I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

by Vicky on March 28, 2011

Somehow I had never told the story (in song) of The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.

When the idea finally occurred to me, I immediately envisioned a life-sized Old Lady puppet who could gulp everything down.  When I started discussing with Stuart how the puppet should be constructed, he was seized with a fit of creativity.  I came home from work and discovered that he had built a marvelous puppet using part of a Quikrete Quik-Tube building form left over from a fence repair project.

Her jaw shuts with a very unsettling SNAP!

I provided her blue hair and clothing, plus most of the animals she was to swallow. 

Thanks to her collection of Beanie Babies, my friend Gail was able to contribute a very funny little pug dog, and Stuart saved the day once again by making a large cardboard cutout of a cow.

I suspended the Old Lady by her neck from the stand for our projection screen (which remained nicely out of view), and draped her skirt over my puppet theater.

The Old Lady’s overskirt could be parted to reveal a view of the contents of her stomach, which swirled around like clothes in a washing machine.

Most of the kids and their parents knew the song, and joined in enthusiastically!

For our craft, we made paper bag puppets.  Instead of making them the usual way (using the bottom of the bag as the head), we attached the Old Lady’s head and dress to the front of the bag, which was left open at the top.  Before attaching her head, we cut away the portion of the bag behind her open mouth.

Using cardstock, I made a rainbow-colored set of simple drawings of the animals the Old Lady swallows (identical to the ones on the puppet’s stomach spinner), which could be inserted through her mouth.

Check out this array of sinister Old Ladies!

I love this hilarious animated puppet production of “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” by the inspired Puppet Heap Moving Picture Company.  Click the image to watch it on their website:

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