Kids Craft: Shadow Puppets & Theatre - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Kids Craft: Shadow Puppets & Theatre

| November 2, 2011 | 32 Comments

shadow puppetsWelcome back to Kids Get Crafty! This week we have a shadow puppet and theatre for you.. As the afternoons get darker earlier, this is a wonderfully fun activity for kids of all ages! I think it is a great way to embrace the coming winter months and to look forward to the darker evenings and make the most of them! We also had a go at “hand shadow puppets”. In some ways I think we almost enjoyed the hand puppets more. So.. let this inspire you to explore shadow theatre full stop!

I have been meaning to make these for AGES now. Really ages.Probably a whole year… and no idea why it has taken me this long to have a go! It just has. I think I wanted to come up with a craft that small hands could take part in. As it turned out, I made it all and Red Ted watched. He was perfectly happy watching, just didn’t feel like joining in. I guess that is how it sometimes.

shadow puppetsTwo other blogs that helped me on my crafty journey this week were Mini Eco – I used her cereal box theatre instructions and the ingenious use of using coffee stirrers (thinner than lollipop sticks) and also love Seven’s hugely colourful wild things puppets. Both blogs are REALLY worth a visit if you are not familiar with them!



The Book

Hooray for Fish!Hooray for Fish, Lucy Cousins. This was one of Red Ted’s “first” favourite reads – I picked up a hardback copy at Tate Modern Bookshop. He really enjoyed it the most 9 months – 12 months, though he does dip back into it every so often. I now know all the words practically off by heart! Pip Squeak also enjoyed it tremednously. I think it is the combination of lovely rhyhming flow and fun delightful fish to surprise on every page. Parents will like it too as there is plenty counting going on, lots of colours to identify, stripes, spots etc etc so they are definitely learning too!

The Craft

We decided to make our own “Shadow Puppet Aquarium”. We thought we could make lots of little colourful fish and turtles and snails. Which did. But then we also had a good play with our hands.. making mainly birds and ducks (as that is all that mummy can do) and some Red Ted’s (i.e. Red Ted’s shadow…). It was fun and the shadow play activity on its own is highly recommended.. we now have repeat performances.

We enjoyed out cereal box theatre puppet, however found it restrictive in the sense that we had to  make very small puppets. I think we will make some bigger ones next time and just project them on the wall!

Materials 1: Cereal Box, Tissue Paper, Glue, Coffee Stirrers and Lamp, nail scissors for cutting small shapes

Materials basics: hands, lamp

Materials intermediate: hands, sheet (between two chairs), lamp

cereal box shadow puppet

1) As mentioned I followed the instructions from Mini Eco for her cereal box theatre. The only thing I did differently, is that we kept the “top of the box open” and decided to insert our puppets through the top and not the bottom… so, unfold your cereal box. Then cut out two rectangles – one for your screen and one for the light. Keep the card you cut out to make the puppets.

cereal box shadow puppet

2) Glue on a sheet of white paper as your screen

3) Re assemble the box but inside out – so you have a nice neat theatre. As mentioned, we kept the top open. I used some cloth pegs to hold it all in place whilst drying.

cereal box shadow puppet

4) Make your puppets. I cut out some simple fish, a whale, turtle and snail. And encouraged Red Ted to stick the tissue paper on. He wasn’t interested. I tried to get him to do some drawings, that I could cut  out and make into a puppet and we made one “large black pumpkin” like shape. He didn’t feel like doing more. That is the way it i sometimes! Stick on your coffee stirrers. We stuck them “coming down”… I found nail scissors very useful for the small shapes. (Oh the snail comes in from the side..)

The children were fascinated, especially Pip Squeak!

We then had a go at Hand Shadow Puppets. Here are some old traditional instructions that I found on Butterfly Rocket:

hand shadow puppets

And some more from “We Heart It“:

hand shadow puppets

AAAANNNND if you are REALLY keen.. check out “what you can really do” with hand puppets on youtube (sorry, it wouldn’t let me embed it for you).

Red Ted: Aged 3.75years

Pip Squeak: Almost 2yrs

For more Kid’s Craft ideas, click here for a full list.

If you have been crafty with your kid’s be it at home, in the kitchen or outdoors, I would love for you to link up:

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Category: Kids Craft, Recycling, Winter

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  1. I love the shadow puppets, especially the theatre clever! I am going to give that a go with Noah..he would LOVE it! x

  2. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaaah thank you Kerry!! :-) Shadow play really is fun for this age group!!! (actually, any age group…)

  3. What a super idea: I love your fish too 😀

  4. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you Kelly!

  5. What a wonderful idea! Perfect for nights when the power is out, too =)

  6. Esther says:

    Cereal box theatre! That’s a wonderful take! I would love to create one for my daughter. She just loves shadow puppets!

  7. Nice post! I love the pictures showing how to make the different shadows with hands. I’ve looked for resources like this before, but didn’t find anything as good. My children are going to love trying these. We’ll be back to this post. You’ve shared some great fun here!

  8. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaah thank you all! And Michelle, how nice of you to say, so pleased you like these charts.. did take me a while to find them!!! 😉

  9. Rachel says:

    That book is a FAVORITE at our house! I absolutely adore your shadow puppets. What a wonderful idea!

  10. Dorie says:

    The shadow puppets are fabulous. What a neat idea!

  11. Rashmie @MommyLabs says:

    Thank you for sharing these ideas, Maggy. My daughter loves shadow puppetry. We’re going to refer to these resources. I’ll book mark this post right away!

  12. VERY sweet theatre! And love the photo!

  13. oooh they are sooo cool! I almost made a puppet theatre out of my castle box…next time….


  14. Red Ted Art says:

    Oooh a castle was pretty cool too though! Indeed next time!

    And thank you Anna!

  15. This looks like a ton of fun. We will try it when we are stuck indoors.

  16. Liz Burton says:

    So cute! I remember lying awake with my brother at night doing shadow puppets on the wall – although I think I only mastered a bird, butterfly, dog and a wolf!

  17. Aleacia says:

    I love this idea! We will definitely be doing it soon!

  18. I love your puppets! What a great way to retell a story!

  19. Wonderful fun! You have such nice examples and directions. I love how creative and educational you are. Carolym

  20. The Shadow Puppet theater is sooooo cute!!!!

  21. love this idea! thanks so much for sharing on Craft schooling Sunday!

  22. Robin says:

    How fun is this! I would love it if you linked it up over at The T-shirt Diaries Upcycling Linky party:

  23. Red Ted Art says:

    Thanks for the invite! love your upcycled parties!

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