These are the wooden spoon puppets I painted to go along with “Nephi’s Courage.” I think they turned out pretty well and they were certainly some of the easiest puppets I’ve made! At first, I didn’t like the way the acrylic paint looked on the wood. It seemed too fresh somehow and very unpolished. I am not that great of an artist, as you can tell, and that was another factor. Childish looking could be good, since I work with children, but the perfectionist in me was not satisfied. After some mild fussing and fretting and thinking about it, I took some fine sandpaper and sanded them. I immediately liked the result, since it softened the paint and made it look more like an old child’s toy - one that was used and loved. The effect is much better, I think.
I’m using these wooden spoon puppets this week for another review of the first and second verses. I made three of each character so that each child could hold one of the characters. Two or three more children can hold a simple picture of a boat during the second verse. (Yes, currently, our primary is that small!) I plan to review the song a few times, asking the children to hold up the puppets when we sing about their character. If there is time, I'm also planning to use the puppets as I would pictures for “Pull A Picture.” I’ll invite a child to hide with the puppets behind a small cardboard box screen. They can choose one of the puppet characters and slowly lift it up. The other children should raise their hands or stand when they recognize the phrase that puppet belongs to. Then we’ll sing the phrase together. I’ll challenge the children not to name the puppet, but to recognize and say or sing the phrase from the song. Remember that all the characters, except Laban will have more than one phrase. You may need to help the children remember additional phrases for the characters.
In a future review, I could draw the outline of a boat on one end of the chalkboard near the tray, then line the puppets up on the other end of the tray. We could sing each phrase of the song in turn and when the children can sing the phrase perfectly, a puppet could be moved into the boat. When all the puppets are in the boat, the song is ready to sail. (See “Know It By Heart.”)
We had such fun last week with our dramatization. Sharing time was VERY short, because our president went home sick. So I had most of the time for singing and that was a good thing. We reviewed both the first and second verses of "Nephi's Courage" and the kids just had a ball with the costumes and actions.