Last year I got to make a variety of puppets with the middle school kids in the after school program. I was stoked to be able to do this, as even before getting this job, I'd been creating a massive notebook full of all types of puppets and puppet theaters, and had already been working on samples. I'd started this self-inflicted project with the thought that it'd be good discipline for me and I thought I'd be able to shape a class from it. Isn't it just SOooo serendipitous that I was primed and ready to do just that a couple of months later?
After hemming and hawing at first as to whether spoon puppets are too "babyish" for this age group, I decided they aren't. My benchmark is usually, "Do I still want to make ______?" and if the answer is YES, then the decision is that there's still something to be gained from the venture. I scoured the house for any and all plastic spoons, then on to Party City for a wide variety of colors that I felt sure would trigger the kids' imaginations.
To counterbalance this "babyish" notion, at least for myself, I made KISS puppets, 1. because I had white spoons, and 2. because this age group leans a little too heavily in ONE DIRECTION (if you know what I mean) and I felt I needed to counterbalance that as well. (I figured none of the kids would even know who or what KISS was, but they did -- their PARENTS like them... funny. One girl set to work straightaway on working on her own KISS puppets.)