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Large Shadow Theater

Put on a shadow play using your own shadow and shadow puppets.


  • desk lamp with a 100-watt bulb (or either a slide projector or an overhead projector)
  • a large white sheet
  • 2 chairs  
  • 4 large binder clips or tape
  • shadow puppets
  • objects that can be used to make shadows (blocks, books, cardboard, etc.)


Set up the Large Shadow Theater by draping a sheet across two chairs that are a few feet apart. Use binder clips or tape to attach the corners of the sheet to the top and bottom of each chair and make sure that the sheet is stretched tightly. Place the lamp behind the theater so that it shines through the sheet. Allow children to use their bodies, shadow puppets they’ve made, or any objects they find interesting to make shadows. Encourage them to tell stories with their shadows by putting on a play. They might want to put on a play inspired by:

  • a book they love
  • a fairy tale
  • superheroes
  • their favorite sport