Archive for the ‘Puppet Ministry’ Category

Last Minute Christmas Presentation Ideas

December 3, 2010

This is something we hear a lot at this time of year… “The pastor just asked us to do something for the kids that’s Christmas related.  What do you have that’s easy to do and I need it yesterday!”  No matter how hard we try, there always seems to be some last-minute call for a Christmas lesson or performance.  Here are a few of our favorite Christmas “quickies” that you may want to have on hand for this holiday season.

Minute Manna for the Holidays:

This follow-up to the popular “Minute Manna” collection of skits is like it’s predecessor in that all of the skits are about a minute long, and convey great messages through a unique sense of humor.  All of the skits in this collection focus on holidays.  There are 26 skits in all, six of them are for Christmas.  Other holidays featured include Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and more.  Since these skits are so short, they are easy to put together quickly.

Christmas Story Bag:

Story bags are great tools to have around.  There is a special story that the teacher tells while using the bag.  Each time they turn the bag inside out it displays a different color or pattern that represents and aspect of the story.  The last part of the bag also features a zipper pouch where another object lesson can be kept.  Lots of different Bible stories are available, but the Christmas one makes for a quick, easy and memorable object less that’s perfect for the Holiday season.

Mops and Brooms Puppets:

Puppets can be made out of just about anything.  A favorite technique of ours is turning household items like mops and brooms into puppets.  These puppets can be made in a way that allows kids from the audience to not only be the puppeteers, but also help design the look of the puppets they will use.  Since the kids are being the performers, the lesson will be even more memorable to them.  This technique is outlined in a book called “Creative Puppetry with Mops and Brooms.”  The book also features several plays, including two Christmas plays.

Shadow Puppet Nativity:

One of the simplest Christmas presentations I ever did was to simply read the Christmas story right out of the scripture while acting out the story with shadow puppets.  The book “Sensational Shadows” gives tons of advice for making and performing with shadow puppets.  You can put a lot of work into your characters, or they can be very simple.  Making simple shadow puppets out paper or poster board can even be a great art project for kids and get them even more involved in your presentation.

Favorite Songs:

Songs can be presented in a simple or complex way…it all depends on the creativity of your team.  It’s fun to do big elaborate pieces, but when you’re short on time, there’s nothing wrong with simple.  When I need a quick Christmas song, there are four CD’s I would look to first: Happenin’ Christmas Carols 1 & 2, and Righteous Pop Music Christmas 1 & Righteous Pop Music 2.  The Happenin’ albums feature classic Christmas carols done in unique musical styles, like “We Three Kings” as a rap song.  The Righteous Pop Music albums feature familiar pop songs, redone with Christmas lyrics.

Happy last minute lesson planning!


Huntsville, AL Puppet Festival – Venue Change

September 24, 2010

Just a quick note…Our fall puppet festival season is off and running.  We have, however, had to make a change for the upcoming festival in Huntsville, AL.  The date of the festival remains the same (Oct 15-16) but it will now be held at The Rock Family Worship Center.  The address is below…we hope to see you there.  For more information on the festivals visit

The Rock Family Worship Center

2300 Memorial Parkway SW

Huntsville, AL 35801

Children’s Ministry Live Podcast….The first episode with One Way Street!

September 15, 2010

Just about two weeks ago I got a call from a young man named Brandon.  He’s pursuing a path toward a career in children’s ministry…Yay!  He is anxious to learn as much as he can from “experts” in the field.  One way he plans on doing this is through a podcast in which he will interview folks in children’s ministry.  So when he asked if I’d like to be interviewed on the podcast I was thrilled.  I didn’t realize that it would be the first episode of the podcast, which is even more exciting!

You can find Brandon’s website at  A direct link to the podcast page is here, you can also subscribe to the podcast through iTunes.

Thanks for the opportunity to be on the show, Brandon, and we wish you all the best!

Turn a Funzle into a Star

August 18, 2010

Here’s a short video we made about how to turn a funzle puppet into a star. Several of this year’s new Christmas musicals feature star characters, so this is a great way to make an easy star puppet. The same technique can be used for other shapes as well. By the way, this video was featured in one of our recent e-newsletters. Visit One Way Street’s website and sign up for the free e-mail updates.

Zappos Puppet Commercials

August 11, 2010

Zappos is a favorite online store of mine since it is one of the few places I can get red Converse high tops in my size.  They’ve recently released a new series of commercials that use puppets.  I think these commercials are worth the puppet ministry community taking a look at.  There’s nothing flashy with them when it comes to the puppetry.  To be honest, the performances wouldn’t score real high in the “lip-synch” category at a puppet festival.  But the concept is so simple and the puppets really help draw the audience in.

