Inventive, Wacky & Fun!
Puppets made from recyclables perform Eco tales

Recycling is given a wonderfully inventive spin when the wacky, clean-up lady goes into show business.
She “recycles” trash into puppet characters and “recycles” folktales into a script. The entire audience
will be actively involved as the clean-up lady
and her puppets perform hilarious tales from
South America, Europe and Asia.


“Every child was alive, engaged, and excited with her recycling message.
The puppets made out of common household items inspired our...future environmentalists…even fifth graders wanted to touch the puppets. High praise!” 
- Director, Roberta Gasbarre, Smithsonian Discovery Theater, Washington DC


Click on the 
above pictures
 for an enlarged view






“We were 
laughing so hard
 we were crying”
Bethesda Elementary, 













“Your program
was outstanding
and served as a wonderful tool for teaching students about the
of recycling.”

York County Solid Waste Authority











Teacher’s Guides
and Puppet Construction
are Provided.










“Students howled
with laughter
at the
puppets’ antics
during the
45-minute show”.










ALL ages.


 Program written, built and performed by Kathleen Jacobs
While cleaning up litter, a wacky clean-up lady begins to play with newly found trash treasures. What should be saved? How might it be recycled? Inspired she decides to “recycle” old trash into puppets and “recycle” old folktales into a script.

Using household objects and discards, she builds an ingenious set. Trash cans and recycling bins define hills and valleys. Brushes and brooms are "used over" as trees in the forest. Feather dusters fill the garden.

Plastic bottles pulled from the recycling bin transform into puppets. “TIDE” the cow, “KODAK” the bee, and “MINUTE MAID” the good fairy are a few of the imaginative characters created from like containers.

The cleanup lady, together with her puppets and helpful audience members act out these tales:

THE GOAT IN THE CHILE PATCH - The mean "Bully" Goat jumps out of the recycling bin and creates havoc in the chile patch. Who has a plan to drive him back? Can he be recycled into someone nicer?

THE MAGIC RECYCLING POT- Minute Maid the good fairy provides a magic recycling pot that produces the most wonderful food to eat. A hilarious mishap results when the magic words are forgotten. Volunteers recruited from the audience will save the day.

TWO OF EVERYTHING - Behold the magic recycling pot that makes two of everything! What good fortune...or is it? It all depends on what falls or jumps inside.




 Recycling:   A Program about Possibilities!
 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
 Literacy:  Reading, Writing, Creative thinking 
 Script is inspired by books.
 Arts:  Creative dramatics, Creative movement,
  Household objects and trash become sets & puppets.
 Mathematics:  Multiplication 
 Character Counts:  Sharing, Friendship 
 Multicultural Tales  
1. THE GOAT IN THE CHILE PATCH, a Hispanic story
2. THE MAGIC RECYCLING POT, inspired by European
3. TWO OF EVERYTHING, told in China, Japan & Korea

Teacher’s Guide & Puppet Construction Directions
are Provided.


1.   Sing to the tune of “Found a Peanut”.
   Use it over, Use it over, Use it over, once again.
  Use it over, Use it over, Use it over, once again.


When the cleanup lady takes on the role of a puppeteer, she is not thinking about what things are, but what they might become. Scientists are constantly thinking of creative ways to remake recyclables into useful new products. Draw an arrow connecting the item collected for recycling to the examples of new products into which they can be made.

yard waste
computer print out
comic book
glass apple juice jar
plastic soda bottle
soup can
aluminum soda can  

new cans, aluminum lawn furniture
bathroom tissue, birthday cards
sleeping bag stuffing, plastic “lumber"
roller skates, toolbox, bridge
cereal box, folder
new bottles, fiberglass insulation
compost to help flowers grow

3.    Review with your group what is acceptable for your local recycling program………
1.    Who is the “Bully” in the story of THE GOAT IN THE CHILE PATCH? What happened to the mean old “Bully” Goat? (He jumps back into the recycling bin.) How should he be recycled? Draw a cartoon sequence of his transformation.


Have Bullies threatened you or any one you know? How did you/they feel? Share with the group how they handled the situation. Would they have preferred a different outcome? Form groups and make up stories about dealing with bullies. Construct plastic bottle puppets similar to the one demonstrated. (Directions provided). Act out your tales for the class.

 Technical Details

 Who?   PreK to grade 6 and Family audiences.
 Where?  Schools, libraries, camps, museums, theaters, festivals
 and community events throughout the Mid-Atlantic
 States. Tours on the East Coast are planned.
 When?   Anytime! We tour year round
 Audience Size  up to 250 people
 Program Length  Full-length performances are 45 to 55
 minutes long. Shorter 25-35 minute shows
 are available for festivals and very
   young audiences.
 Staging Options  
 •Preferred: Raised stage 14 feet wide X 12 feet deep with
   center stairs to access the audience.
 Floor level space approximately 14 feet wide X 12 feet deep.
   Seat children on the floor to insure them an unobstructed
 Outdoor performance space 14 feet wide X 12 feet deep with
   adequate coverage to protect performer and equipment from
   inclement weather conditions (tarps, tent, canopy, etc.).
 Sound  Performer provides own sound system with wireless
 Exceptions: Outdoor or very large venues.
 Electrical  2 outlets on stage.
 Lighting   Basic lighting. General wash with a concentration of
 light on center and front of stage. House lights
 are kept on low because performer travels into
   the audience.
 Setup/Strike   Set Up: 45 minutes, Pack Up: 30 minutes
 Loading/Parking   Please arrange for our van to unload/load
 as close as possible to the venue entrance.
 Provide free parking close to loading area.


“On behalf of the York Solid Waste Authority, I thank you for your recent performances of “Magic Pots & Recycled Bottles” presented to 14 elementary schools across York County.

Your program was outstanding and served as a wonderful tool for teaching students about the importance of recycling. We have received a great deal of positive feedback from the schools you visited and were thrilled that it was such a big success.

Your attention to detail, creativity, enthusiasm and ability to relate to the children all served to present the recycling message in a both a meaningful and entertaining way. I commend you for your excellent level of professionalism and would gladly recommend your programming to other organizations”
Ellen C. O'Connor, Manager
e-mail:, Phone: 717-845-1066
Community Services Div. York County Solid Waste Authority, York, PA 17402

“Students howled with laughter at the puppets’ antics during the 45-minute show sponsored by Rockingham County Public Works”. Rockingham Newspaper
Linda B. Zirkle, Recycling Coordinator,
e-mail:, Phone: 540-564-3008
Rockingham County Dept. of Public Works, Harrisonburg, VA 22802

“Just fantastic!!! Kathleen was an ‘artist’ in the finest sense of the word - so creative, Not only did she ingeniously prove the value of recycling (Throw-aways become a whole list of memorable characters) She did so with hilarity and charm.”
Librarian, Howard County Library, MD

“Your energy, creativity and upbeat attitude made the show so memorable. The educational…. parts of your presentation on recycling were appropriate for a wide range of ages.”
Teacher, Prince Street Elementary, Salisbury, MD

“The performance was just wonderful. I was so impressed with the way the kids retained the stories.”
1st Grade Teacher, Forest Ridge Elementary, MD

“Not only did the audience like the individual stories…but everyone was fascinated by the way recyclable materials were fashioned into characters in your show. This program was sure to ‘fire the imaginations’ of children.”
Branch Coordinator, Manheim Township Library, PA

"MAGIC POTS & RECYCLED BOTTLES is one of my favorite shows because of the humor involved and the creative way in which you use everyday items. I know the children leave the performance with a sense that they can create their own puppet magic"
Director, Downingtown Library, PA


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