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Create your own shadow puppets!
As children discover how to express themselves through art, they should learn how to use a variety of materials and media such as crayons, chalk, paint, clay, various kinds of papers, textiles, yarns, etc. It is important for them to also understand how to use these materials to produce different visual effects. Shadow puppets offer children an opportunity to not only develop this knowledge, but also to create artwork in a variety of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional media, to use appropriate vocabulary related to methods, materials and techniques, and to take care of materials and tools and to use them safely.
Set up several “shadow stations” around the room, with clamp lamps attached to chairs, facing the wall, or children in pairs with a flashlight for each pair. Also, set up your “shadow stage” (See the instructions for the Guess My Shadow activity), with a white sheet as the screen and a light source shining behind it.
Make a puppet of your own ahead of time to show to the students during the “Make it Click” discussion. Try to make a puppet that has a head, arms and/or legs that move. You can do this by cutting out your figure (let’s say it’s a soccer player) from a piece of oak tag, then cutting its arms and/or legs off. Using a hole punch, you should then punch holes in the top part of the legs and arms, and on the hip and shoulder section of the body. You can then reattach the arms and legs to the body with the brass fasteners, and now you have a shadow puppet that you can arrange in different poses! The last step is to tape a craft stick or straw to the center of your puppet. It works best if the stick is pointing out, instead of down (see the picture above). You can tape additional sticks or straws to the moveable parts (arms, legs, etc.) so that you have more control over your puppet.
Fairy-Tale Shadow Puppets
This series of shadow puppets were based on famous fairy-tales, so that we could reenact familiar stories with our children.
- Be careful if using candles, lamps are recommended.
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- Be careful when cutting out the cardboard-box and paper.
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Reader Success Stories
Lily White Jun 27, 2020
“I had a competition where I had to make a puppet show and I thought of shadow puppets. But I did not know how to make them! I tried googling them, but this was the only tutorial which was easy, thank you! ” …” more