MATERIALS FOR THE THEATER:
(1) Large cereal box 13 ½” x 7 ½”
Masking tape or packaging tape
White glue or double-stick tape
Colored papers, i.e. construction paper, scrap booking papers, or material like craft foam or felt
Tracing paper or translucent papers
- Measure the large cereal box and cut out the back. Tape down the sides of the box.
- Cut out a window in the front leaving 2” width wise and 1” lengthwise. Discard cardboard scraps or save them to use for another time.
- Select papers or felt or craft foam to cover the front and sides of the stage. Be colorful. The top, bottom, sides and the front of the stage do not have to match. Contrast colors and/or patterns.
- Measure the sides, top and bottom of the stage. Measure the front of the stage around the cut out window. An easy way to measure the front is to turn it over, lay it on a sheet of paper and trace around the outside of the box and around the cut out. Cut the papers and glue them down.
- Measure the width and length of the window. Select either tracing paper or translucent paper and measure and cut it a slightly bigger than the window. Glue behind the stage so the ends of the paper won’t show.
- Test the lamp: does it work? The lamp will illuminate the puppets from behind.
- Add more embellishments such as columns or curtains.
- The Shadow Puppet Theater is (almost) ready to go!
BASIC APPROACH TO THE PROJECT OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: MAKE SHADOW PUPPETS BASED ON STORIES OF THE CHINESE ZODIAC
The next step is to read the synopsis of the zodiac tale and make the shadow puppets. There are twelve stories, twelve animals and other characters that illustrate the stories of the Chinese Zodiac.
When looking for information on how to draw animals and people, select free downloads on the web. I have listed a handful of sites (below) but there are more. Be sure that the clip art is free!!
Free clip art websites
- Using free downloadable clip art, look up easy to follow instruction for tracing and cutting out the animals.
- Glue to a Popsicle stick and recreate the stories for friends and family. Charge a small fee and open the plays to the neighborhood.
- As a challenge, rewrite the endings to the stories or add or drop minor characters to make the stories unique!
- Act out the stories for friends and family!