Shadow Puppets

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In this activity, learners will create their own simple shadow puppets, and experiment with light and shadow while playing with them. The activity includes a time and age recommendation, a materials list, step-by-step set up instructions, tips for adults, learning and skills connections, and a note about doing STEAM with kids.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Flashlight or other bright light source
  • Black construction paper
  • Straws, popsicle sticks, or something similar to use as a handle
  • Scissors
  • Pencil, pen or marker
  • Tape
  • A friend or helper (optional)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Performing Arts
  • Toys


Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Boston Children's Museum, 2021