Content of the material
Required Cookies Technologies
Some of the technologies we use are necessary for critical functions like security and site integrity, account authentication, security and privacy preferences, internal site usage and maintenance data, and to make the site work correctly for browsing and transactions.
Hand Shadow Puppet Animals
via Artists Helping Children
Here are some more cute ideas from Artists Helping Children that you can try out. We love the butterfly, dog, camel, reindeer, and goat. You have options galore and we’re sure you can come up with some too.
via Lemon Harangue Pie
There’s a further great selection of hand shadow puppets here including turtle, rhinoceros, cat, and ducks. Which one will you try first?
Things You’ll Need
- Light-source (lamp, candle, etc)
- Screen (Baking paper)
- Cardboard box
- Wooden sticks or straws
- Paper (A strong type of paper is even better)
- Sofa or table where you can hide behind
Tell children that they will be making shadow puppets with their hands.
- Have children work in pairs and invite them to think of shadow puppets they can make using one or both of their hands. Encourage them to make puppets that can move.
- Have each child demonstrate his or her hand puppet in the mini theater. Then see if their partner can imitate his or her hand puppet.
- Tape the box up well so that it's sturdy and closed.
- Then trace about 1 – 1 1/2 inches away from the edges of the large faces of the box. Do this on both sides. These are your marking lines.
- Next cut out the large rectangles you just drew. We used a utility knife for this. Wait! Save the cardboard you just cut away! You can use that for making puppets.
- If you need to add more tape to the inside of the box to make it more sturdy, go ahead and do that now.
- Find a sheet of fairly thin white or light-colored paper. Tracing paper or wax paper would work well too. We just used plain old copy paper.
- Tape that over the hole on one side only. That side with the paper faces your audience. The other side is where you, the puppetmaster will work your magic.
If you want to decorate your puppet theater, you can. But remember, it will be dark as you give your show, so the audience really won't see a lot of what you design on it. So keep it simple. The image to the right is an example of a possible border around your theater. Click it to find the original image.
Below are the puppets—simply shapes cut from cardboard with sticks taped on. We used bamboo skewers, but you can use craft sticks or straws as well. To make your puppets more lifelike, cut out legs, jaws, or arms separately from the body parts and attach them with paper fasteners (brads). Be sure to attach a stick to each part so you can move both pieces. Sprite made her shark have a hinged mouth! Very scary!
A Pioneer SamplerA Great Living Book
This book is actually the inspiration for our making a shadow puppet theater! In the book, the Robertsons spend a cold winter's evening around the fire watching to Granny cast shadows on the wall as she tells a silly story about hobgoblins.
This is such a wonderful way to learn about the American pioneers. The book centers around the Robertsons, a backwoods family of nine. Engaging stories about their lives teach about the lifestyle of our American forefathers and mothers. Interspersed among the stories are factual pages with beautiful line drawings and activity suggestions. A fascinating book!
Thanks for visiting. I hope that your puppet theater is a grand success!
Tell children never to point a flashlight at their own or another child’s face. A flashlight can be very bright and can hurt their eyes. Show children how to turn a flashlight on and off and ask them to always turn their flashlight off when they have finished using it.