The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly: Upcycled Puppet

Hi friends! Today I’m sharing a fun puppet set that I made to go along with the classic rhyme “The Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly.”  This rhyme is one of our favorites, and I’ve had the idea for this puppet floating around in my head for ages. The twins go to a cooperative preschool two days a week and I am lucky to be able to lead their classroom in activities pretty frequently, so when their sweet teacher said that this book was on the agenda, I volunteered to make this puppet to share with the class. Coincidentally, this rhyme was also a favorite of mine for speech therapy sessions because of the opportunities for sequencing, vocabulary development, and other great language targets.

The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Upcycled Puppet

 The Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly: Upcycled Puppet and Pom Pom Animals

Thanks to my ridiculously large stash of craft materials (I might be a bit of a craft hoarder), I was able to create this puppet and all of the pom pom animals from bits and bobs that I had on hand. Here are the supplies that I used (Amazon affiliate links included):

“Old Lady” Puppet

Pom Pom Animals

  • Yarn in a variety of colors
  • Felt scraps
  • Google eyes
  • Manufactured pom poms (provided by
  • Pipe cleaners

The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Upcycled Puppet

To create the Old Lady puppet, I first cut a square hole in the side of my plastic apple juice container with a box cutter (our kitchen scissors wouldn’t quite do the trick) to serve as her “mouth.” To cover the sharp edges of the hole, I used red felt cut into the shape of lips. I used poly-fil for her hair, the fabric scrap and lace trim for her bonnet, and some craft wire for her spectacles.  Oh, and the entire thing is held together with copious amounts of hot glue, in case you were wondering 😉

Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Bonnet

To make the yarn pom poms for the animals in the rhyme, I used the same method that I described in my Pom Pom Ice Cream Playset post. I added smaller pom poms, googly eyes, felt scraps, and pipe cleaners  for the different features of the animals. Forgive their “disheveled” appearance in the photos below…they were taken after a full day of play in the classroom!  All things considered I think they held up rather nicely.  If you’re not inclined to create new animals for your puppet to eat, you could always use small toys to fill in. Do what you can using what you have on hand- the kiddos will think it’s fabulous either way, I promise!

Pom Pom animals: cow and cat

Pom Pom animals: dog and horse

pom pom fly

“Feeding” a puppet is a classic speech therapy activity for young children that almost never fails to incite tons of squeals and giggles.  The act of feeding the puppet is a great reinforcer and pairing it with the story/rhyme is great for listening and following directions as the child/children listen for the correct animal to feed to the puppet.  The fact that the animals follow a specific order in the song is perfect for sequencing and storytelling activities, too, and the clear puppet allows for an element of visual recall.  Rhyming, vocabulary development, “wh” questions…there are plenty of language opportunities in this simple activity!

More Great Stuff For You

Want to see another fun activity using old juice bottles? Check out our popular Color Sorting Monsters– they really couldn’t be simpler to make and are a hit with toddlers!

If it’s language building activities you are after, try our Experience Books or Family Chalkboard– both great ways to work on speech and language in a meaningful way at home.


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  1. OK, I have never ever been this excited to make “a craft”!!! As you know, my youngest has Developmetal Delays. We just finally got our very first Speech Therapy Consultation DONE, last Wednesday, after waiting 9 months on a waiting list–PHEW! You guys are in real hugh demand, I know what Im going back to school to study LOL. Anyway, my daughter justhappens to LOVE this song, we sing it ALOT, especially on lonng walks. We cant pay our library bill, so i havent been able to use alot of the “story plus activity” posts I consistently read (yet!!). THIS one is the most perfect because everyone knows the song, no book required! If there are any other posts like this of yours without books that you would recommen us, please email me or use contact page on my blog linked in my name. A Million Thanks!!!! We appreciate your site so much!

  2. My son just received this book as a gift, so this is the perfect craft activity for us to do. Thanks, I can’t wait to give this a try.


  1. […] Upcycled Puppet from a plastic container and Pom Pom flies!! so clever and funny. What a great craft for storytelling and retelling from two-daloo […]