There are many different styles and ways to create puppets and it really doesn’t matter which one you choose. The goal is to work together and encourage the child to be creative and imaginative with both the act of making the puppet and then with playing afterwards. A visual reference is always good to have, so making a sample puppet ahead of time might be helpful or having a picture. However, do try to promote creative changes as the child makes their own puppet. Verbal feedback is a good way to support the child’s efforts. Saying, “Oh, I like the way you used blue hair on yours instead of brown, it’s so fun and bright!” As you are creating the puppet with the child there may be opportunities to start “pretending” by making voices or giving the puppet a name.
After the art making, the play can begin. At first, some children on the spectrum may not join in but rather observe the play, or just not be paying attention at all. This is ok; you may have to play for them instead of with them in the beginning. Eventually, they may become curious and try some things with the puppet. Even if it doesn’t seem to make sense, follow their lead and go with it.