Stick your hand in a sock, make a funny voice, and watch your toddler go wild. Your little guy's a sucker for pretend play right about now, so puppets are bound to be a hit. You might also find that he listens better when his pal speaks; if so, take full advantage when it's time to clean up, brush teeth, and go to bed.
Puppet play doesn't have to be elaborate. You can put on a show with just a few items from around the house:
Beyond the paper bag
The lunch-size sack's a classic, but you can also transform a twig, an ice-pop stick, or wooden chopsticks with a paper circle (head), yarn (hair), and markers.
Perform from behind the couch or a kitchen chair covered with a blanket. Let the new family member "live" in a shoebox, and provide furniture cut out from colored paper or wrapping-paper scraps.
Bath mitts work well as tub entertainers. Have this soggy character dive under the water, sing songs, or tell a tall tale while you quickly clean those ears!