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Gospel Balloon Routine with a Marionette

by Ralph Dewey

A simple marionette type puppet is fun to make. The one shown below is not exactly made as it should because I have a surprise associated with it. The control sticks (made from #260 balloons) form the shape of a cross. While making the marionette I discovered two important construction requirements. The first requirement is that you will need to make the knee joints very flexible. This is done by tying a scrap piece of a #160 balloon at each knee twist so that they would bend easily. The second requirement is that you will need to add weight to the feet. A little weight helps the marionette to move more realistically. For weight I simply wedged a quarter coin into each foot.

If you study the photos below you can see how easy it is to construction this simple marionette.
Notice that the strings are made from uninflated #160 balloons. The head is made from a Link-O-Loon balloon. But you could substitute a Bee Body balloon inflated to about 4" long if needed. The body, arms and legs are made from #260 balloons. Notice that the connection of the arms and legs where they attach to the body uses a short length of uninflated balloon. This allows them to move freely.
One way to use this simple marionette is in a gospel routine. As I mentioned before, the control stick is made in the shape of a cross. I first dance the marionette around for a short while. Then I talk about the negative influence of the devil. I then ask the question, “Who’s pulling your strings, God or Satan?” To show the answer that a wise person would give to my question, I tilt the control stick upward so that it can be seen as a cross. Then I say, “Don’t let the devil control your life. Because Satan will lead you into all kinds of sin and troubles. Instead, give God control of your life. Accept Jesus who died on the cross so that you can be saved from your sins.”

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