Box Shadow Theater

Oct 10, 2016

This is a great activity. My niece and I watched a shadow puppet show this summer at our county fair and she loved it. So i decide to create one with her! Such a fun project! Shadows are mysterious, intriguing and fun.
Older children and adults can prepare the box. Young kids can draw, decorate, and play with the theater.
Let’s get started…

You will need:

Empty box
1 sheet of wax paper
Dowels or craft sticks
Black paper
Glue stick
Desk lamp


Start by opening the box. From the front panel, cut a rectangular hole, leaving about 2cm. border.
Don’t throw away the pieces you cut out as they can be used to make the puppets. This is what it should look like.

Trim your piece of waxed paper to fit neatly over the opening (covering the borders as well). Tape the waxed paper over the opening.
Your story will be told with shadows, so you need to make a silhouette for every character, prop and set in your play.
Cut out puppet shapes from a paper. You can freehand your own characters or Search on the web for images of the animals/characters in your story.

Cut the characters out and attach them to drinking straws or bamboo skewers with tape so they can move around in your theater.

Now that you are ready to put on the show, all you need is a lamp. Set up your box theater on a table or chair and position your lamp behind the box.
Once your screen is ready, test and adjust the light source.
A reading LED clamp spotlight works perfectly since it’s bright and you can easily direct the light where you want it.

The puppeteer should be able to position the puppets behind the theater so that the light shines through!
When it’s time for the show, have the kids arrange seats for the audience.

Another idea: Play a guessing game. Chose a small object to put on the block and have a friend try to guess what the object is by looking at its shadow on the other side.
When the fun is over, simply store the puppets inside the theater for next time.


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