What you'll need 2 flip-top soup cans, hammer, large nail, 2 1/4" wood dowels, 2 2" Styrofoam balls, hot-glue gun, 2 14" half circles of knit fabric, 2 rubber bands, assorted colors of felt, double-stick tape, stiff black felt
1. Use a hammer and nail to make a hole in the bottom of can the width of dowel.
2. Insert the top of wood dowel into a Styrofoam ball; secure with glue. Stretch fabric over the ball; secure with rubber band; then conceal with a strip of felt or fabric. Insert bottom of dowel into the hole in the can from the top opening.
3. Line inside top edge of can with double-stick tape; push ends of fabric circle into tape to secure.
4. Cut a rectangular piece of felt (equal to height and circumference of can); glue to outside of the can to create top hat or tree stump. For bear puppet, cut grass pieces from two colors of green felt; glue in place around can. For bunny puppet, cut a ring from stiff black felt and glue to the top edge of can top to create hat brim. Glue a 1/2" band of colored felt around the top.
5. Cut ears, eyes, and nose from felt; glue in place on covered Styrofoam ball.
Originally published in the November 2012 issue of Parents magazine.