DIY Shadow Puppet Theater (With Printable Puppets!)

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DIY Shadow Puppet Theater

Summer in Texas brings lots of things: Excruciating heat, days at the lake, and, sometimes, severe weather. Sitting inside a closet with a two-year-old waiting out the tornado sirens is not fun for anyone. Unless you’re prepared! That’s why we keep this DIY Shadow Puppet Theater in our emergency kit.

Add a flashlight and some extra sets of Duracell batteries, and you’re set for some entertaining fun while you wait out the storm!

Duracell at Walmart

With a new display at Walmart stores, Duracell batteries make it easier to be prepared!

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We keep our Emergency Kit in a gift box, which can be used to create the DIY Shadow Puppet Theater.

Here’s what other supplies are in our kit:

  1. Set of AA Duracell Coppertop batteries
  2. Set of AAA Duracell Coppertop batteries
  3. Bottled Water
  4. First Aid Kit
  5. Small Lantern
  6. Large Flashlight
  7. Small Flashlight
  8. Tape
  9. Scissors
  10. Popsicle Sticks
  11. Permanent Marker
  12. White Tissue Paper
  13. Shadow Puppet Template

With these supplies, waiting out the storm can be a positive experience that you share with your family.

DIY Shadow Puppet Theater



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Gift Box (You will need one side)
Popsicle Sticks
Permanent Marker or Black Crayon
White Tissue Paper
Shadow Puppet Template (printed on white cardstock)

Animal Shadow Puppet Template Click here to download the shadow puppet template.


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Use the permanent marker or black crayon to color the puppet template. Cut out each animal from the template.

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Tape a popsicle stick to the back of each cutout to create the puppets.

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Cut a rectangle out of one side of the box to create a frame.

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Cut a piece of tissue paper to fit inside the box and tape it down to the frame.

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Use your flashlight and have some fun!

Shadow Puppet Theater 2

You can also cut out a curtain for the front of the theater using red foam or construction paper, if you want to give it a more permanent look.

How do you keep your kids calm and happy in an emergency?


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  1. I definitely try to keep my kids busy and engaged during a storm. My younger son is terrified of thunder, so I like using something loud (like a CD player or game) to try to mute the thunder and distract him! i certainly need batteries for those devices if the power goes out! #client

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! I am going to go this for our daughter’s 4th birthday party. We have 2 of her friends coming over for an early dinner and some story time in a backyard tent.

    I was just wondering – did you follow a particular story for your particular animal puppet show?

    • Hi CJ, I hope your daughter loves it! We didn’t follow a story — my son is two and just wanted to play with the puppets himself. It sounds like your daughter would be more into a storyline than mine! 😉

  3. Handmade Charlotte celebrates every day with DIY crafts, recipes, and ideas for creative family living.

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