Make and Do: Shadow Puppet Show

What you need:

  • Cardboard (the lid of shoe box works well for this)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Baking Paper
  • Glue
  • Black paper
  • Butterfly clip
  • Sticks

How to make:

Step 1: To make the theatre screen, use strong cardboard that will stay standing (the lid of a shoe box works well).  Using a ruler, draw a rectangle shape on the lid then cut it out to be your screen.  The rectangle shouldn't go all the way to the sides of the lid.  There should be at least 3cm between the edges of the lid and the rectangle.

Step 2: Trace the lid on baking paper then cut it out.  You will need the baking paper/screen to be larger than the rectangle you cut out, so it can be glued to the back of the lid.  Glue it as shown in the picture.

Step 3: Draw the outline of a woman on black paper and cut it out.  You can draw the outline of anything you'd like, but we’re using a woman this time.

Step 4: Cut out the woman’s jaw and hinge it back on using a butterfly clip.

Step 5: Add sticks to control the puppet, one on her head and one on her jaw.

Step 6: Use a torch to shine through the screen and the puppet, turn off the lights, and enjoy entertaining your family with a shadow puppet show!

Send us pictures or videos of what you have done. Ask your parents to help you send them to

Shadow Puppet Master: Lotte Reiniger

  • Lotte Reiniger was born in Germany on the 2nd of June 1899.
  • As a child, she was fascinated with the Chinese art of silhouette puppetry and she even built her own puppet theatre so she could put on shows for her family and friends.
  • Her parents enrolled her in the Theatre of Max Reinhardt and she started making silhouette portraits of the various actors around her.
  • In 1918, she animated wooden rats for The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The success of this work got her into an animation studio.
  • Lotte made and directed many short films over the years, and her husband produced and photographed them.
  • She made a feature film called The Adventures of Prince Achmed and it is the oldest surviving animated feature film!
  • When World War II started, Lotte and her husband were forced to stay in Berlin, but they eventually managed to move to London and open Primrose Productions.
  • Lotte made many animated silhouette films, most of them for the BBC.
  • She died in Germany on June 19, 1981, at the age of 82. 

Guess The Shadow Play!

See if you can figure the well-known stories, acted out by the shadow puppets.





Send us pictures or videos of what you have done. Ask your parents to help you send them to

Shadow Play Answers:

Aladdin / Thumbelina / Cinderella / Dracula