for knitted hand and finger puppets
BEFORE KNITTING THESE PLEASE REFER TO THE PAGE "WHAT SORTS OF PUPPETS ARE NEEDED?"
CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS.
Glove type hand puppets and also single finger puppets are incredibly helpful for use in therapy sessions for children who have suffered abuse,neglect, poverty or bereavement. We always need a good supply of them. No need to contact Knit-for-Nowt to see if they are needed - please just go ahead and knit them and then email Clare, however please do get in touch first if you have any questions. We also welcome sewn puppets made with material. How many? As many as you can! Adult hand sizes are more useful than child sizes so that the therapist can take part in role play.
GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR PUPPETS
Please read before making your puppets, thank you
The puppets are used by adult therapists, but as they will have small parts attached, therapists are asked not to leave children under 36 months alone with them. However we must comply with general product safety, so:
Please could knitters and sewers embroider the eyes and features with embroidery yarn, or you could use pieces of felt securely sewn on, or use buttons. However, buttons should be extra firmly attached - please use strong thread and sew over and over many times to be sure. All items are tested for strength before being sent out. Safety eyes for stuffed monsters or puppets are fine (please don’t use them in any unstuffed item)
Puppets may have stuffing to the head if you wish, but PLEASE ENSURE that the stuffing you use has a CE or BS label on the packaging, and that it specifies that it is suitable for toys, (no stuffing with any other materials thanks). There must be no loose stuffing inside the puppet that could potentially come out - it needs to be completely enclosed for safety.
Please ensure that any “hair” that you’ve attached cannot be pulled out. Very “hairy” yarns, such as mohair, are also unsuitable on our items, as the strands can become detached. For some suggestions of how to do it safely, please go to the bottom of this page.
No pompoms or bobble hats, as it's almost impossible to attach them without bits being loose.
No glue should be used, and please do check carefully that you’ve removed all pins – (we’ll also check that again this end so we’re certain.)
No ribbons or cords longer than 6 inches
Please sew on firmly any accessories that you’ve chosen, such as handbags, necklaces, shawls etc..
FOR ANIMAL PUPPET PATTERNS, PLEASE GO TO THE ANIMAL PATTERNS PAGE OR CLICK HERE
FAMILIES OF PUPPETS
Families of hand puppets consisting of Mum, Dad, Gran, Grandad, 2 or 3 children, cat and dog are in great demand, as they are used by the therapists to represent the child's own family and help them come to terms with upsetting traumas they have suffered.
IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE COULD YOU PUT A SMILING EXPRESSION ON ONE SIDE OF THE PUPPET AND A DOWNTURNED MOUTH ON THE OTHER SIDE - THIS HAS BEEN REQUESTED BY THERAPISTS AND HELPS IN THERAPY, see picture below.
ADDING HAIR TO YOUR PUPPETS
There are various ways of adding hair securely to your puppets - it's very important that the hair could not be pulled out by a child, so CLICK HERE for some ideas.
To download the basic pattern for a human figure which you can use for all the family set
Once knitted, please then use your creativity to embellish the puppets with your own accessories, such as hair, handbag, features etc. in order to make each member individual. Even if you only knit one puppet, please do send it, we can match them up into families.
Could you knit a white family or an ethnic family? For the white family please use pale pink or very pale cream for the face, and for the ethnic ones you only need to knit them the same but use tones of tan/brown, (but not pure black yarn thanks). They are much in demand!
ADAPTING THE BASIC BOY OR GIRL FIGURE TO MAKE DIFFERENT CHARACTERS
If you'd like to make different types of puppets they can be easily done without really needing a new pattern. Please feel free to use your own ideas and creativity - maybe you have some other exciting ideas for these types of puppets.
Sadly these are needed by nearly every team, as many children will have come across these professionals as a result of their difficult lives. We proved sets of policeman/woman, nurse, doctor, teacher, Social Worker, judge.
For the nurse, doctor and policeman please see the basic boy/girl pattern, (above), which has suggestions as to how to make these characters. Please do use your own ideas. Or patterns for an alternative policeman and nurse with stuffed heads are below.
In order to explain the court process it's useful for therapists to have a judge puppet. Children don't meet judges wearing the robes, but the puppet is needed to explain to them what a judge is and looks like.