September 24 – Muppet Creator Jim Henson's Birthday

Posted on September 24, 2014

Today is the birthday of the beloved puppeteer, director, and producer Jim Henson, who tragically died from a bacterial infection when he was just 54 years old.

Henson's characters in Sesame Street, Muppets, and Fraggle Rock (etc., etc.!) became so popular and famous that they reached the level of iconic. There have been multiple Henson-character TV show and movies. Henson won Emmys, got a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and was awarded the Disney Legends Award.

Henson, born on this date in 1936, had become interested in puppets during the early years of TV, and when he was still in high school, he was already creating puppets for a TV show! He got a BS (college degree) in home economics at a university, studying how craft and textiles can be used in puppetry.

His fabric-covered foam rubber puppets were able to express emotions far more than the earlier carved-wooden puppets. Also, Henson used rods to move his Muppets' arms with much greater control that the earlier marionettes' strings could. Lastly, he made sure that puppeteers could precisely control the mouth movements to match the dialogue—rather than randomly moving up and down out of sync with the voice.

All of these things helped Henson reach most important goal: to create puppets that could express “life and sensitivity” and a wide variety of emotions.

  • Here are some free printable muppet activity sheets.
  • Here is a Pinterest board full of Muppet activities, costumes, crafts, and party foods. 

Also on this date:

National Day in Guinea-Bissau 

Rosh Hashanah 

Plan ahead:

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