Top 12 Toddler-Friendly Hand Puppets


Crazy fun characters to the limits of your imagination. Unmatched hand movement agility. High Five, Let’s Hand Puppet.

Worn like a glove loose on the hand — you or your child will use the fingers, wrist, and forearm to move Little Mr./Ms. Puppet’s head and arms. Why hello there!

Agile Fine Motor Mastery

The hand puppet helps toddlers and kids reach new levels of hand-eye coordination and hand movement agility unmatched by any other type of toy — since hand-to-puppet movement translates directly into fine motor mastery. In coordination with the continuity of movement provided by the hand, this type of puppet gets all those little hand muscles moving!

Uproariously Entertaining Family Time

The puppets are a resource of amusement and teaching for both children and adults, allowing children to practice communication skills and the capacity for narrative and prose — plus concentration skills and persistance to play out an act — plus plenty of giggly moments with family for all members to participate.

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Best 12 Hand Puppets for Play and Learning

Currently, there are a lot of models, sizes, and shapes of hand puppets for both children and adults, and if you are looking for options for hand puppets and do not know where to start, here is a compilation with the top 12 of the best brands of hand puppets.

We’re talking about hand puppets here, but feel free to dive into our sock puppet, finger puppet, and DIY puppet making kit reviews — to tickle your curiosity. Or bubbly bath puppets might be your jam.

(01) Folkmanis 

If you are looking for a realistic hand puppet that allows you to make facial expressions and movements just like a real animal, this is one of the best options. This brand has more than 200 types of creatures and animals to choose from and is the perfect complement for children’s games, theater shows — or as a support material for teachers in schools.

The construction is very detailed, the colors are just like the real animals and the expressions you can make with them will make you believe that they have been brought to life. In some of their models, such as the seashell, you can independently control the movement of the eyes.

(02) Melissa & Doug Sets

With their highly popular complete hand-puppet sets — besides being one of the most famous brands and being recognized by the American pediatric society as a gold standard driver of play and motor development for children — Melissa & Doug puppets adapt to the hands of children and adults.

Their soft plush material, not only enables a great sensory experience and is easy to wash with water — (important) hand sweat and general germs mean you should wash your hand puppet regularly.

Options range from farm animals puppet sets, zoo animals, Dog Patrol, Mickey Mouse Friends, professions, fantasy characters, comical characters — if you are looking for a set of hand puppets for kids, these are ideal.

(03) Melissa & Doug Singles (with Rod)

A hand puppet that includes a detachable wooden rod to make the effect of facial and body expression — a hand puppet control rod stick accessory. The possibilities are endless, it also promotes motor skills and coordination with both hands. This type of puppet is recommended for ages 3 and up, and is suitable for both left-handed and right-handed people. The models of these puppets vary from professions, pirates, fantasy, and dragons. A complete show for children and adults.

(04) Diabolo Puppet 

If you are looking for puppets with a crazy touch and unique “Muppet-ish” look in full-color monstrous splendor — the diabolo puppets do not disappoint. They have become very famous because you can change the position of the eyes with the movement of the fingers of some of their models, such as Mr. Alien. While it is true that they are suitable for an adult hand, do not discard the option for children from 7 years, because of these crazy faces, a lot of fun comes out.

The puppets are made of plush, very large plastic eyes, acrylic skin, and reach 15 inches high, a particularity is that all models bring the lining to the elbow and very long hands that can be used with rods (included), or without them.

(05) Aurora 

Aurora World is a brand that has a collection of cute animals that you can buy individually. They are suitable from 3 years old, and it is a type of puppet that is easy to manipulate because it appears to be a stuffed animal with a fluffy tail, movable gangly feet, realistic facial feature — but you insert your hand through the body and give life with your fingers to the top of the animal. They are created in very soft textures, with stuffing, and serve both as puppets and stuffed animals. Models range from shark, turtle, cat, monkey, pig, wolf, and many more.

(06) The Puppet Company 

A brand that has more than 400 models of hand puppets, with vibrant colors, big mouths, and some with sounds in their mouths, will make children and adults can interact for a long time. The soft materials they are made of are wool, polar fleece, and colored acrylics, and the sizes of these puppets are between 12 and 15 inches. Most of them are made so that they cover up to the elbow, and their models vary between psychedelic animals, realistic animals, dragons, fantasy…

(07) Puppetude 

Puppetude has the cutest sock puppets you can see, handmade, all boiled, and with great details. Being made with dyed cotton socks, very elastic, allows the facial expression of the mouth to be more extensive, and can be manipulated by children from 5 years old and adults.

The collection is focused on animals, and the colors of the puppets are in neutral tones. Undoubtedly, a very delicate, subtle, and fun option to make hand puppets. Their extraordinary and peculiar designs vary between pelican, fox, giraffe, dog, elephant.

(08) HABA

Haba has some very original designs and soft hand puppets. They can be used by children from 4 years old and is a brand that even sells a door theater with top support to make the game with puppets, a real art.

Their puppets can eat (literally) because they have a zippered opening, which encourages play to feed “the animal in question” (for example, bird-eating cherries).

They also have a collection of puppets that include other small animals in their bellies, for example, the lion with its cub or the crocodile with its cub, which encourages not only to experiment with the facial expression of a character but to include a small stuffed animal in the game.

(09) SpecialYou

Plush hand puppets of approximately 8 inches, especially for children from 3 years old. Their models are vivid and very realistic, which allows for encouraging hand-eye coordination games, as well as storytelling. The models vary between panda bear, tiger, lion, and dinosaur (just head or with body and tail), and their manufacture is in soft plush, with the characteristic colors of each animal, and one of its peculiarities is that they are made on all sides, which allows them to be both plush and puppet at the same time.

(10) ChunkiChilli

The most adorable organic cotton hand puppets you can see. All their models are hand-woven, and their designs are made with great details that will tell the cutest stories for children from just months old. A great tool for parents to have at home and develop playful activities with the little ones, and for children as young as 3 years old to integrate into their afternoon games. These puppets only allow the movement of the hands, as they do not bring an opening for the mouth.

There are 11 different styles: Cat Plane, Rabbit Pirate Ship, Labrador Surfer, Panda and Baby Carrier, Bear Bus, Rabbit Balloon, Dalmatian Parachute, Elephant Banana Car, Lion Car, Guinea Pig Train, and Alpaca Car. Also — they can be purchased in sets or individually, depending on the character.

(11) Puppet Pals 

If you are looking for big, funny, fleece puppets that can easily be used as a small pillow, this is a great choice. They are very popular with children from 5 years old and up, and their particular models attract the attention of young and old alike. Their style is focused on food and meals, and the models vary from an apple, a sandwich, an orange, and even a box of Chinese food.

(12) GUND (Sesame Street Collection) 

This collection of sesame squares are 11 inch puppets, made of 100% polyester very soft and adorable. They are suitable for ages 1 year and up, and the models include the blue and red cookie monster. This company is the oldest and pioneer in the creation of plush toys and puppets in the United States, and the quality of its products, according to its manufacturers, is to last for generations. If you are looking for Sesame Street puppets, this collection is one of the best.

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