Puppet shows are great for grabbing the attention of the children in your Sunday School. But how do you keep their interest once the puppet appears? You’ll need a great script! Here are 4 steps for writing an entertaining puppet show.
Before you start brainstorming, keep these things in mind:
- The puppet show can be used to introduce the topic of the lesson to the children. The puppet does not tell the Bible story, but has a problem that is related to the application of the lesson. For example: In a lesson about forgiveness, the puppet struggles to forgive a friend who hurt him. In a lesson about talents, the puppet feels he is not able to do all the things his older brother can do and feels like he is useless. In a lesson about temptation, the puppet struggles to obey his mom when she is not there to see what he is doing.
- The puppet show can also be used after you have told the Bible story in a creative way. The puppet still has the same problem, but now you can include the children in solving his problem. This allows the children to apply the message from the Bible story to the puppet’s problem. In this way the puppet show helps to solidify the application of the lesson for the kids.
- The puppet is not the teacher, but the puppet has problem that needs to be solved. This will lead the kids to relate to the puppet and his problem (yes, I also struggle to obey my mom when she is not there), and will make the kids think about a solution for this problem.
Here are four steps for writing an engaging and fun puppet skit.
- Identify the problem
Think about the main point of the Bible story you are going to teach the children. Take the topic you’d like to address, for example the talents God has given us or showing kindness when someone is nasty to you. Think about the practical application of the topic, and the barriers your children may face when they want to apply this to their lives. So children may think, ‘I don’t know what my talents are’ or ‘I struggle with being angry with my little sister when she scribbles on my homework’.
Use the problem your children face and turn it into a problem the puppet has. He might be confused about something, or misunderstand something, or he may worry about something like not being able to go to sleep in the dark.
Then think of a conversation the puppet is going to have with the teacher about the topic.
2. Attempts to Solve the Problem
To make the puppet skit into an engaging story, you need to come up with three attempts to solve the problem. Perhaps the teacher suggests solutions and the puppet has already tried them. He tells what happened and why that did not work. The puppet may also come up with solutions himself that are quite silly or outrageous, and the kids can tell the puppet why that would not work. Then present the solution as a final attempt to solve the problem. Connect the solution to the main part of your message from the Bible story.
3. Include the Kids
Insert moments in the conversation where the kids get to say something. First of all, you can let the kids call the puppet. Kids love to be loud as they call for him to come. Secondly, let the kids be a part of the solution. You may let the class as a whole participate, or you can (carefully) choose a child to come to the front for a short part of the puppet show, who will then ask a question or make a suggestion to the puppet. Including the children in the conversation, even if it is for a small part, will be a tremendous help to get the children engaged.
4. Add Funny Details
Come up with at least 3 crazy or funny things the puppet can say in the puppet skit. Think of jokes, play tricks on words, and let the puppet be overly dramatic. Let the kids laugh as the puppet shares crazy ideas. For example, “I don’t have so many talents. Hmm… let’ see… I am good ad fighting! Does that count as a talent?”
If puppets fight, keep the tone light and don’t use bad words. Relate it to the types puppets you use. If you have a bird puppet, you could say, “You’re just an old bird! You’re just made of feathers!”
Don’t make your puppet show too “preachery”. Instead focus on things like God’s love, how He wants to use the kids, how important they are in God’s eyes, how they can show love to others, etc.
Your kids will love it whenever you bring out those silly puppets. Having a clear problem and practical solution will help the children catch on to what you’re teaching them. Including the kids in the skit, adding jokes and some fun dramatic parts will make learning an entertaining experience for them, and will make them want to come back for more.
To get some inspiration, download a sample puppet-skit-Sam-and-Gloria.pdf
If you don’t have puppets, check out How to Make Simple Puppets