Soon it will be carnival again. A theme in which you can perfectly include a hand puppet because it too can be dressed up.

My puppet JaNee is a 65 cm Living Puppets hand puppet. One of the best things about the puppet is that they can be dressed up so easily and thus can look different every time, dress for the seasons or put on party clothes. For this blog, I put Mo, Mees, Jip and JaNee in carnival clothes where, of course, they could choose what they wanted to wear. We regularly shop for our dress-up clothes at Amazon, where we search in the categories of baby clothes, glasses, hats, wigs and miscellaneous.

A wig, glasses, nose, cap or tie already works very well

Don’t you have a human puppet, but another type of puppet? You can easily bring those into the costume party as well. It is not always necessary to use a whole costume, just a nose, glasses, a wig or a cap can also have a great effect.

If you have a 65 cm puppet, you can use wigs, glasses, hats and noses made for adults, they will stay in place much better than the same attributes in a child size. And that’s convenient because in the adult size there are a lot of such attributes available. Do you have a different size? Then you have to do more crafting yourself or look for props, hats, caps, glasses, etc. of a smaller size or that can be easily converted into something that fits. Think about bows and ties, hair decorations whose hats can be used, a birthday hat on a hairband (or usable separately from the hairband), and items you could use separately from your puppet or that your puppet can hold.

Noses, glasses, wigs and hats will get you far, but of course a real costume will do as well. Living Puppets human puppets of 65 cm fit children’s clothes in size 68-74, but carnival clothes are generally a bit narrow at the neck, and so we always buy size 80 ourselves, which does fall a bit oversized, but that is fine. Of course, both carnival clothes and children’s clothes do not have the hand entrances that allow you to play the puppet’s hands. You have to make those yourself, if you find it necessary. What is handy is if clothes have elastic, especially pants and skirts, because most puppets do not have a real waist and clothes with elastic stay on better.

I like to take pictures of my puppets in all sorts of different outfits, not only when it’s carnival, but actually all year round because the addition of garments, props, wigs, hats and caps are making it clear at a glance what my activity is about and quickly attracts more interest than if I were to explain it in words. So collect everything that can be used so that you can always jump in on whatever theme.

About face paint, glitter and colored hair gel

I noticed in my classroom every year that children who are face-painted, love glitter or make crazy hair creations with gel, love it when their favorite puppet has it too. That’s understandable, but I hope you won’t give in to that because face paint, glitter and colored hair gel are very difficult to get out of a fabric puppet. Most puppets are not washer-resistant, and those that are, you cannot wash them at the temperatures required to remove this type of stain. Living Puppets puppets can be machine washed at up to 30 degrees. You should let the puppet air dry after washing it. NEVER put it in the clothes dryer, because most dryers permanently damage a puppet (and you always find that out after you’ve tried it).

Now if you are dealing with children who like to decorate your puppet with face paint, glitter or colored hair dye, have your puppet say something along the lines of:

“I really like it on you and would like it, but I’m a puppet and on me it won’t come off” or “I don’t want that because I can’t wash like you” Children do accept it.

Want to continue getting inspiration around working with the hand puppet in education, childcare, healthcare or outreach? Then sign up for my mailing list. You won’t miss a single message and, if you don’t like it, you can get rid of it with 1 click.

With Love,


Helen Meurs ( is a pioneer in the field of Puppet Power, an independent trainer and developer. She offers online courses, is the lead instructor at the vocational training for puppet coaches, and authored the book ‘The Hand Puppet as a Educational Tool’. Subscribe to her newsletter if you want to know more.

Lower The Barriers Through The Use of A Puppet

Discover what this approach can bring you