Depends on the age group but I find the following pretty good for eight years and above. Please excuse the terminology - I'm Australian and I don't know the American terms. Children can have 'gladwrap' (plastic food wrap?) around the pointer finger of their less used hand, then wrap small strips of modroc (plaster bandages) - dampened - around it and gradually form simple (extremely simple is best) facial characteristics. Let dry on hand whilst looking for things to add to it next lesson. These come off the finger quite well. Then they could paint the puppet next lesson. I personally like adding things like buttons for eyes (teacher using the hot glue gun), cord, wool, or cloth wrapped around the head (I have used satay sticks painted in metallic paints around the back to represent haloes - looks great when you add a sort of death's head grin to a painted mouth). You could then either use just your hand as the body of the puppet or add a very simply stitched together body made from scraps of fragment. Paul K
lee did some wonderful puppets that are similar in spirit - you could check out a book that his son wrote about his father's work (sorry, can't remember the name).