17 Best Hand Puppets To Unleash Your Child’s Creativity In 2024

Hand puppets are great toys for young children. The best hand puppets offer children unlimited fun, encourage interactive play and stimulate children’s imagination. They are great puppetry props for storytelling and ensure your children stay actively engaged. Hand puppets also help you bond with your children.

These puppets require no batteries and are soft and fluffy. They are usually made of materials that are soft and gentle on your baby’s skin and are available for all ages. If you’re looking for a safe and durable one for your children, here’s a list for you to choose from.

In This Article

17 Best Hand Puppets

1. Best Touch-Friendly: Melissa & Doug Safari Buddies Hand Puppets

4.6
Melissa & Doug Safari Buddies Hand Puppets Image: Image: Melissa & Doug S

The perfect set of animals can make your home a safari to create many stories while building a bond between you and your child. This puppet set, from the trusted brand Melissa & Doug, includes a parrot, zebra, elephant, monkey, giraffe, and tiger. They are made from a soft plush material that is touch-friendly and washable for easy care and maintenance. These hand puppets are glove-style puppets that can fit children and most adults. The cuddly hand puppets are recommended for children aged two and above. Check out this review for a detailed understanding of the product.

Material: Fabric | Item Weight: 1.15 pounds | Product Dimensions: 12 x 2.75 x 16 inches

Pros

  • Encourages interaction
  • Develops confidence
  • Helps practice vocabulary
  • Enhances emotional skills

Cons

  • Finger holes may be small for some
  • Beaded eye may not withstand rough use

Our Reviewer's Experience

"These safari-themed puppets have come in handy to teach my son about the sounds animals make. While stitched perfectly, I found that their eyes needed a touch of glue to stay in place. Still, it has facilitated hours of imaginative play."


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product boasts 3,422 reviews on Amazon, and many buyers have said they would purchase the product again.

2. Best With Wide Opening: Yolococa Dinosaur Hand Puppets

4.3
Yolococa Dinosaur Hand Puppets Image: Yolococa

Made of latex material, this dinosaur hand puppet by Yolococa is lightweight, soft, and flexible. The glove-like style of the puppet offers good coverage by covering the wrist. It stays in place when your little one tries to roar or use different expressions in a puppet show. The realistic design of the puppet makes the dinosaurs ferocious. With three dinosaur types, your child can create an imaginative story of the dinosaur world.

Material: Rubber | Item Weight: 10.5 ounces | Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.7 x 4.7 inches

Pros

  • Non-toxic
  • Eco-friendly
  • Non-sticky inside
  • Wide opening
  • Suitable for adults and children

Cons

  • May have a paint smell
  • May be bigger than expected for some children

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I recently got these dinosaur hand puppets for my little one, and she seems obsessed with them. They did have a strong latex smell at first, but it disappeared after I gave it some time to air out. It is an excellent gift for little dinosaur lovers!"


protip_icon Did you know?
Puppetry is an ancient style of theater first documented in Ancient Greece in the fifth century BC.

3. Best For Storytelling: Joyin Animal Friends Hand Puppets

If you are looking for a set of animal puppets with workable mouths, you may check this. It comprises six animals, including a lion, giraffe, raccoon, bear, elephant, and monkey, perfect for storytelling, puppet show, or imaginative play. The safety-tested puppets are made of soft polyester material and are easy to handle. All the animals in this puppet set have movable mouths except the elephant and are recommended for ages three and above.

Material: Polyester | Item Weight: 1.06 pounds | Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.3 x 5.3 inches

Pros

  • Stimulates motor skills
  • Boosts hand-eye coordination
  • Promotes communication skills
  • Meets USA toy quality standards

Cons

  • Seams of some toys may be weak
  • May be a bit small

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This set boasts a delightful array of animals, and their detailing is impressive. The quality stands out, although juggling the movable mouth and hands is tricky. Overall, they serve as a cozy prop for storytelling!"


