Saturday, March 5, 2011

Garden Gnome Puppet Theatre Playdate

Hanging With My Gnomies
Whimsical Puppet Theatre Playdate

This playdate was inspired by my childhood, love of puppets, and my mothers ingenuity of taking what you have and building something magical. There seems to be a constant flow of large cardboard boxes at our home to the delight of my imagination and my children's playdates.

Here is an overview of our past playdate: Whimsical Puppet Theatre with individual stick puppets*Gnome Finger Puppets* Gnome Paper Dolls* Garden Friends Festive Masks* Miniature Hidden Gnomes on refreshment tables* Hanging with my Gnomies Coloring Pages* Gnome Bowling Game.

A special thanks to Become Shoppertunistic, Cutesypoo Toys, and My Fantastic Toys for their frugal finds and creative inspirations.

This was the first thing I created for this playdate using the following materials: Two Cardboard Boxes, Black Duck Tape, Hot Glue Gun, Chalkboard Paint, Damask Fabric, Sharpie Marker, and Polka dot Ribbon. This entire Puppet Theatre took two hours to complete during naptime.

I created these puppets using free printables from this adorable site My Fantastic Toys I also used these characters throughout my house to decorate for the playdate.

This Gnome Game was a complete hit with the Toddler Crowd. Such a great activity.  I added a tin foil ball to add a safety element to this game since two year olds can have some wild throws.

These little gnomes were hidden through out my refreshment house and playroom. In fact each child had the opportunity to take a gnome home too.  These printable gnomes can be found at Cutesypoo-Toys

I created coloring pages from my favorite puppet characters for the creative side of our playdate.
To add to the magic of this play date I set puppets around my playroom for kids to discover on their own and begin imaginative play.  I layered these activities by adding little touches throughout the play date for example these garden masks.

To style my refreshment table I used various scrapbooks papers, paper gnomes, and decorative paper cups. All of these things were collected from my house.

These toadstool and owl cups were featured at Target in the dollar section.  Become Shoppertunistic and plan ahead with your party elements.  I was on a guided grocery tour with Tiffany when I found these charming cups in the dollar section at Target over the summer.  The dollar section is a wealth of inspiration for starting a theme for a glamours price.

These Garden Critter Masks were also found in the dollar section and added just a right amount of magic to the morning.  Love giving my guest an opportunity to use their imaginations.  The boys loved preforming with their puppets.

I found many free printable gnomes as well as gnome printables on etsy to add to our playdate. Here are two sites to check out for printable gnomes: Cutesypoo Toys and My Fantastic Toys

Playdate Picture Highlights:


  1. This was one of our favorite playdates yet! Cal said he enjoyed the Gnome Bowling and Jax loved the puppet show! It was so fun to watch them be creative and having fun!

  2. Wow!! this is a fantastic idea!!
    garden gnomes