Peter and the Wolf Puppet Theater

This weekend was snowy (Bleh!). Friday was 72 degrees, and we were enjoying every second of it. Then a good 5 inches of snow dropped on us, and we’ve been bundled up in the house all weekend.

Spring, and I tend to forget this every year, is like that. You never know when those ‘inside’ days are going to hit. And I wanted to have some fun.

So, I made a puppet theater for the kids. And it was so much fun to make, I’ve decided to post it here so you can play too!

Peter and the Wolf is a long time favorite in our house. I grew up listening to the record and my husband, who is 1/4 Russian himself, grew up the same way. Our children were listening to this story before they could even talk! It’s just such a classic. You know the music, right?

In case you are unfamiliar, Serge Prokofiev wrote Peter and the Wolf (the first symphony for children by the way) in 1936. It’s a narrative symphony about a boy (Peter) and his animals as they encounter a wolf from the nearby woods. Here’s a fantastic 1941 recording for you.

Peter and the Wolf Recording with Basil Rathbone (22 minutes)

The story goes like this:

One day, Peter opens his gate to play out in the meadow beyond his house. He meets a bird, and soon his duck and cat come to join in the play.


He comes back inside and his Grandfather scolds him for leaving because beyond the meadow are woods filled with wolves (just like a Russian Grandfather would).

Grandfather locks the gate and tells him to never go out there again. But, Peter paid no attention. “Boys like Peter are not afraid of Wolves.”

Peter is inside the gate, but his friends, the bird, cat and duck are still out by the pond. The wolf swallows up the duck in one big gulp and goes after the cat and the bird who are up in a tree.

Peter gets a rope and climbs over the gate and into the tree where he ties up the wolf and catches him.

A hunter comes and sees the wolf and is about to shoot when Peter cries out that he has caught the wolf. They tie up the wolf and take him to the nearby zoo.

In the story, the duck is still alive inside the wolf’s belly as they parade heroically to the zoo….and our version, we like to say that the wolf spits up the duck and they all parade together.

And that’s the story! But the music is what makes it. I can’t get it out of my head. And it’s so good for children!

Last Christmas, my husband’s parents made us an incredible hand carved collection with all the characters and the book and CD in a hand painted wooden box. We have spent the past year acting out this story at least once a month. The children listen to it over and over again, using the characters to follow the musically narrated story. It’s been such amazing play for the kids, I’ve wanted to do something similar for YOU! But I’ve not been able to come up with how to do that. I nearly came up with a paper doll version, but it didn’t seem to be as fun.

But with paper puppets, the body parts move….and can be played with even outside the stage. Hours of fun.

So here’s what you need:

A Paper Stage:


This is a FREE download in hopes that you can use it for more than just Peter and the Wolf. You can cut it out and fit it to any kind of box, but a cereal box works great. The stage is very close to a full size sheet of USA standard paper (8.5 x 11 inches). So find a cereal box that works with that size. The crown of the proscenium is easy to tape on, or even better, fasten on with brads so you can change it out and replace it with others that title the performance.

Download the Stage HERE.

Peter and the Wolf Characters:


I debated on this one….I wanted to make it completely cost free, but since it is rather elaborate, I’m charging just a small fee: $5.50 for the entire set. I plan on making more stories, some of which will be more simple will be a free download.

You can purchase the full PETER AND THE WOLF set HERE.

Other Household Supplies:


 

Cereal box

Scissors

Tape

String

Small brads (these are used for scrapbooking and are smaller than normal brads used for school or office. You’ll find them in any craft store that sells scrapbook materials).

Safety pin (to pre-poke holes before fastening with brads)

Sticks for puppeting These are found at any craft store, wooden skewers used for barbequeing work as well. Popscicle sticks are going to be too wide, so don’t try.

 

MUSIC:

The Disney animated classic can be viewed on You Tube HERE.

Another favorite version is here, but there are lots more.

But feel free to LISTEN OFF THE BLOG for free whenever you want. (It’s not the best recording out there, but it is the best FREE recording out there. But the voice of Basil Rathbone? Fantastic!)

 

So there you go! I really hope you like it….in fact, I’d LOVE your feed back on this one. Please comment and tell me your thoughts….I have been wanting to add this kind of thing to my shop/blog for a long time.

Is this something you’d like to see more of?

Can you think of other favorite (copyright free) stories that you’d like to have characters of?

Would you prefer a PDF download, or a KIT with all supplies included that you can purchase and have mailed to you?

I can see this as a collection you can keep adding too….some with just black and white print outs that children can color themselves, some more elaborate and entertaining.

