Learn how to fly your puppet in the next activity!

Flying Bird Puppet

Interested in puppet-building on a smaller scale? Check out a simple paper craft from our friends at the company Lejo by visiting their website. Eyeball finger puppets? Yes, please!

Keep up the fun with Kneehigh Theater and their fun online content.

It's Alive

Now it is time to bring your bird puppet to life, off the ground or table top and up, up and away! Follow along with Spencer as he teaches the basics of puppetry and some ways to maneuver your bird puppet.

Now that you have the basics, it is time to practice and master how to make your puppet look real and alive.

Grab your New Victory Notebook or use our template to create your flight checklist. (It’s important to make sure you have a couple of flight moves down pat before you showcase your puppetry skills to the world!)

Birds in Flight Checklist

Can your bird puppet: make a circle? Figure 8? Climb? Dive? Have any other moves? Add them to the list! Here are a few that we came up with:

Notebook Bird in Flight Checklist

Try out these moves in any random order—mix it up! Then, with a friend or family member, play a quick game of “Simon Says” with these moves. Remember to change the order (and maybe even give some rapid fire directions!) so that your flight school boot camp prepares you for the mightiest flight challenges.

Here is an example of us warming up for “Simon Says.”

Enjoy puppetry while watching in your own space, and check out some of Little Angel Theatre’s online shows and activities.

On the Go

We have added color, puppetry, music and much more to our performance skills. Now it is time to bring this (jamboree) show on the road! (Well, sorta.) Follow along with these activities to plan a puppet parade and jamboree in your neighborhood!

Grab your New Victory Notebook. Now let’s imagine our show taking place outside. Let’s imagine it as a parade!

Step One: Draw a map of your neighborhood. It could be as big or as small as you want; it could be just the block your home is on or it could be several blocks together.

Step Two: Draw out your parade route. You can make it as straight or as wonky or as long or as short as you want, as long as you stay on your map.

Neighborhood Map

Step Three: Find a way to add more movement. Maybe you can bring your bike, wagon, shopping cart or scooter along with you. Decorate it, and get it parade ready! Check out this cool DIY idea from Green and Gorgeous for fun bike decorating ideas.

Here is our scooter ready for its outdoor debut!


Step Four: If you are able, try out your parade route! Explain your parade route to an adult, and march it proudly with your family. Remember all of your bird puppet boot camp training–perform some of those bird puppet moves as you parade around!

Revisit Little Angel Theater whenever you need more inspiration and crafting ideas for your on-the-go jamboree.

Rainy Day Modification:

Step One: Draw a room in your household. (We chose our bedroom). Make sure you add furniture and important details, like doors, chairs or other big furniture.

Home Indoor Map

Step Two: Draw out a fun parade route. This can be as easy or as wild as you like.

Step Three: Get your bird puppet ready and walk the parade route you created. As you walk, remember to test out all of the flying skills you just practiced with your puppet.

Step Four: Keep adding more challenges or obstacles. Remember to be safe! Want to level it up? Try to draw out a map of your entire home, and a parade route through every room.

Until next time! Thanks for creating along with us for our “Play” week adventures. Come back next time to learn more about creating your very own customized performance.

New Victory Arts Break Supporters

New Victory Arts Break is funded, in part, by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.