New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
January 4, 2018

Family Activity: A Sick Day for Morris McGee

Turn yourself and your family into puppets, perform your morning routine in a new way and use your imagination to create your own stories in this Family Activity! For each and every show in the season, we create custom activities for your family to try together. Find them here on our blog or at

My Puppet and Me

In A Sick Day for Morris McGee, puppets are used to tell a beautiful story. In this activity, you will make a puppet for each member of your family!

Adults – Assemble the puppets.
Kids – Color the puppets to create one for each member of your family! Does your dad love purple? Color his body a lovely shade of violet. Does grandma wear glasses? Personalize her puppet face with her signature specs!

Materials: Brads or paper clips, scissors, crayons, a puppet template for each member of your family, a hole puncher


Step One: Count the number of family members you have. That’s how many puppets you will be making! Print out the appropriate number of puppet templates and cut them out. Don’t forget to punch out the joint holes!

Step One

Step Two: Put them together using brads or paper clips. Then, decorate your puppets.

Step 2
Step 2

Step Three: Once you are done, take some time to test them out. Play around to see how their hands, feet, arms and legs move. Give your family member the puppets that you made for them. Teach them how to move their new puppets, too! 

Step Three

Step Four: Play follow the leader with your puppets to learn how to make them move. Start the game off with one person moving their puppet and the other puppets copying them.

Here are some ideas for how your puppet can move:
  • Wave the arms.
  • Stomp the feet.
  • Use the whole body to dance.
  • Move the arms up high.
  • Have the legs do splits!
Step Five: Everyone should try taking a turn as a leader and as a follower. 

Tabletop Routine

Now that you know how to move your puppet, let’s make it come to life! In this activity, you will act out your morning routine on your own tabletop, just like they do in A Sick Day for Morris McGee.

The Set of A Sick Day for Morris McGee

Materials: Your newly made puppet, a table in your house

Step One: As a family, brainstorm your morning routine. How do you get out of bed? When do you brush your teeth? 

Step Two: Using your puppet, show the different steps of the morning routine you thought out. How does your puppet brush their teeth? 

If your kid is too young to do specific movement with their puppet, perform with yours and have your kid try to guess what you are doing! 

Step Three: Find a table top in your house and use it to act out your whole morning routine. Make different sections of the table different parts of your home.

Example: One section is your bedroom, the other section is your bathroom, the other section is your kitchen.

BONUS: Get different household items to add different elements to your tabletop home. Maybe you could use a shoebox as your bed! 

Beyond the Page

In this activity you will take a deeper look into the story of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, which the play A Sick Day for Morris McGee is based on. The creators used their imaginations to bring new stories of the characters to life. What if each page had its own story that needed to be told? 

Step One: Watch this YouTube video of the book being read by Ms. Shy. Then, pick your favorite page in the book. You are going to work on this page today! Once you have chosen your page, have a conversation about what you see on the page. 

Adults, ask your kids these questions:
  • Why did you pick this page?
  • Who is on the page?
  • What’s happening on this page?
  • Where does the story on this page take place?
Here is the page we chose:

A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Characters: Amos and the elephant
Location: The Zoo
What’s happening: Amos and the elephant are playing a game of chess.

Step Two: Now, think about what else the elephant might do all day that is not already included in the storybook. Add to the story written by Philip C. Stead and create a new part of the story that you and your family dream up!

Example: The elephant had a chess competition against the zebra later that day. The zebra always wins the chess competition, but today the elephant is hoping to win the game!

Step Three: Draw your new page with your new story ideas! Here is our example.

Step Three

BONUS: Go to the zoo! Here are some places you can visit in the five boroughs.


Based on a Caldecott Medal-winning book by Philip C. Stead, A Sick Day for Morris McGee will warm your heart and chase away the winter chills.
Posted by Beth Henderson
Lucia St.
Thank you so much for the thought that you put into these family activities. We love going through and getting ideas for creativity and letting our imagination roam. We are grateful for these efforts!
1/25/2018 11:39:34 AM

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