I’d love to know what you think! I can’t think of anything out there quite like this….so spread the word and we’ll see if I can’t get more little “performances” put together. It’s the perfect creative play, and I can promise you it’s going to be a big hit at your house. Tell me how it goes!

 

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  • http://www.craftymumma.com Gab

    OMG!! Sarah this is incredible!! I just adore it. I am not sure of wether they are copyright covered or not but the little girls in my house would love to see Rapunzel or The princess and the pea!!

    Gab xx

  • http://www.uponafold.com.au Justine

    This is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  • April H.

    I love It! It’s great! I want more. I think a kit with all the supplies would be awesome because then you could give it as a gift. Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears and The Three Pigs would all be great.

  • http://www.magdarow.blogspot.com Amanda

    Love, love, love this!!! :) Thank you so much. I, too, adore Peter and the Wolf. We were reading it to my son along with the music a lot when he was 2 (he’s now 5), but then had to stop because the music was scaring him. :) He comes with a very vivid imagination. I’m wondering now if we can re-introduce it again!! I’m sure he would love this as much as I do! Beautiful! I love everything you create. :)

  • http://www.lesbonnesideesmag.com/nouveau Theresa(Miss Charlotte)

    Oh, how I love this! My children grew up on the music and the story…we even would play it in the car (Dom Deluise narrated version)and saw it performed by our local ballet and symphony (called the Lollipop Concerts). Thank you for your brilliance and creativity!

  • http://momnipotentblog.blogspot.com N.

    This is fabulous! Ditto on Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. Also the Princess and the Pea would be lovely. These would make a fun little present for Easter or just because!

  • http://www.TerraSavvy.com Jill V.

    Can I just say I have such a “blog crush” on you? Ha ha!

    Everything you come up with is perfection!

    This is amazing and I will be purchasing the download without hesitation. Half the fun will be assembling it with my boys.

    I do like the idea of a kit for purchase (in addition) as a gift idea. It would also be good for those without a good quality printer or someone who isn’t crafty.

    Yeah for SJ! (Do you not like SJ?)

    Enjoy your day

  • http://www.paintingsbymarissa.com Terri Hitt

    Love this idea!! I had a recording of Peter and the Wolf as a child, too. Still have the old record. Marissa wonders if you can do something with China or one of her very favorites…the Nutcracker! She adores ballet and would love to see all the costumes and the ballerinas!

  • http://www.artbycandi.co.za Candice Hall

    I would love the kit purchase available as well as the download.

    Sigh. This is really great.

  • Sarah Jane

    Thanks so much! I agree…having a good collection of folk tales would be great. The stories that we all know and don’t need any kind of script for. It’s good to hear you’d like an actual kit too….it’s good to hear what you like so I can work on getting them in the shop! Thanks you guys!

  • Claire

    Thank you so much! These are amazing. I would love more folk tales. This is such a wonderful way for the stories to come alive for my daughter.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.creativethursday.typepad.com Marisa and Creative Thursday

    you are amazing!! this is gorgeous. One of Sean’s favorite childhood stories

  • Jochet

    This is lovely!!!

  • http://www.philwebbfamily.blogspot.com Micaela

    This is wonderful! Thanks Sarah. Phil and I just introduced Peter and the Wolf to the kids last week. I’m excited to give them the puppets. Love you!

  • http://www.chiotsrun.com Chiot’s Run

    This is toooo cute. I would have loved this as a little girl as I was always fascinated and wanted a marionette set like in The Sounds of Music. So much fun!

  • Lucy

    I don’t even have words to tell you how awesome this is! I love it. I already purchased the set and if you make any more I will get those too. I love the idea of kids being able to interact with the story. LOVE IT! Thank you so much!

  • http://www.amomsyear.com Shannon

    Yes! Keep them coming, please! You are so talented–and your in-laws are, too. They made those?!? Can’t wait to share these with my kids. It’s funny how we all have our favorites–I grew up listening to Leonard Bernstein’s recording. My mom gave my kids the CD, which we haven’t listened to in a while, to be honest. I’m off to dust it off and download your beautiful designs.

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  • http://kickcanandconkers.blogspot.com deb

    This is one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen, really first-class and so inspirational. I love Peter and the Wolf and my little boy is working on this story at school. You should definitely put things like this in your shop.
    Is it Ok to post a few images with a link back here on my blog? Tomorrow?

  • http://kickcanandconkers.blogspot.com deb

    Couldn’t wait, have done a quick post on my blog + twitter + facebook. Really love this.
    The Princess and The Pea is another lovely story, I think.