Of course, I love this one since it has a little puppet humor in it.

Who is Jesus Puppet Video

August 9, 2010

A discussion that I’ve gotten into often in children’s ministry circles has to do with the use of video in children’s church. There are folks who say that things like puppets, magic tricks, storytelling and such are outdated…it’s got to be on video to get the kids to pay attention. I love using video in children’s church, but it’s not the only way to go. In fact, I think methods like puppetry lend themselves perfectly to video. All it takes is one puppeteer with some creativity to bring a whole cast of characters to life on a video. Case in point, this video produced by my friend Karl Bastian…the Kidologist. He set up a camera on his back porch, got out some of his puppets, and here’s the results…

Christmas Musical Spotlight: Star of Wonder

August 3, 2010

Now here’s a new program for 2010 that was produced with a children’s choir in mind, but it’s got “puppets” written all over it!  All the characters in this program are stars!  I can imagine it’s pretty cute to see a bunch of kids in the choir dressed as stars, but what better way to depict these characters than puppets!

In “Star of Wonder,” a group of stars point the audience to Jesus’ birth, just like how a star lead the wise men.  The stars all have different unique personalities.  Superstar is kind of a diva, Falling Star is a bit accident prone, Lucky Star has a 4-leaf clover, Rock Star carries a guitar, Shooting Star is an Annie Oakley type cowgirl, and North Star is a bit grumpy.

The program is 27 minutes long, so it’s a bit shorter than many programs.  The eight songs are: “Look Up with This Little Light of Mine,” “Hangin’ Around the Heavens,” “God Chooses who He Uses,” “Big Band of Shepherds,” “Wee Three Kings,” “Shine On Us,” “Constellation Celebration,” and “Look Up with This Little Light of Mine.”  The song “Big Band of Shepherds” has a fun big band swing feel to it and would also be great with puppets.

Click on the link below to listen to samples from this program:

Star of Wonder

Now you may be wondering where you will find some star puppets.  This isn’t a character that One Way Street usually sells, however, the Sun Puppet pattern that is included in the book “Let There Be Blacklight” can very easily be adapted to make a star puppet instead.

Improv Invitational – The Alphabet Game

July 27, 2010

Here’s a brief taste of the Improv Invitational at I-Fest 2010.  A bunch of talented puppeteers from our teaching staff took part in this event.  This particular game features Dave Privett and Branden Treu improvising a scene in which they tell the story of Gideon.  However, they must start each of their lines with a certain letter, slowly working their way through the alphabet.  The video was shot from quite a distance, so it’s hard to see the little rod puppets they used, but you’ll still enjoy the humor as well as the fact that they actually managed to tell part of the story.

I-Fest Photos 2

July 26, 2010

Here’s a few more photos from the 2010 International Festival of Christian Puppetry and Ventriloquism.

Once again, our daily devotional was brought to us by our favorite Brit, Paul Morley. CD’s and DVD’s of Paul’s messages for 2010 are available for purchase here: Paul Morley Messages 2010

An I-Fest tradition is for attendees to bring their hands-on workshop creations to chapel the next morning for a sort of show-and-tell.

Puppeteer David Hellyer instructs his class in some of the finer points of puppet manipulation.

Here’s some Puppetry Dream Team members taking a moment to pose during one of their daily rehearsals.

Ventriloquist Gene Cordova and his buddy Bongo were featured during the Tuesday night program.

The Bonilla Family showed how a family can minister together with puppets, choreography, and lots of fun!

I-Fest Photos 1

July 25, 2010

We’ve been back from I-Fest for a week or two now but we haven’t had the chance to post any photos from the event yet.  Well let’s solve that problem right now.  We’ll share a few pics here and try to post some more over time at our Facebook fan page.  If you aren’t a One Way Street fan on Facebook yet, just search Facebook for “One Way Street Events.”

Enjoy the photos!

Alan Root was our praise & worship leader for the week. He also wrote the theme song for the event.

Joe Bruce was our opening night ventriloquist performer.

The S.T.A.G.E.D. Puppet Team from Omaha, NE also performed on Monday Night. Here a few of the puppeteers pose with one of their unique blacklight puppets.

The team also did a unique piece that combined elements of human video with some large rod puppets. The piece was geared for an older audience. Who says puppets are just for kids?

Here some attendees work on building some puppets in one of the pre-con hands-on classes.

More photos to come in the weeks to come.