Make Wild Animal/Safari Finger Puppets

Use upcycled materials to create finger puppets and tell a story! This project was inspired by Zonia's Rain Forest, written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. Zonia’s Rain Forest is the story of an Asháninka girl named Zonia who lives in the Amazon Rainforests of Peru. We follow her adventures through the forest as she encounters her friends from different species of life, and discovers the importance of taking responsibility for the protection of their habitat.

Find Zonia’s Rain Forest at our Chill Zone during your next visit or camp at reDiscover Center!

This activity was initially featured in reDiscover Center's segment at the Santa Monica Arts and LiteracyFestival 2021, which took place virtually. Scroll down to watch and partake in the interactive lesson!

STEP 1 - Gather Your Materials

For the Santa Monica Arts and Literacy Festival, we put together a kit of materials. Many of these materials are things you can collect from home.


Possible upcycled materials to collect.

  • Ribbon
  • String
  • Mylar
  • Fabric Samples
  • Corks
  • Bottle Caps
  • Plastic Cutlery
  • Paperboard (Cereal/Tissue/Snack Boxes)
  • Buttons


Useful Tools for this activity.

  • Scissors
  • Tape (clear or masking)
  • Pencil and markers (or other drawing and coloring materials)
  • Paper for sketching ideas

No hot glue is necessary, we will be working with tape and glue! But if you are using materials that require hot glue, it is also welcome.

What materials will you make with? If you don't have something, what alternatives can you use?


Guiding questions and tips to help you brainstorm:

  • What animals can you find in a safari jungle or a rainforest?
  • Look up "safari animals" or think of a movie/book to get ideas.
    • For example, Disney's The Lion King or Zonia's Rain Forest.
  •  Trace your hand on a sheet of paper. Sketch your finger puppet to get an idea on how big your finger puppet would be when you make it.





Use your materials to create your wild safari animal.

Think about the textures of your materials! How do they add to the puppet's features?

Make cylinders out of paper and tape to stick puppets on.

Who said lions and elephants can’t get along?


Friend or Foe? Tell a story to show how your wild animals interact with each other.

Watch the full lesson: How to Make Finger Puppets (SAFARI Theme) – Santa Monica Arts & Literacy Festival 2021 (Virtual)


Visit the Techniques tab in reDiscover Center's Pedagogy Resources to access our Tiny Techniques videos and get tips for working safely and efficiently with tools.

Once you have finished your puppets, share it with friends and family. If you want to share a picture on social media, make sure to tag @reDiscoverCtr. We'd love to see your finger puppets!!

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