Make A Shadow Puppet Theatre

A cardboard box is a great starting point for many great activities for kids. Try making this easy shadow puppet theatre and then help your kids put on their own puppet show.

If you’re stuck for story ideas, try using a favourite nursery rhyme like Hey, Diddle Diddle.

What you need:

  • 1 cardboard box
  • 1 sheet of tissue paper (large enough to cover one side of your box)
  • sticky tape
  • scissors or a craft knife
  • black marker pen
  • bedside lamp or large torch
  • a table

Hints and extras:

You can make your own Hey Diddle Diddle shadow puppets and watch the puppet show:


Cut the back panel out of your box.

Leave two of the side flaps to keep your puppet theatre stable, but cut off the front flaps (the pieces that close up the box).

For the front of your theatre, sketch out a smaller square within the front panel, you can make it fancy with an arch and pillars if you want but really all you need is a smaller square within the main square (like a television set).

On the inside of the box, tape a piece of tissue paper that covers the opening you have just cut out.

Place the theatre on the edge of a table.

Position a lamp or torch behind, shining directly into the inside, lighting up the tissue paper from within.

Make some shadow puppets and place them between the light and the screen, as close to the screen as possible works best.

Use your favourite nursery rhyme or fairytale as inspiration.

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