Shadow Puppets

It’s really hot.

We staggered to the library for storytime this morning and lurched home again but that was all the outside time that we could manage today.

Susan Pagnucci was the guest storyteller today and she had some great ideas of ways to bring the story home, including a shadow puppet theatre!

You know how you read those chirpy little articles in parenting magazines that proclaim how you can make a spectacular stained glass birdhouse using bits and bobs that you have hanging around the house.  I don’t know about your house, but those authors have never been to my house.

We had no car today, no money to spend, and then there was that whole pesky too hot to be alive problem so it’s not like we were going to march a mile down to Hobby Lobby and back again. No worries though, somehow we had all we needed.

It begins a box, some muslin (she said you could use paper but it would never survive our particular brand of enthusiasm), and some packing tape.

Shadow puppets

Muslin may not seem to be the sort of thing that one has on hand but you could use any sort of thin, light colored fabric.  Old t-shirt, retired handkerchief, etc.  The only reason that we had muslin knocking around our craft drawer is that I had great ambitions of making a quilt square for each month of our preschool curriculum, conveniently forgetting that I have no idea how to make a quilt.  That project was abandoned after the first square.

Our packing tape is extra fun because I like sending happy packages to my friends.

First step, break down the box.

Shadow puppets

I cut off all the extra parts leaving one large front panel and two side panels and I cut a wedge off each side of the side panels to make it lean properly.

Shadow puppets

Then I forgot to take pictures for a while because my assistants were starting to turn against me and the sharp objects to preschool rage ratio was getting out of hand.  The next and possibly most essential step of the activity involved plopping the boys in front of Scooby Doo while I finished the parts that involved cutting.

We resume the photo journey after I cut a square out of the front frame of the cardboard with boxcutters and taped the square of fabric in place with the packing tape.

Shadow puppets

The light source is my bedside lamp which I have very little hope of reclaiming for use in that capacity.  Any sort of small lamp or even a flashlight would do.

Shadow puppets

Susan Pagnucci did a sweet little version of “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” at storytime with her shadow puppets but that was entirely beyond my scope of possibility so we did “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

I drew a spider, a cloud (“down came the rain”) and a sun and the kids taped the shapes to bendy straws.

Shadow puppets

Shadow puppets

Shadow puppets

For Twinkle, I made a star and a diamond shape (“like a diamond in the sky”).  Less is more, right?

3 responses to “Shadow Puppets

  1. That’s awesome Mama! You are too darn brilliant (and resourceful!)

  2. I love it, Tara. What a great idea!

  3. such a great idea Tara! actually I think using the muslin is so much better than using paper. and I know you can make a quilt square, I absolute hate cutting but I’m in the process of making a log cabin style table runner with minimal precision (:
    love you all!

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