Activities For Inside

Shadow Theatre

What to do 

All you need for your shadow theatre is a piece of dark cardboard, a bedsheet and a light source. A small table lamp will suffice if your shadow theatre features fairly small figures controlled by your hands. If you want to make it bigger, then take the bedsheet and hang it across an open door frame. Place the lamp about 1 metre away from the bedsheet and you're ready to start the show by holding the characters about halfway between the lamp and the sheet. Your audience, meanwhile, should be located on the other side of the bedsheet. 

But hang on...where are your theatre's characters? To work properly, your characters need to be made out of black card or strong black paper. If you don't have any black paper or card, then painting the material black should work. There are various templates of figures or characters on the internet or if you're feeling creative, you can, of course, design your own.

Once you've drawn out your figure, it's time to cut it out with scissors. Using adhesive tape, attach a skewer or large cocktail stick to the figure. You can now make the figure move by holding the stick or skewer. Add a bit of dialogue and you're almost ready for your opening performance. If there are just two of you, you could take it in turns reading fairy tales or other stories with the listener acting out whatever is happening with the figures.

Now all you need to do is wait until it gets dark. Then turn off the lights and start the show!

You will need:

  • Darkness
  • A bedsheet
  • A light source (table lamp or a bigger standing lamp)
  • Adhesive tape
  • Strong black paper or black card (or painted black)
  • Your hands: use your fingers to make different figures and shapes or attach small figures (created with a template if necessary) to your fingers
  • Pen for drawing
  • Scissors
  • Skewers or cocktail sticks
  • If stuck for inspiration then a fairy tale buch or your favourite book written as a play