Shadow Puppets

Two young boys sitting in a darkened room with a light shining between them onto a wall behind. They are holding up a cut out of a moon and cow on sticks, which both cast shadows onto the wall.

What you need

  • dark room
  • bed lamp or torch
  • wall
  • paper/cardboard or hands

What to do

At night, use a bed lamp or torch to make shadows on the wall.

Cut out different shapes from paper or cardboard or try making a few of these shapes with your hands.

Make the shadows bigger or smaller by bringing your hand closer or further from the light source. Let your child explore other shadow patterns their hands can make. Ask if they would like to make a story or make shadows for characters in a book/story they know.

What they learn

Children have a great chance to use their imagination and interact with others with this fun activity. They will also observe how shadows can appear big or small depending on the distance they hold the puppet from the light source.

Encouragement questions

  • How can we make the shadow bigger/smaller?
  • Can we tell a story with the shadows?