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Shadow Puppets

Source Institutions

    New York Hall of Science

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Shadow Puppets

If you have lights, cardboard, scissors, and some brass fasteners, you can make shadow puppets! Create a story-telling and design challenge for your learners with this simple and creative activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Scissors
  • Hole punches
  • Markers (use a single color only to encourage planful drawing rather than decoration)
  • Light to cast shadows
  • Screen or wall for shadow puppet performance
  • Clear tape
  • Index cards or thin cereal box
  • Cardboard
  • Short brass fasteners
  • Skewers or long wooden stirrers
  • Straws (optional)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Funding Source:

  • Noyce Foundation

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