Meet Punch, Judy and Croc, three of the Punch and Judy puppets in the Museum's collection.

A crocodile hand puppet used during historic Punch and Judy shows

Punch and Judy was a puppet show that happened at the beach.  

Punch was always made with a hunch on his back, so actually Punch was a disabled man. He was also a bully in the show.

A hand puppet used in Punch and Judy shows. The figure has a red cap, bulbous eyes and painted nose
  • Can you think of any other disabled characters in stories that are the bad guys?
  • How about Captain Hook in Peter Pan, or Darth Vadar in Star Wars?
  • Why do you think disabled people are chosen as baddies? And do you think this is okay?

Design your own puppet

You can choose the character, what they look like, their name and then make up a story. Then you could put on a show, and even video it!

Tap the arrow to the right to begin.

This activity has been created by artist Jo Paul

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You will need:

  • Newspaper (or old wrapping paper, magazines, etc)
  • Some fabric (you could use a tea towel or cut up old clothes if you have permission)
  • Tape
  • 3 sticks (old paintbrushes, skewers with the sharp end removed, or even sticks from outside if you can find some nice straight ones)
  • Paint and brushes
  • Wool or string
  • Glue
  • Egg box

Step 1

Tape some paper to the top of the stick. 

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Step 2

Gradually add more paper. Use paper to add some facial features like eyes, nose and mouth.

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Step 3

Paint your faces in a base of white paint. Once this has dried, add whatever colour and design you want to the face.

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Step 4

Glue on some string or wool for hair.

You can paint hair on if you don't have string or wool.

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Step 5

Take some fabric and glue or sew it into a tube.

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Step 6

Attach your piece of fabric to the neck of your puppet with string or wool.

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Step 7

Put some tape underneath to help hold it in place. 

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Step 8

You could cut some holes in the side of the fabric. You can then put your fingers through the holes as puppet arms.

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Step 9

You can also make a crocodile puppet. 

Take an egg box and with a pencil carefully poke 3 holes in the back, where your fingers will go.

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Step 10

Paint the inside of the egg box like the inside of a crocodile mouth.

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Step 11

Paint the outside of the box and add some eyes.

Add some green fabric to give your crocodile a body and to cover the puppeteers arm.

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Step 12

You can drape a sheet over a broomstick tied to two chairs to make a stage, or use a camera as your stage, like I have here. 

Have fun making your puppets!

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Watch the Pinch and Buddy puppet show!

Can you put on a show with your puppets?