How to: Have Fun with Shadow Puppets

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How to: Have Fun with Shadow Puppets

Add some magic to your children’s evening by creating some shadow puppets at home and let them tell the bedtime story. With only a lamp, some stationary and a white wall, you can invent a tale that stretches their imagination and looks beautiful. Fun and creative, making shadow puppets is also a great way to ease kids into feeling comfortable in the dark, as they see that not all things in the shadows are scary! Follow our guide to create the best and most beautiful shadow puppets, that will have your little ones looking forward to lights out…

Get Creative


You’ll some cardboard, sellotape, a pencil, some scissors and some skewers. To ensure your shadows have crisp edges, it is important to keep the material thin. We recommend using thin black pasterboard for the best results. Now it’s time to get creative: when they’ve chosen the type of puppet they want to make, they can begin to draw an outline. This might be an animal, a friend or family member, a character from a story, or a figment of their imagination. Once they have drawn a design, they can cut it out carefully with scissors. A clean, clear edge will make the puppet stand out and be more easily recognisable so it is worth them taking their time on this. Once they have attached their outline to a skewer using sellotape, their puppet is ready for action! 

In the Limelight


The next step is to position a lamp on the floor or on a table. Direct it at a white wall, turn off all other lights and make sure the curtains are drawn. When the shadow puppets are placed between the lamp and a wall, the puppet blocks some of the light waves. The closer your character is to the light, the more waves are blocked which creates a bigger shadow. You can make your puppet look like its moving away by positioning your creation away from the lamp, causing it to shrink in size. Its shadow is smaller because fewer light waves are blocked. For the best results, shadow puppet experts (they do exist!) recommend choosing a light that has the right intensity, spread, colour and angle. A bright light will allow maximum illumination, and the intensity should ideally be spread evenly. If you can angle your lamp, you can create interesting effects and variations. Finally, choosing a warm light rather than a harsh one will create a cosy and magical atmosphere. 

Find the perfect angle by browsing our range of flexible floor lamps, or try our charming collection of Mouse Lamps that features warm white LED bulbs for cosy illumination. Keep the magic going past bedtime with our enchanting collection of Children's Lights hand picked by our buyers.

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