Play With Me: Action [Part 3]

By: Shannon Mallery, Program Assistant Sr. - Mature Adults

This is the third week of the Play With Me: Action series. This week we will focus on mystery with two activities that will have your little ones guessing and laughing. Again we will need a large dose of sillies on hand for this week's activities.

These activities are designed for children between 2 and 5 years old. Before getting started, parental assistance will be needed to help collect and setup supplies. Consider sending the supply list ahead of time so the parent can prepare in advance.

Activity #1 - Finger Puppet Dance Party with a Mystery

Make two hosts for a finger puppet dance party mystery. One made from a paper cup and the other from a paper plate. 

  • Paper or plastic cup
  • Paper plate or round piece of paperboard cut from an old cereal box
  • Scissors or pointy knife
  • Paint brush and paint, marker or pen
  • Paper napkin, tissue paper or paper towel
  • Tape or glue

Paper Cup Puppet  
- Stick you middle three fingers into the cup, feel where it would be comfortable to stick one of them through the cup. Mark that spot with a pen. 
- Punch a small hole where you marked with the tip of scissors or a knife.
- If you have a plain cup you can simply draw a face on it, if not you can paint the cup, the face and hair.
- Next tape or glue your paper around the cup like clothing. It is good if it can cover a bit of your hand. 
- Glue a bit of paper to the top of the paper cup as hair. 
- Put the cup back over your fingers and poke one of them through the hole, this will be the nose and hold the cup on your hand.


Paper Plate Puppet
- Fold the paper plate in half. 
- Draw or paint the inside of your puppet's mouth on the inside of your plate. 
- Draw an insect in the mouth of your puppet. 
- Draw or paint your puppet on the outside of the plate.
- Tape a few fingers to the top and place your thumb underneath the plate.
- Open and close the paper plate to make it "talk".

Let the Dance Party "Mystery" begin:

Once the puppets are done they can host a virtual dance party for your child. Have them ask your child to wave their arms in the air, shake their middle, roll their shoulders etc. If your child is used to burning up the dance floor they may need little encouragement from the finger puppets. In that case just have the puppets encourage your child by saying things like "show me some dance moves". 

At some point bring up the insect in the paper plate puppet's mouth. This is the mystery "How did that get in there and what is it doing?". You, your child and the puppets can all try to figure it out and just let the mystery take you where it will. 

Make different silly voices for each of the puppets if you can. Have the puppets talk to each other, you and your child. The more interaction and personality you can bring to the puppets and the more attention they show to your child the better. Be sure to make your finger puppets ahead of the time. Practice with them a little bit so you are comfortable using them. Save your puppets, they can read books and sing songs in future virtual visits. 

Activity #2 - I found it!

  • 4-5 items of the same bright color to be "hidden" in each room
  • A picture of the things you have hidden sent (emailed, texted etc. ) to your child ahead of time
"Hide" 4-5 items of the same color in a room where your child can see them as they talk with you. Repeat this for several rooms. This is a game of look and spot where your child will look around the room you are in to find the things you have hidden. Keep the objects you hide color coded, meaning hide only objects of the same color in one room. 


Start by having your child look at the picture of the things you have hidden in the room. Do not tell your child what the items in the picture are or talk to them about them. Then either face the camera of your device so that your child can see the objects you have hidden in the room or walk around with your device so that they can see them as you describe them.


Once they find all of the objects in one room move to the next room. You can put all the objects close to each other to make it easier or spread them out around the room depending on the desired level of difficulty you need for your child. You may want to add in extra objects of the same color that you do not ask your child to find just to make it a little more challenging.

I hope you have enjoyed being a little mysterious with this week's Play With Me: Action series. Stay courageous and inspiring and remember to Play More with DPR!