13 of the Best Hand Puppets for Creative Learning and Fun

Hand puppets are a relatively simple toy. They don’t require batteries, have lots of parts, or use blinking screens. However, they do use your child’s creativity and can easily provide endless hours of interactive fun. Puppets encourage children to actively use their imagination. They also foster communication skills, motor skills, language, and hand-eye coordination. They are fun for play on their own or kids can put on performances in a puppet theater.

In addition to play, hand puppets are excellent teaching tools. They are an engaging way to educate about different animals and are perfect for storytelling time. A hand puppet acting out a story is a wonderful way to keep an entire classroom of children entertained.

Best Hand Puppets For Learning and Fun

Ally the Alligator
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Melissa & Doug Farm Friends Hand Puppets
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Aurora Plush T Rex Puppet
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Aurora Plush Velociraptor Puppet
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Melissa & Doug Deluxe Fuzzy Make-Your-Own Monster Puppet
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Folkmanis Snowy Owl Hand Puppet
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Very Hungry Caterpillar Hand Puppet
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1. Ally the Alligator

Ally the Alligator - Deluxe Gift Set - hand puppets

The Ally the Alligator – Deluxe Gift Set takes the simple hand puppet a step further. The deluxe gift set features a wonderfully realistic alligator hand puppet named Ally. Ally has her own book called “Ally Alone”. The book itself is designed for young readers and and includes a “Beyond-The-Book” section with animal facts, crafts, word challenges, and reader questions to expand a child’s critical thinking skills and reading comprehension. This is a wonderful set for both learning and play.


2. Melissa & Doug Farm Friends Hand Puppets

Melissa & Doug Farm Friends Hand Puppets - hand puppets

The Melissa & Doug Farm Friends Hand Puppets is a set of four delightful farm animals. They are appropriately sized for both children and adults so that parents and kids can play together. The horse, cow, pig, and sheep are made from safe and durable materials by a trusted children’s toy manufacturer. Very soft and completely washable, toddlers and older children will love to play and cuddle with these plush puppets.


3. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Puppet Theater

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Puppet Theater - hand puppets

If your child enjoys hand puppets, there’s a good chance they’ll enjoy the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Puppet Theater. This creatively detailed puppet theater is made from safe and durable material that will stand up to years of use. One or two puppeteers can show off their creative hand puppet performances and even announce their next show time with the moveable clock. A chalkboard space allows a place for the show’s title, your child’s drawings, or simply a space to practice writing. The sturdy theater is designed to not tip over.


4. Aurora Plush T Rex Puppet

Aurora Plush T Rex Puppet - hand puppets

Your child can bring the dinosaurs back to life with the Aurora Plush T Rex Puppet. Dinosaurs are endlessly fascinating for both children and adults, and everyone will love playing with the T Rex. T Rex may have been incredibly fierce, but this puppet is as soft as can be. This is a great choice for the dinosaur obsessed child in your life.


5. Aurora Plush Velociraptor Puppet

Aurora Plush Velociraptor Puppet - hand puppets

Keep T Rex company with the Aurora Plush Velociraptor Puppet. Teach dinosaur facts and put on dinosaur shows with this hand puppet that will fit a child or an adult’s hand. If two dinosaurs aren’t enough or you’re more of the flying dinosaur type, Aurora offers a Pteranodon Puppet, too!


6. Ellema the Elephant

Ellema the Elephant - Deluxe Gift Set - hand puppets

Children will love learning about elephants with the Ellema the Elephant – Deluxe Gift Set. Ellema the elephant hand puppet comes with her own book “Ellema Sneezes”. Her book also includes a section of fun facts, crafts, word challenges, and explorative questions. Using their hand, little ones (or adults!) can move Ellema’s trunk and mouth. Ellema wants to help your child learn about these amazing creatures.


7. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Fuzzy Make-Your-Own Monster Puppet

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Fuzzy Make-Your-Own Monster Puppet - hand puppets

What’s more fun than playing with hand puppets? Designing your own hand puppets with the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Fuzzy Make-Your-Own Monster Puppet. This clever kit comes with 30 pieces like eyes, ears, horn, arms, and more. The pieces stick on easily with velcro so that your little one can design a monster puppet any way he or she desires. Their only limit is creativity and the possibilities for fun are endless!


8. Folkmanis Snowy Owl Hand Puppet

Folkmanis Snowy Owl Hand Puppet - hand puppets

The Folkmanis Snowy Owl Hand Puppet is a truly beautiful hand puppet and a favorite among Amazon reviewers. Not only is this puppet soft and snuggly, it has a realistic design. This white and grey snowy owl looks ready to swoop down from the trees and grab its prey. It features a wingspan of 22 inches and the wings can moved by the puppeteer. Even the head moves in an authentic owl-like way. It can rotate 360 degrees, controlled by a stick inside the puppet. This lovely puppet is sure to be a favorite learning toy. Folkmanis is a premier manufacturer of wonderful puppets; see more of their puppets including the honeybee, baby chimpanzee, rattlesnake, and many more.


9. Very Hungry Caterpillar Hand Puppet

Very Hungry Caterpillar Hand Puppet - hand puppets

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Hand Puppet is inspired by the classic children’s book by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry CaterpillarEric Carle is one of the most celebrated children’s authors, and his books are enjoyed by generations of readers. This caterpillar hand puppet is a perfect way to share story time with your little ones.


10. Washcloth Hand Puppet Terrycloth Washmitt Set

Washcloth Hand Puppet Terrycloth Washmitt Set - hand puppets

Make bath time fun with the Washcloth Hand Puppet Terrycloth Washmitt Set. These little cuties are made of terry washcloth material so they double as fun puppets and wash mitts. Though there are five pictured, the set comes with three of the available characters. The company chooses for you, but they all look fun!


11. Sunny Toys 16″ Tarantula Hand Puppet

Sunny Toys 16" Tarantula Hand Puppet - hand puppets

The Sunny Toys 16″ Tarantula Hand Puppet is so cool! The spider is designed so that you use four fingers to control four of the tarantula’s legs. The surprisingly cuddly spider is the perfect way to teach children about the fascinating world of arachnids.


12. Kidoozie Pop-Up Theater Tent Toy

Kidoozie Pop-Up Theater Tent Toy - hand puppets

Kids can perform their hand puppet theater anywhere with the Kidoozie Pop-Up Theater Tent Toy. It’s very easy to set up and stands 54 inches tall and comes with a carry case. A hand puppet theater is a wonderful way to encourage your child’s creative performances.


13. Creativity for Kids My First Sock Puppets

Creativity for Kids My First Sock Puppets - hand puppets

It’s nearly impossible  to have a list about hand puppets that doesn’t include sock puppets. The Creativity for Kids My First Sock Puppets is a make your own craft kit. It includes everything needed to design three fun and colorful sock puppets. This is a “no mess” kit. All of the embellishments are self-stick and no messy glue is required.


Hand puppets are a perfect way for kids to enjoy interactive and educational play. Tell us about your favorite hand puppets in the comments below!


Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Prestonbot.

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