  • Claudia

    Oh this is the loveliest thing. We love Peter and the Wolf and the recording is just precious. This will make the perfect activity for after Easter dinner. Thank you and yes, if you make more we would love to purchase.

  • http://www.lesbonnesideesmag.com/nouveau Theresa(Miss Charlotte)

    I can’t stand it…I MUST SHARE!! Would you be so kind as to allow me to share this fabulous kit with my readers tomorrow? Pretty please? With cookies on the side?

  • http://www.hazelnutgirl.blogspot.com/ Jacqui

    How gorgeous! The version I grew up with was read by Boris Karloff and had the most gorgeous illustration on the front of the album. My dad recorded it, pops and crackles and all, onto CD last year for me and my 5 year old daughter loves it, and I love it even more seeing her love it too. I recently found it on iTunes, and while it’s nice to have a clean version, I do have a fondness for the pops and scratches :) Isn’t it funny how we all have a passion for the version that we knew as kids and no other will do?

  • Chrissy N.

    fantastic! really beautiful & I know my kiddos will love. really great idea & such a beautiful set…

  • http://www.quilttaffy.blogspot.com Des

    Brilliant! Simply brilliant. I would prefer a kit. But the PDF is awesome for those of us that need instant gratification. :)

  • http://www.minimepaperdolls.com Hannah @ Minime Paper Dolls

    SARAH!!!! Amazing! I saw this all over Pinterest today and knew the work was yours right away! I am typing this comment with one hand (baby in the other) THAT’s how much I love this!!!

  • Pam

    Always such a great story. I first heard it in kindergarten our teacher would make us lay on our rugs and listen. I’m sure it was a quiet break for her:) it was one of the first cd’s I bought my daughter narrated by David Bowie. So thank you for reminding me of the fun. Now have to think of some kids I could make the theater for…

  • http://imadeitso.com ana @ i made it so

    so beautiful!

  • Katy

    You are amazing! No other words … except thank you. x

  • Liz

    Sarah, this is just fantastic! Thank you.

  • Staci

    DARLING! I love it too, thank you for sharing your amazing talents!

  • gina f.

    your kids are so lucky to have a mom like you to whip this up. Thanks for sharing. Classic tales are always a big hit! I love the idea of using the brads
    to make it “movable”!

  • http://www.faithpray.blogspot.com faith pray

    This is fabulous! Please tell me you didn’t create it all in one rainy morning, though! I love the paper puppets, and know my 5 year olds will be gasping with delight when I show them your Peter and the Wolf party. I have done paper dolls, fairies, etc for my kids and their friends, and usually leave them uncolored, but I think it would depend on the crowd you’re offering them to. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
    As far as further cleverness goes, have you thought about characters and sets from classic novels: the Wind and the Willows, Charlotte’s Web, A Christmas Carol, Little House on the Prairie? And I LOVE this freebie, though if you were to go to all this trouble often, you might want to charge for your more elaborate kits, eh? Thank you for sharing your gorgeous talents!

  • Sarah Jane

    Faith: Ha ha! No….this did NOT come together in minutes…or even a morning:) I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but the weather convinced me to go for it. I can’t say how long it took me, but I worked long into the night to have it ready for the kids, that’s for sure:)

  • Lori

    You never cease to amaze me with your wonderful creations! I’d love to see a kit so it would be easier to give as a gift, but think the download being available is a good idea too. Can’t wait to see more!

  • Denise Leavens

    This puppet theatre is just stellar! The Ugly Duckling would be a great story for young ones to tell. They seem to love it when things transform unexpectedly.

    I put on my own version of Little Bunny Foofoo with hand puppets in the second grade. That was such a big hit with my classmates. I am 50 years old and still have them.

    I like this pdf download kit. I can also appreciate the printed kit to purchase since printers are unreliable right when you need them most!

  • http://www.faithpray.blogspot.com faith pray

    I love this so much, I’ve linked to you on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • http://lulucarter.typepad.com Clare

    Wonderful!! This gave me goose bumps. I used to sit in our sunroom with the cat on my lap and a dog by my feet listening to this on the record player.It terrified me but I could not get enough of it.This is a lovely treat and I am going to get started with the children tomorrow.Thankyou.

  • http://imsomniadreams.blogspot.com/ Ana Márquez

    What a wonderful job!!
    Congratulations.
    Regards.
    Ana

  • http://www.sycamorestreetpress.com Eva / Sycamore Street Press

    Sarah – This is so cool! I would have loved to play with this when I was little. Wait a sec.. I still probably would. Maybe wen Ingrid’s a bit older.

  • Jan Healy

    You are tremendously talented! Could you also make a puppet show of Three Billy Goats Gruff? I love that story.

