Puppets are a great way to hold kids' interest. They can be used in a classroom and in videos, and kids can use them to act out skits that they write. Yesterday I found a tortoise puppet and a turkey puppet made by a company called Folkmanis that I liked, and then I found other puppets from the same company on Amazon. I've pasted some photos below of puppets that seem especially appropriate for acting out stories in the native languages of the south. If you click on the image, you can go directly to the Amazon.com listing.
I haven't seen all of these puppets, so I don't know if they're all the same size. The store I went to had the turkey and the tortoise, which are both fairly large (about the size of a basketball). The tortoise is especially expressive and can act shy, nod its head, talk, etc. The turkey just nods and flaps a little.
I think it would be a lot of fun to make a children's video featuring puppets in one segment. It would be easy to make a corresponding coloring book.