Shadow Puppets

29 07 2009

Light Play Post 036 copy

Hi! My name is Kate and I am a Gallery Educator at the Museum. I am going to show you how to have fun learning about light and shadows by making shadow puppets at home.


· Translucent and transparent plastic items including gift wrapping, cellophane, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, processed film and plastic cups.
· Popsicle sticks or wooden skewers for handles
· Cardboard
· Masking tape
· Hot glue gun (make sure you have an adult helper)
· Scissors
· Hole punch
· Any other recyclables you can think of…Get creative!


Experiment with different materials to discover which sort of shadows they create.  Transparent materials can be seen through clearly, like a window. Translucent materials allow light to pass through, but images cannot be seen clearly, like waxed paper. Depending upon their color and texture, these materials will make colorful and interesting shadows. Opaque or solid things won’t let light pass through and cast only black shadows.

Cut out people, animals, flowers, or silly shapes from your materials and glue them to sticks for handles.  Now it’s time to put on a shadow puppet show!  You can bring your puppets to the light play area at Austin Children’s Museum or you can play with your puppets at home using a flashlight or bright lamp to cast shadows on a wall.

Here are some of the shadow puppets I created:

Click here to learn more about Austin Children’s Museum’s Discovery Time Activities in MakerKids and check out our calendar to see what we will be making next.




One response

9 03 2011
Collette Knowles

Hi, I like your recycled materials ideas for the puppets. I am a professional puppeteer specialising in shadow puppets, feel free to check out my new blog about my work
I hope to make my site a resource for anyone interested in puppets, so feel free to request making tips or whatever you’re interested in.

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