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Shadow Puppet Night

I made heavy use of the library's Cricut as well as my personal Silhouette Cameo for this activity. But with them, it was pretty easy to pull off.

I collected all kinds of images to cut out--pirates, superheroes, princesses, animals--anything that might spark some story telling. I cut them out on cardstock and glued a thin stick or dowel to make puppets. I might have gotten a little carried away.

red riding hood puppets

three little pigs shadow puppets

superhero shadow puppets

jack and the beanstalk shadow puppets

mermaid shadow puppets

peter pan shadow puppets

knight and dragon shadow puppet

pirate shadow puppets

dinosaur shadow puppets

circus shadow puppets

wizard of oz shadow puppets

cinderella shadow puppets

If you don't have a cutting machine, there are printables you can cut by hand. Like this Gingerbread Man set or Three Little Pigs set.

Next I had to make a theatre. I did this by cutting a large square (I tried to get fancy with it after a while, but you know, up to ya) out of cardboard box and covering it with white tissue paper.

DIY shadow puppet theatres

Once you hold a flashlight behind the box, you've got the perfect Shadow Puppet Stage.

shadpow puppet theater

I tried to round up some flashlights before the event, but I knew I still wouldn't have enough for everyone. So I told 'em all to bring their own.

bring your own flashlight

At the night of the activity, I had the box theatres set up on each table of 4, along with several shadow puppets. I also had some black cardstock, scissors, and wooden sticks to glue so the kids could design their own shadow puppets. I also printed off several how-to pages of hand shadows they could practice.

hand shadow puppets

shadow puppet show

Zombies chasing Gingerbread Men

I also put a white sheet on our puppet stage and put a lamp behind it to make a large stage. It was definitely a highlight.

shadow puppets library program

I cut some puppets out on colored cardstock and was surprised that the color came through. If you don't like the color, you better stick with black cardstock.

At the end of the night, I let the kids take the box theatres and puppets home. I heard a couple of weeks later from a father that his daughter was still playing with hers and making up all kinds of wild tales.


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