4. Best For Theater Puppet Show: Playtime By Eimmie Girl Puppet

4.6
Playtime By Eimmie Girl Puppet Image: Playtime By Eimmie

Encourage your child’s language development with this girl puppet by Playtime by Eimmie. Loved by many reviewers, this 14-inch puppet features soft stuffing for flexibility and yarn hair to avoid tangles. In addition, embroidered nose, eyes, and mouth make the puppet attractive and baby-safe. Its one-size-fits-all design makes the puppet suitable for both adult and child hands.

Material: Plush | Item Weight: 3.77 ounces

Pros

  • Hair can be styled
  • Skin-friendly and durable fabric
  • Doubles as a cuddling toy
  • Suitable for puppet shows

Cons

  • May need restitching
  • May not withstand rough usage

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I got this for my four-year-old granddaughter and she loves it. Her hands fit perfectly in the puppet. Overall, it serves its purpose of engaging and educating my child and makes our storytelling sessions more fun."


5. Best Animal Style: Cate And Levi Hand Puppet

Cate and Levi hand puppet is made of reclaimed or reused wool processed for cleanliness. No two hand puppets will look the same and are available in different animal styles. The hand puppet is 12-inch-long which can fit children and adults. It has a workable mouth and is helpful for storytelling or puppet theaters. According to the reviewers, the hand puppet is hand-washable and machine-washable for easy maintenance.

Material: Wool | Item Weight: 0.64 ounces | Product Dimensions: 12 x 1 x 4 inches

Pros

  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • ENhances motor skills
  • Stimulates imaginative play
  • Handcrafted puppet

Cons

  • Colors may be slightly different from images
  • Material may be a bit thin

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Its craftsmanship was the first thing that stood out to me. Its colors, though vibrant, look slightly different from the picture. However, its upcycled nature and ability to improve coordination and communication skills have made it my preferred playtime toy."


protip_icon Trivia
Historians believe that glove puppetry originated in China’s Fujian province during the 17th century.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is a hit with users, evidenced by the 976 fine reviews on Amazon.

6. Best With Plush Material: Aurora World T Rex Dinosaur Hand Puppet

T Rex Dinosaur hand puppet from Aurora is made of soft, huggable plush material. The detailing can give your child the feel of playing a dinosaur character. Its movable mouth, sharp-looking teeth, and realistic eyes are a great addition to your kid’s puppet theater too. It is recommended for ages three and above. The toy is ideal for bonding and interacting with your children.

Material: Polyester

Pros

  • Fun and interactive
  • Filled with recycled plastic fiber
  • Recyclable tags
  • Improves hand-eye coordination

Cons

  • Eyes may be loosely snapped
  • May not be as flexible

Our Reviewer's Experience

"My little dino-lover was thrilled to add this hand puppet to his existing collection. Its fit is a bit snug, but it is well-made and keeps my kid captivated and entertained when used for history lessons and interactive storytime."


7. Best With Detailing: Silly Puppets Bobby Peach Boy Hand Puppet

4.6

Bobby Peach Boy hand puppet from Silly Puppets is made from soft material and has beautiful detailing. The puppet is 14-inch-high and is made to fit the hands of children aged three years and up. You can reach the puppet’s mouth by putting your hand through the bottom. The movable hands and mouth allow it to make different facial expressions, and the clothes are removable for added fun. Tested by many reviewers, this toy can develop fine motor skills and improve storytelling, imagination, and more in your little one.

Material: Polyester | Item Weight: 6.3 ounces | Product Dimensions: 14 x 12 x 10 inches

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Boosts creativity
  • Encourages interaction
  • Made of polyester material

Cons

  • Hair may be fragile
  • May be less suitable for large hands

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This hand puppet has a simple yet charming appearance that appeals to children. Quality-wise, it seems promising, although the hand opening is a bit small. It has been a fantastic find that has brought so much joy to my daughter."


protip_icon Point to consider
Let children practice reading their favorite books to puppets, which will help build their reading and comprehension skills in a fun and engaging way.

8. Best Knitted Design: The Puppet Company Gloria Hand Puppet

4.7
The Puppet Company Gloria Hand Puppet Image: The Puppet Company

Made from polyester, the Gloria hand puppet measures 15 inches. It features a squeaky tongue and is designed with stripes all over the body. The sock pattern makes the puppet suitable for a puppet show. You can also use this colorful hand puppet for shows, as Gloria can switch to different fun characters as you mold it. This puppet supports hand washing or surface cleaning.

