Introduction: Cardboard Dancing Puppet Animation

About: Paper Crane Lab is a STEM education space in Bangalore, India that runs workshops and classes around the city. We are a group of enthusiastic teachers who love to experiment and combine STEM and the arts. Our …

Wouldn’t it be cool to make toys and puppets using simple things available in your home? Using simple and commonly available materials you can find in every home, we present a series of fun, creative and insightful STEM based projects that you can make, customize and personalize as creatively as you want! This particular project is perfect for a fun activity filled day at home with parents and kids.

Paper Crane Lab presents, the dancing puppet!

  • Age: 8+
  • Activity duration: 30 min – 1 hour
  • Let’s begin!

If you would prefer a video tutorial of this, you can find it here.


  • Our dancing puppet template (Printable template and measurements:
  • Cardboard
  • Twisty ties or split pins
  • Glue
  • Scissors or blade
  • Pens, color pens

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Step 2: Cut Out the Moving Parts

Paste the template on a piece of cardboard and cut out the parts shown in the template with a pair of scissors or a blade (adult supervision recommended here). Once you cut out the parts and paste it, it should look something like the picture here.

Step 3: Create Joints for the Moving Parts

Poke holes into the markings shown using a sharp pen tip or a compass tip as shown in the picture with the help of an adult.

Step 4: Attach the First Moving Part

Attach the large rectangle to the smaller rectangles using a twisty tie so it can move in and out as shown in the pictures.

Step 5: Attach the Legs to the Moving Parts

Attach each leg to one smaller rectangle with a twisty tie so that they form a criss-cross structure as shown below in the pictures. It should be able to move freely about the joints connected by the twisty ties.

Step 6: Attach the Legs to the Body

Now attach the body of the dancing puppet to the legs of the puppet at the joint points marked on our template using two more twisty ties. It should look something like this from the back and front.

Step 7: Customize and Personalize

Your dancing puppet is ready! You can customize this further by decorating your puppet with colors and designs as creatively as you can be! Go ahead and try this at home. Once you have learned the technique, try this design with other kinds of puppets, such as perhaps a cheerleader puppet, or a dancing animal puppet. You can even make multiple puppets and add them all together in a puppet show to entertain your family. Have fun, and let us know how you made it in the comments below!

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