It’s easy to make shadow puppets for your own puppet show. We use cardstock or dark construction paper, and mount the puppets on craft sticks, straws or dowels.
For 3 – 5 year old children, it’s easiest if you draw the shapes and they cut. Older children may be able to draw their own shapes… but it can be hard for them to understand that the only thing that matters is the outline / silhouette. It may help to show them sample puppets to give kids a better sense of what kinds of designs are possible. Here are samples from our class:
Optional Arts Extension – Shadow Puppet Theatre
Make a shadow puppet theatre using a cereal box and either waxed paper or printer paper. There are great how-to tutorials both at Jimmie Lanley’s Hub Page (which also includes links to other info about shadow puppets) and on the website for Kix cereal. Here is Teacher Monisha’s theater and shadow puppets for Teacher Cym’s story of Perseus and Andromeda that we tell when we study Stars and Constellations.
- More info on shadow puppets at Coolest Family on the Block.
- Watch a shadow puppet show here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2KksNDYu4A – you’ll see links to several other related videos on the right sidebar. Check those out too. You can watch a kid-created shadow play at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqzv162GBWg Or, for a beautiful work of art, watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR6_m_qXbKg&t=215s
In a separate post, I have LOTS more light and shadow experiments.