Material: Polyester | Item Weight: 4.2 ounces | Product Dimensions: 38 x 14 x 13 inches

Pros

  • Provides good arm coverage
  • Wide space to insert hand
  • Bright and attractive colors
  • Suitable for adult’s hand

Cons

  • Glasses may not sit flat
  • Attracts dirt easily

My Personal Experience

"It has proven to be a fun addition to my children's storytime, inducing giggles and big laughs with its funny appearance and squeaker. It is comfortable to handle too, and the long sock perfectly covers the arm."


9. Best For Interactive Play: Haba Eat It Up Dragon Hand Puppet

Keep your little one engaged with this soft hand puppet by the trusted brand Haba. The dragon hand puppet from Haba is colorful, attractive, and features realistic details. It comes with a built-in belly bag that allows the dragon to eat up tiny objects and toys. This entertaining puppet is perfect for any interactive play. You can roll the dragon’s eyes by placing a finger in each eye slot that helps create different expressions.

Material: Plastic | Item Weight: 5.6 ounces | Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.2 x 9.9 inches

Pros

  • Stimulates creativity
  • Made of soft polyester material
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Fits easily and is flexible to move
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Seams may not be well-sewn
  • Eyes may be a bit flimsy

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This cute and interactive puppet captivates my little one with its eat-the-ball trick. It requires a few tries and a little practice to master it, but it is worth seeing the joy it brings in her eyes. It is a fun addition to her toy collection."


10. Best With Soft Material: Folkmanis Basset Hound Hand Puppet

Folkmanis basset hound hand puppet is made of soft, huggable material that allows you to hug and cuddle the dog. The puppet has a workable mouth and legs. This adorable hand puppet is great for storytelling, whether playing at home, on a stage show, or in a puppet theater. Your little one can pretend to feed and care for this cute little dog.

Material: Plush | Item Weight: 8.3 ounces | Product Dimensions: 16 x 5.5 x 9 inches

Pros

  • Ideal for role-play
  • Cute and attractive
  • Well-crafted
  • Ideal for gifting

Cons

  • Eyes may be slightly smaller than expected
  • Finger holes may be a bit small

Our Tester's Experience

"My little dog lover was instantly charmed by this basset hound hand puppet—even the dogs found it interesting! The detailing is commendable, and the toy endures playful roughhousing, making it a delightful addition to my child's interactive playtime."


11. Best Skin-Friendly:Ice King Bear Shark Hand Puppet

4.6
Ice King Bear Shark Hand Puppet Image: Ice King Bear

With fine detailing, this Ice King Bear shark hand puppet is made of skin-friendly plush fabric to keep your child irritation-free. The squeaky sounder of this hand puppet adds to your child’s creative and imaginative story. In addition, the wide mouth design is apt for the right expression to use in storytelling. This shark measures 14 inches, making it comfortable to hold.

Material: Environment friendly super-soft short plush | Item Weight: 3.53 ounces | Product Dimensions: 14 x 8 x 7 inches

Pros

  • Soft and smooth texture
  • No sharp edges
  • Suitable for cuddling
  • Flexible to move

Cons

  • May not resist pet chews
  • Opening for the hand may not be wide as expected

12. Best Realistic Eyes:Schylling Shark Hand Puppet

4.5
Schylling Shark Hand Puppet Image: Schylling

The Schylling shark hand puppet is made of thermoplastic rubber and can create expressions for endless entertainment and storytelling. Its realistic eyes and teeth design make the shark look ferocious. The smooth texture of the shark is suitable for the child’s delicate skin. Your child can now create imaginative shark stories.

Material: Thermoplastic Rubber | Item Weight: 3.52 ounces | Product Dimensions: 4.33 x 5.91 x 2.36 inches

Pros

  • No additional batteries or tools required
  • One-size-fits-all design
  • Soft and flexible
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Paint may peel off

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Although soft, its build is very stretchable, allowing me to position it as desired. Its paint has started to chip after extensive use, but it still brings a lot of joy to my little one during storytelling sessions."


