Download and print out PDFs of paper puppets designed by artist Kari Percival.  Then cut out your Fox and Owl puppets with scissors.  Ask an adult if you need help. If you don’t have access to a printer, send us an email with your address and we will mail you print outs.
Make your Fox and Owl Unique!
• Decorate Fox and Owl with makers, colored pencils, tissue paper or collage.
• If the paper is too floppy, make your puppets stiffer by gluing them to light cardboard – like a cereal box – and cutting that out too.
• Tape your paper puppets onto a pencil or stick.


Who do Fox and Owl Meet?

Think about other characters you might want to introduce Fox and Owl to.  You can draw your own, or use toys or other objects.  Watch the video below – Kari Percival, the artist who drew our puppets, shows you how to draw other animals.

Make Some Props!

Fox and Owl may want things like a boat to travel, or an umbrella to keep dry in the rain.  It depends on your story.  You can make anything they need!

Tiny Theater

You can make a tiny theater out of cardboard to use with your puppets.  More information here.


Coloring by Ceci Bagnall

Technical Tips

Download, print, color/decorate your puppets and then cut them out with a scissors.
  • Use markers, crayons, colored pencils.  Some paints (like watercolor) may make your paper crinkle up; try it out first.
  • Try collage — gluing colored paper, light fabric or stickers
  • Color them any way you want – purple, green and blue if you like, or the natural camouflage colors of animals in the woods!
  • You can design your own accessories, like an umbrella or birthday cake, that help you tell a story.
  • Pick the size of puppet that is right for you. If you are going to make a toy theater for your adventure, print the PDF of the puppets out at 50% to shrink them to a tiny size!
  • If the puppet is too floppy and you want to make it stiff, take some light cardboard out of the recycling bin (cereal box, for example).  Cut that out to the same shape as the puppet and glue your printed, colored animal to the cardboard. Tape a stick to the cardboard back.  NOTE: this is especially useful for outdoor adventures, where the wind can blow your puppet into funny shapes.
  • There are different sizes and different action (moving/flying and standing/sitting) versions of both characters.  Use just one or use them all – whatever helps you tell your story.

How to draw your own puppets!

You can make other animal neighbors – maybe a racoon or bunny – to meet Fox and Owl.  You can even make your own Fox and Owl, that look different from the puppets that Kari drew.  Watch this video for some How To Tips.

Puppet Personalites

Create a story for your puppets, and decide on their characters or personality.
  • Where will they go? Who will they meet? What will they discover when they get there?
  • What special strengths does Fox have? What powers does Owl have?
  • Is Fox a trickster?  Is Owl very smart?  or does s/he complain a lot? What do they sound like when they talk?
  • Maybe Fox and Owl sneak into your kitchen and make cookies. Maybe they meet your dinosaur collection and have a party.
  • Maybe Fox and Owl help protect the environment. They might invent a new way to collect sunlight for energy or save a whale who is tangled up in plastic!
  • Learn about how a real fox and a real owl survive in the wild in these videos with Animal Control Officer Diane Welch. What do they like to eat? What are some of their dangers?
  • Take a look at some sample videos to inspire you!

Guide to using Fox and Owl Paper Puppets

The curious, playful fox is the animal mascot for the Fox Branch Library, even though the library was actually named for the Edith M. Fox, the generous Arlingtonian who donated money to help get it started. A few real fox families still live in Arlington’s green spaces, and the Fox has been the star of our Fox Festival every year. But other animals have joined the parade, even the mascots of the Hardy School – dolphins!
This year, Fox gets a sidekick and good friend, Owl. Owl flew into this project when we met Diane Welch, Arlington’s Animal Control Officer. Diane cares for an amazing owl named Nuala who she adopted as a baby owlet. She brings Nuala to all kinds of community events to meet people and speak up for our animal neighbors. You can learn more about Nuala and real fox families by watching our video interviews with Diane.
Artist, educator and environmental activist Kari Percival drew our paper puppets. Print them out and then make them unique! You can also make them new puppet friends; draw your own characters. Maybe a raccoon or swan. Maybe a dragon or astronaut. Who would Fox and Owl like to meet on their adventure?


Watch this series of short videos made by the members of the Ottoson School Green Team!  They talk about urban wildlife – the birds and animals that live next door.  They also show you how to cut out and add color to your puppets and make a tiny theater.  There is even a movie showing you how to use “Stop Motion” – an animation app that you can download on an IPhone and use to make your movie.  For more inspiration watch videos on our SHOWCASE page.
Many thanks to the Ottoson School Green Team and to Rachel Oliveri, Green Team Coordinator for the Arlington Public Schools!

Tiny Theater

Many puppeteers like to make their stories unfold in a tiny theater. You can make your own out of a cereal box, shoe box or larger cardboard carton. Intrigued?  FIND OUT MORE