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Puppet Rod Arm

I make my rod arms from a cordless telephone extending antennas and an alligator clip. Both are available from Radio Shack. 

I cut off the button at the end of the antenna. Then I use a glue called Goop to attach the clip to the end of the antenna. This is an excellent glue for a number of situations. It is waterproof, flexible, and very strong. I use some aluminum tape to cover the joint. Sometimes I find it best to remove the smallest and sometimes the second smallest sections. These of the slip too easily to control the arm. It also may be necessary to rough the sections slightly with sand paper to insure being able to turn the hand for example in waving. If the wrist can turn attach at the balance point on the hand.

In the picture you can see a patch I use on the puppet's hand. This is to protect the cloth on the hand which could wear out. It is iron-on patch material glued in place with Goop.

The advantage of this hand is the ability to shorten it when working in close with kids and extend it on stage. The clip allows it to be removed, replaced, or switch hands. Because there is not a lot of turning strength because of slippage, you tend to use more realistic movement rather than "brute" strength" movement. I carry several spares at all times.