May turn sticky after some uses

13. Best Attractive Design:DolliBu Pug Dog Plush Hand Puppet

4.5
DolliBu Pug Dog Plush Hand Puppet Image: Dollibu

Stimulate children’s imagination, creativity, and encourage pretend play with the DolliBu Pug hand puppet. This hand puppet features fine stitching and a realistic design, making it apt for storytelling. It supports wearing on the left and right hand. In addition, the brown eyes, a short muzzle, and a black nose are some of the attractive features of this dog. The puppet provides enough room to control your fingers and make different movements.

Material: Polyester | Item Weight: 2.39 ounces | Product Dimensions: 10 x 5.2 x 5 inches

Pros

  • Features a soft lining
  • Ideal toy to encourage creative expression
  • Made from premium-quality polyester
  • Suitable for traveling
  • Supports cold wash

Cons

  • May be small for adult hands
  • May attract dirt quickly

Our Reviewer's Experience

"My two-year-old loves this pug hand puppet, and I’m equally taken by its soft texture and cute facial features. It fits a bit too snugly, but it shines as a tool for interaction and education, making playtime more joyous."


14. Best Motor Skills:Cate & Levi Zoo Collection Hand Puppets

4.4

Cate and Levi zoo collection has three hand puppets – giraffe, monkey, and elephant. Each hand puppet has a colorful fabric and fun design that attracts your little one. This glove-style puppet set is helpful for developing social skills through interactive play, storytelling, puppet shows, and role play. They are made of 100% USA polar fleece, derived from recycled plastic water bottles.

Material: Plastic, Fleece | Item Weight: 3.52 ounces | Product Dimensions: 2 x 4 x 12 inches

Pros

  • Easy-to-control mouth movements
  • Bright colors
  • Promotes creativity
  • Eco-friendly
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Seams may not be reinforced
  • May be slightly smaller than expected

Our Reviewer's Experience

"The vibrant colors and funny appearance of these puppets captivate my young toddler. They seem durable with excellent craftsmanship and have been a fun and engaging pick to keep my child entertained."


15. Best Soft Texture:MerryMakers Scaredy Squirrel Plush Hand Puppet

4.7
MerryMakers Scaredy Squirrel Plush Hand Puppet Image: Merrymakers

Measuring 12 inches tall, this MerryMakers Scaredy hand puppet doubles as a cuddling toy with open arms. It features a name tag and a bushy tail. The soft, plush-like texture, toothy grin, and fine detailing make the puppet look adorable. It could be a fun companion for your little one when sleeping or telling stories.

Material: Plush | Item Weight: 3.2 ounces | Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 12.5 inches

Pros

  • Suitable for all ages
  • Has reinforced stitching
  • Wide opening to fit children’s and adult’s hand
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May not be machine-washable
  • May not be available in other colors

16. Best For All Ages:Beleduc 40130 Hand Puppet

4.4
Beleduc 40130 Hand Puppet Image: Beleduc

Beleduc’s multi-colored hand puppet is a fun and educational toy for children. Made of high-quality, durable materials, this cuddly puppet does not require additional batteries or tools to function. Its realistic-looking squirrel design makes it an entertaining and appealing toy for children of all ages. With many positive reviews, this puppet is easy to control, allowing children to create stories and scenarios based on their imagination. It can also be used to develop children’s fine motor skills.

Item Dimensions: 5.12 x 8.07 x 8.86 inches

Pros

  • Promotes role play
  • Improves linguistic abilities
  • Enhances cognition
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Color might fade over time
  • Some might find it smaller than expected

Our Tester's Experience

"My little one is obsessed with puppets, and this one has been a hit with her for its softness and durability. It is great for storytelling and holds up well to active play."


17. Best Durable:Folkmanis Sheepdog Hand Puppet

4.6
Folkmanis Sheepdog Hand Puppet Image: Folkmanis

The Folkmanis Sheepdog hand puppet is an adorable and versatile puppet that children will love. With its soft and cuddly design, it’s suitable for imaginative play, storytelling, and puppet shows. The puppet is made from high-quality materials, ensuring durability and hours of entertainment. Moreover, the puppet’s realistic appearance, complete with a movable mouth and a wagging tail, makes it a fun and delightful addition to any child’s toy collection.

