Creative Child

Kids Activities: Puppet Theater with Folkmanis Puppets

In the late 1960s, then stay-at-home mother, Judy Folkmanis, discovered some puppet patterns in a women’s magazine. She began Folkmanis using her love of sewing and nature to create the puppets in her living room and began selling them to parents of her sons’ preschool classmates. Parents sought out Judy’s homemade puppets because they desired toys that provided endless hours of fun and had infinite play value for their children. Becoming more and more popular, those creations blossomed into an official company in 1976 when she and Ph.D. husband, Atis decided to make her stay-at-home-mom hobby into a business. Still family-run and based in Emeryville, California – right outside of San Francisco – she oversees every puppet the company makes. Judy approves all designs, ensuring they remain true to her original mission – making wonderful puppets that foster a love for the natural world and are fun to play with.

Kids Activities Folkmanis Otter

Low Tech Toys:

Today, millions of Folkmanis puppets are sold around the world and on the internet for the same reason – down-home good play value for kids of all ages. As the United States enters a new era of hope, families will be spending more time at home and getting back to traditional values. Playing, reading, and laughing together with good, old-fashioned toys – such as Folkmanis Puppets – will enhance those precious moments.

It is easy to see why Folkmanis has become the most award-winning specialty puppet maker in the world. The quality of the menagerie of puppets is tremendously high. These snuggly versions of favorite pets and wildlife are all designed to be used as fun puppets and cuddly stuffed toys, presenting an endless amount of play value.

In a high-tech world where parents turn to their children for computer help and play games on their cell phones, this company continues to inspire imagination and play with its heartwarming, no-batteries-required toys. 

 Kids Activities Piglet Puppet

Educational Tools:

Folkmanis puppets are used as teaching tools, during therapy sessions, and for role and creative play. Puppets enhance reading time. Imaginations come to life every time a child picks up a Folkmanis puppet. They have high play value, open-ended play patterns, encourage interaction between caretaker and child, and engage children in expressive action rather than passive spectator roles. But the most important thing that makes Folkmanis puppets the perfect toy: kids love them, therefore play value is endless. Folkmanis puppets become a child’s favorite play thing and a lovable companion with whom they can grow through life.

2012 was the launch of Little Puppets – hand puppets designed especially for the smaller hands of younger children.  The line originally premiered with seven delightful animals: Little Alligator, Little Brown Bear, Little Polar Bear, Little Chipmunk, Little Hare, Little Lion, and Little Raccoon, however there are now 24 endearing styles to choose from!  Averaging 7-inches tall, Folkmanis Little Puppets have an amazing retail price point of $12.99, making them highly collectible and perfect as children’s gifts.


Kids Activities Hand Puppets


Award Winning:

Renowned for innovative puppet designs of extraordinary quality and attention to detail, Folkmanis® Inc. creates puppets that inspire imagination and play. Their collections showcase styles that express and explore nature in both realism and whimsy; combining fun and function for superior play value. With the most recent additional new puppets, debuted in 2014, the company now has more than 200 creations.

Kids Activities Prince and Princess Puppets


Folkmanis believes imagination is the key to a healthy childhood, encouraging play and discovery to develop the skills necessary in life. The company has been making the most innovative and engaging specialty puppets in the world since 1976.  Folkmanis® puppets are the best loved, low-tech classic toys delighting imaginations and winning nearly every industry, child development, and kid-tested award – many repeatedly. Most Folkmanis® Puppets are recommended for ages 3 and up and are available at specialty retailers nationwide and in more than 15 countries around the world.

Find Folkmanis® Puppets online at


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