  • BUSIR

    I’m thrilled as I just got your Peter and Wolf characters.My son (in his 40th) is creazy about puppets even made a big theater luckily he’s got 4 girls from 3 to 9 years old.In France we have Guignol .I’ll make it for the little one.I love the drawings and the coulours of your design.I know your blog from “Kicker& Conkers”.Y.S

  • http://popowich.mapledesign.ca Jamie

    This is so lovely! I am a music teacher and I love to teach my students Peter and the Wolf. I am always looking for new materials – thank you so much!!

  • http://katiespencilbox.blogspot.com/ katie

    i can’t stop obsessing over this! so simple and beautiful and timeless. i can’t wait to share it with my little one.
    thank you so so much!

  • http://themamabyrd.blogspot.com mamabyrd

    This is just the rainy day treat that we’ve been needing. I’m really excited to show this one to my kids. We have the record of Peter and the Wolf that I grew up listening to–I think, I know it will be a hit.

  • http://www.bylisajay.com Lisa Jay

    Oh Sarah! I grew up listening to this record too!!! I had forgotten about it. I listened to two seconds of the recoeding you posted & I was in my childhood again! Thank you.. I have to share it with my children now! I agree the music is divine. The puppet show is absolutley wonderful. xx

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  • http://www.whatcarolinesays.blogspot.com amber

    This is the neatest idea! I would love to see more. I think the downloadable version is great for instant gratification, as was mentioned by someone else. But a pretty kit in a nice box would be so neat too. I am so excited to try these out with my daughter. Thank you!!

  • Susan Cleaver

    What a great idea! I love Peter and the wolf and as a child it would be fun to act out the actual story. Fun!

  • Mariah

    This is listed as sold. Can I still get a set? We’ve been listening to Peter and the Wolf AND making puppets for our theater. This would be such a perfect addition to our play!

    • Sarah Jane

      It’s available always….sorry about that! It’s up now:)

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  • Jill

    This is fantastic! Thank you so much! I look forward to seeing future creations from you.

  • http://oneperfectday-accessories-and-bags.blogspot.com/ OnePerfectDay

    This is sooo beautiful!!
    I love it!

  • http://www.napaapa.com devi brunsch

    Wow, thank you for introducing this to me. My daughter will love it. I am going to download the stage and will let you know how it turns out.

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  • Bjacques

    Just finished making this for my daughter’s school project. It’s stunning! Thank you so very much!

  • http://nataschasrosenberg.blogspot.com/ natascha

    Wow!! This is wonderful!!

  • http://trashingmyreptuation.blogspot.com trashmaster46

    I adore Peter and the Wolf. It’s one of my favorite spoken word pieces and one of my favorite orchestral pieces ever.

  • http://forum.stop55.com/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.schnapsen66.info Schnapsen im Internet spielen

    super sterlimmt die sizien den eilrer ohne spierapf. menlieru mir vekonfa die hezein und benspiert den bauplut und vergeul den befuman mit auptsart.

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  • Melodious mountains

    I love this!!! I will be getting it! I teach Peter and the wolf to elementary music kiddos every year and now to my own two children! They will love this :) I would be interested in seeing this done for Carnival of the Animals, another great children’s orchestral collection.

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  • http://LivingMontessoriNow.com Deb @ Living Montessori Now

    Your Peter and the Wolf Puppet Theater is amazing … such a wonderful way for children to enjoy the Peter and the Wolf story over and over again! I featured your post and puppet theater photo in my Montessori-Inspired Music Appreciation: Peter and the Wolf post at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/08/29/montessori-inspired-music-appreciation-peter-and-the-wolf/

  • Mhairi

    I just found your gorgeous set through Pinterest. I love Peter and the Wolf and have at least three recordings of it. My favourite is narrated by Dame Edna Everage (an Australian icon).
    Thanks so much for creating this great set.

  • Ashley

    These are beautiful! I saw them on your shop yesterday and went to purchase them today but it says they have sold? Is the pdf still for sale? I sure hope so. We’re hoping to purchase all of your puppet shows and hope there are more to come. Lovely!

  • Hermes Perdigão

    Adorei o seu site, belas fotos, depois veja o meu blog, http://www.bonecoshermes.blogspot.com

  • http://www.ohabbyreally,wordpress.com abby

    This is brilliant, thank you! We’re taking our son to a production later in the month and this will be a great way to talk about it before and after. x

  • Catherine

    What a beautiful set! We are trying to purchase on Etsy and the download indicates that it is sold out? Could you please help us. My 4-year-old loves Peter and the Wolf. Thank you!