Material: Plush | Item Weight: 1.17 pounds | Product Dimensions: 22 x 11 x 6 inches

Pros

  • Develops motor skills
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to play
  • Perfect gift option for birthdays

Cons

  • May shed slightly
  • Mouth may be a bit firm

Our Reviewer's Experience

"My baby loves this puppet and its furry hair. It is pretty big, which adds to its lifelike appearance—my husband even believed it to be a real dog at first glance. It is a cherished find and a lovable companion for my little one."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To ChooseThe Right Hand Puppets?

Here are a few things to consider before choosing the best hand puppet.

  1. Age: If you are looking for a hand puppet to interact with younger babies and toddlers, pick something with no small parts to prevent choking hazards. Check the manufacturer’s age recommendation for a perfect buy.
  1. Material: As you wear these puppets on your hands, choose a soft, safety-tested material that doesn’t irritate your and your child’s sensitive skin.
  1. Style: Hand puppets are made in varying styles to suit different age groups.
  • Finger puppets look tiny and are significant for young children to control with their little fingers.
  • Glove-style hand puppets are suitable for children and adults to play and interact.
  • Bath puppets are great for bath time. These are made of rubber material, unlike others.
  1. Purpose: Choose the hand puppets based on your purpose. They are fun to interact with kids and help develop speech, imagination, creativity, and hand-eye coordination. For a storytelling session, choose the characters based on your child’s interest.
  1. Ease of maintenance: Choose hand puppets with washable fabric, as they are easy to maintain and care for.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. At what age are puppets appropriate?

Most hand puppets and finger puppets are appropriate for children aged three and above. Some huggable puppets with no loose parts are even safe for children as young as one year.

2. Why do kids like puppets?

Puppets allow children to interact and express their emotions through role-play and pretend play. They are fun to play with by mimicking the character’s voice and movements.

3. What are hand puppets made of?

Hand puppets are made with different materials ranging from hard plastic to soft plush or fabric. Bath puppets are preferably made with hard plastic or rubber, whereas huggable and normal puppets are made with soft plush or polyester material.

4. How are hand puppets controlled?

Hand puppets are controlled by hand by placing one or two center fingers in the head. Other fingers are placed in the puppet’s hands to control the puppet’s movement.

5. What puppet is the easiest to use?

Finger and soft glove puppets are flexible, easy to use, and play with.

6. What is a hand puppet called?

Hand puppets are also called glove puppets.

7. Are hand puppets washable?

Yes, most hand puppets are washable, making them easy to maintain. It is best to check the manufacturer’s wash care recommendations to extend their durability.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Priti Bose is our product writer and reviewer specializing in toys and gifts, and she delivers detailed information on high-quality toys after conducting extensive research and going through multiple user reviews. In this post, she provides the list of best hand puppets with their features, such as quality, material, safety, and durability. She also mentions animals included in each set of toys and their features. You may go through the details to buy the right hand puppets.

The Bottom Line

Hand puppets give children a chance to develop their stories and portray them by enacting them through the puppets. This activity helps improve their creative skills and allows them to build their creativity and storytelling skills. Puppet play is a highly interactive activity, and thus, it enhances the child’s language and other developmental skills. Our list of the best hand puppets can help you understand the available options and your child’s interests. It includes the Haba Eat It Up Dragon Hand Puppet with a built-in belly bag, the Melissa & Doug Safari Buddies Hand Puppets made of plush materials, and the Aurora World T Rex Dinosaur Hand Puppet with realistic detailing. So, pick the suitable one to engage your child and enjoy quality time with them.

Infographic: What To Look For When Buying A Hand Puppet

A hand puppet can encourage your little one to engage in storytelling and stimulate their imagination. However, selecting the perfect hand puppet can sometimes be daunting. Fret not! We have put together a few tips to help you make an informed choice. Check out the infographic below.

Tips To Follow When Buying A Hand Puppet (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version


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