As a child of the 70’s, I have distinct memories of watching The Muppet Show when I was a kid. It was on right before my bedtime, and I sat on the orange shag carpet of our family room watching Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the rest. Some of the guest stars — like Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett — I knew, while others — Alice Cooper and Zero Mostel — I definitely didn’t.
When The Muppet Movie came out a few years ago, I remember the astonishment in the movie theater at the first scene of Kermit riding a bike, and I owned a record album of the movie’s soundtrack.
Now that I have kids of my own, I’ve had fun re-visiting The Muppets all over again with them. I’m much more familiar with the guest stars these days (although I still have no idea who Spike Milligan is), and I recognize songs that I didn’t know when I was in elementary school. (For example, John Denver sang “Grandma’s Feather Bed,” which our 8th grade chorus had sung.
My middle child, Rebecca, was very interested in hand puppets for a while, and her favorites would join us on the couch while we watched The Muppet Show together. That same school year, she chose to write a biography of Jim Henson for one of her writing assignments.
One of the things that makes The Muppets so wonderful is that they can be enjoyed by both children and adults, which is also true of the Kermit hand puppets and plush dolls in this post. I can picture teachers and parents putting on a puppet show for kids, or an adult or child having one of these Kermit dolls on their shelf as a decoration.
Originally this post was going to be about just Kermit hand puppets, but it turned out that they were pretty hard to find. So I expanded it to also include stuffed Kermit toys — not only because they are similar items, but also because, if you feel so inclined, you can cut a hole in the back, dig out some stuffing, and turn it into a puppet. In fact, if you scroll down, you’ll see a video I included on how to do this.
This ten-inch puppet is made of soft green cotton fleece. It allows you to use your hand to move Kermit’s mouth and make him “speak,” although there is no way to operate his arms. Some reviewers commented that the foam stuff in the head made it too stiff and difficult to move, but apparently that does improve somewhat after a breaking-in.
Like I said earlier, it was surprisingly hard to find Kermit puppets at online retailers, so I went over to Etsy and found this cute green frog puppet that looked similar enough to Kermit to be included here. (Actually, I think he looks a lot like Kermit’s nephew, Robin — remember him?)
The frog’s fingers are posable and it comes with two attached arm rods. It is sized to fit an average adult’s hand and was not designed with the intention of being used by a child, but rather by an adult who is using the puppet to entertain children.
If you’re fine with a “Kermit-ish” puppet and you like to sew, you can follow this tutorial:
How to Sew a Frog Puppet
And here’s an unconventional and interesting idea — making a puppet out of paper!
How to make an Origami Hand Puppet Frog
This stuffed animal is from a line of toys called “Hallmark Itty Bittys,” and the name describes it well! The dimensions of this little Kermit are 3 x 4 x 2.25 inches, making it perfect for little hands or a cute little desk decoration. Incidently, you can get other Muppet Itty Bittys, including Miss Piggy, Animal, and Fozzie Bear.
This Kermit doll has arms and legs and is posable. Amazon reviewer A. Daugherty explains how this can come in handy:
I love this Kermit doll. I pose it a work and take selfies and pictures of it in different poses. When we hit our goals at work, the numbers are highlighted in green. I can tell you that, “It’s not easy being green.” I capitalize on this fact and run around with Kermit thanking people for their work. The material it is made of is very good and I don’t see it peeling from use any time soon if ever.
Turn a Plush Kermit into a Hand Puppet with Legs
Over and over again, reviewers called this Kermit doll “soft,” “adorable,” and “cuddly.” One reviewer named Sunshine added, “It is just the right size for my four-year-old grandson to carry around — not too big and not too small. It appears to be well-made, and should stand up to a lot of use from my active grandson!”
This “head to toe” plush Kermit doll is sixteen inches tall and features a “Genuine Authentic Original Disney Store” patch.
Amazon reviewer Wenswife, who purchased it for her grandson, says, “This plush, soft Kermit is very huggable and easy for him to hold onto and to cuddle with. At sixteen inches, he is the perfect height for a toddler to carry around. It is very well made, and nothing can be pulled off of Kermit that a child could choke on.”
And reviewer Rayne D. describes why he’s pleased with such a high-quality product by saying, “This item came nicely wrapped in plastic, and is better than described. It’s very big, looks exactly like Kermit, and is cuddly and cute. The Fabric is nicer than other ones I’ve seen, as I read in other reviews. I only wish he were machine washable! However, a great value and a great product. My daughter will love it.”
There is also a soft “Genuine, Original, Authentic Disney” Miss Piggy doll, and I thought it was so beautiful that I had to include it here as well. Standing at nineteen inches tall, she is even bigger than Kermit, and reviewers stated that her features are wonderfully detailed. She would make a great collector’s item.
And finally, if you like to crochet, here’s a Kermit pattern that’s available on Etsy:
This is an inexpensive digital pdf download on a crochet version of Kermit. I would not recommend trying to make this one into a puppet, though!
Whether you’re shopping for yourself, another adult, or a child, I hope you’ve been able to find the best Kermit (and/or Miss Piggy) to bring some Muppet Magic into your life!