Children television productions have been using puppets for a long time. Since the early days of computer animation, computer puppet simulation has been researched intensively. Complex motion capture equipment allows nowadays the real time mapping of movement for virtual puppets (performance animation). However, the costs of capturing equipment are too high and the difference in the workflow make it difficult for small production teams to access and use such technology. This paper presents a system for the real time simulation of elastic latex hand puppets which are used in television productions. After an analysis of the production processes of real puppets and of the materials used for their production, the paper describes the components of the system simulating them. The system connects a high resolution visual mesh to a three-layered 3D mass spring mesh, which is used for the elastic simulation. Polygonal mesh decimation of the puppet surface model is used as a basis for generating the elastic mesh. From the decimated mesh a new metod is proposed for generating the internal layers of the mass-spring mesh. A data handglove is used for transmitting forces to the elastic mesh, indirectly moving the surface of the virtual puppet in real time. Dataglove interaction maps in a natural way the hand movements of a puppeteer to the computer model. The tradeoffs of the implementation on low cost hardware and its efficiency are also discussed. Copyright UNION Agency-Science Press.