Jumping Figures

The puppets made in this project are fun to play with, but making them can be tricky for kids and adults alike. Hopefully, the steps below will help make the process easier.


  • Cardstock
  •  Scissors
  • Tape
  • Paper fasteners
  • Thin string
  • Hole punch
  • Markers


1.      Cut out shapes from the cardstock to act as the legs, body with head, and arms of an animal/creature/alien. Decorate with markers.

2.      Punch a hole in each limb where it will be attached to another body part.

3.      Arrange the limbs underneath the body. Attach the limbs and body together by poking paper fasteners through the holes from above and opening the fasteners to lock. Keep the paper fasteners loose, though. The limbs won’t move easily if they are tight.


4.      On the backside of the puppet: tape a piece of string across the top pair of limbs, in this case, the arms. The ends of the string must be taped above the paper fasteners for the puppet to work. The string should not be very loose. Trim to size. Repeat for the legs.

5.      Take one long piece of string. Tie one end to the center of the string connecting the arms. Tie the string again, but this time around the center of the leg-connecting string. Leave the other end hanging down. There is no specific length the string should be. It will all depend on the size of your puppet. However, when the limbs are down, the string connecting the leg and arm strings should not be slack.

6.      To use, hold the puppet from the top and pull the string down. The limbs will move up.



  • Students found this project relatively difficult, and needed help figuring out how to join the pieces of cardstock together.
  • Keep the pieces, especially the limbs, wide. Kids like to cut them so narrow that a hole can’t be punched in them.
  • These instructions are based on a 4-limbed puppet. We found any more made the moving of the limbs particularly difficult.


  • Book: "Get Creative with Paper" by Paul Jackson and Angela A'Court