Shadow Hand Puppets Stockfoto's en -beelden

Materials and Preparation

For Mini Shadow Theater:

  • shoeboxes (or other cardboard boxes), so that there’s one shadow theater for every two children
  • wax paper or white paper
  • tape
  • scissors

For Hand Shadow Puppets:

  • tall, flat surface to place theaters on (desk, table, etc.)
  • flashlights, one per pair of children
  • camera

Prepare mini shadow theater ahead of time:  

  • Using the bottom of a shoe box, cut out a large rectangle from the bottom panel, leaving about a 1½-inch border around the edges. Cover the opening you made with wax paper (or white paper) and secure it with tape. This is your theater.
  • From the other, open end, you’ll prop or hold a flashlight inside the box and shine the light on the paper. 
  • Place an object between the flashlight and the paper and see its shadow projected on the outside of the theater.



  • Be careful if using candles, lamps are recommended.

    Thanks! Helpful 29 Not Helpful 12

  • Be careful when cutting out the cardboard-box and paper.

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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!

Little Red Riding Hood: Shadow Puppets

These shadow puppets will let your kids make their version of Little Red Riding Hood and stage a shadow play at home or in the classroom!

Shadow Puppet Theater

This is my daughter, soon to be 10 years old, posing with her newly created shadow puppets and puppet theater. This craft was so easy to make! We started with a cereal box, rescued from the recycling pile.

Printing Shadow Puppets on Transparent Film

If you get printable transparent film (there is film for inkjet printers and film for laser ones) and use it for printing designs, you will only need to do very basic cutting before the puppets will be ready to play with.

Pros: Quick and rather inexpensive.

Cons: You will be able to stage shadow puppet shows by holding the transparencies against the screen, but you will not be able to cast crisp shadows on the wall with a flashlight or do experiments with light.

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

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?


Tell children that they will be making shadow puppets with their hands. 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.  

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Shadowgraphy Info

Oh, I love saying that out loud. Try it now. A few times.

Now, say it with a funny accent.

Shadowgraphy (or Ombromanie) is the art of using hands to form figures onto a screen using shadows. It can be traced back to 18th Century, although the idea is probably much older.

Shadow puppets of Indonesia were being performed around 850 AD and in China during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907).

Read more about Shadowgraphy at Magicpedia also Shadowgraphy on Wikipedia