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Triceratops Three-Finger Puppets
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Triceratops Dinosaur Finger Puppets

What you will make:

Make triceratops dinosaur (or rhinoceros) finger puppets that are animated with three of your fingers—two fingers for the legs and another finger for the head. These puppets are easy to make—just cut, fold and glue. You can make up stories and put on plays with the triceratops as the star! For elephant, lion, rabbit and sheep puppets made in a similar way, checkout the Elephant Finger Puppets and Three-Finger Puppets craft projects.

Related craft: For more finger puppets, see the Paper Cone Finger Puppets and Toilet Paper Tube Puppets projects.

Here's what you need:
  • White computer paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Optional: Crayons, markers or colored pencils, tape, googly eyes

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make Triceratops Three-Finger Puppets

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose the puppet that you want to make. The colored pattern has triceratops puppets in two colors—green and tan. Download the pattern and print it on white paper.  Bonus patterns: Check the sidebar for three-finger rhinoceros puppet printable patterns.

Triceratops puppets
Printable pattern for triceratops finger puppet
Triceratops puppets
Printable pattern for triceratops finger puppet - black & white

Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.

All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Step 2: Color and Decorate (optional)

If you printed the black & white pattern, color the puppets any way you like. We don't know the color of triceratops, so color them anyway you like.

Tip: Color both sides of the triceratops's horns.

Step 3: Cut
Cut pattern parts

Cut out each puppet part on the outside black line. Each triceratops puppet has a head, two legs, a horny ridge, and three horns.

Tip: It's easier to cut out the puppet parts if you first cut the pattern into pieces with simple straight cuts, then cut out each part on its black outline.

Step 4: Glue Legs Glue leg coverings into tubes

Each leg will be formed into a tube. One leg will slide onto your index finger. The other goes on your ring finger. The legs need to fit your fingers. Wrap the leg around your finger to see how much overlap is needed, then glue.

Put glue on the back of the leg along one of the short sides. Form a tube and press along the glued edge.

Tip: You may find it easier to use tape. Wrap the leg around your finger and tape it while it is on your finger, but not too tight.

Step 5: Fold Head Fold puppet head

There are four lines that run from the nose to the top of the head. Make a mountain fold on each of these lines.

Bend the head down at the top and fold the ears down.

Step 6: Glue Head Glue puppet head

Put glue along the back of one of the folded edges. Form the head shape and press the two bottom edges together.

Tip: You can use tape in place of the glue.

Step 7: Finish Head
Glue tusks on head and curl trunk down

Cut and fold the horny ridge glue tab. Glue the tab inside the head. Curl the nose down. Cut the horn glue tabs and glue them together. Glue the horns to the circles on the head—the smaller horn goes in front.

Tip: Your triceratops puppets can have four legs. Just make leg coverings for your thumb and little finger. Now you can have your triceratops walk on four legs.

Step 8: Put Puppet on Fingers
Shows puppets operated with three-fingers

Bring your triceratops puppet to life by putting the head on your middle finger. Put one leg covering on your index finger, and put the other leg covering on your ring finger. Now make your puppet walk by moving your fingers.

Tip: If the head won't stay on your finger, stuff some tissue around your finger.

Tip: If you want to hide your hand, put on a glove or drape a cloth over your hand. Try to use colors that match the puppet.

Think of what your triceratops puppets will do. Where does your play take place? Write down what the puppets will say and figure out how they will move. Will more than two puppets be on stage at once? Do you need a friend to help? Rehearse your play a few times, and then perform it for family and friends.

That's it! You are ready for some triceratops make-believe!
Triceratops Finger Puppets

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Before you start
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Triceratops finger puppets in two colors

Tip: The colored pattern has triceratops puppets in two colors—make one or both.

More three finger puppets

Tip: For lion, rabbit and sheep puppets made in a similar way, checkout the Three-Finger Puppets craft project.

Bonus Patterns

Rhinoceros three-finger puppet

Tip: For a modern horned animal, make a rhinoceros finger puppet. When cutting out the head, snip the outer half of each ear away from the head on the line that extends halfway across the ear-base.  Make the head following the instructions for the triceratops head, except fold the nose down, fold the ears up, and glue the horns with the larger horn in front. Three-finger rhinoceros puppet patterns - color and black-and-white Color - B&W

Colorfull elephant finger puppets

Tip: You can make the triceratops finger puppets any way you like—fanciful colors or glued-on googly eyes. For these colorful Elephant Finger Puppets, the puppets' black & white pattern (PDF) file was opened in Inkscape (a free drawing program) and the colors were added.

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