First, ask the little ones to draw something they’d like to turn into a shadow puppet. We chose dinosaurs to go with our other shadow puppets, but you can do almost anything. Animals, people, trucks, castles, houses, dolls, toys, boats, fruit, volcanoes, cranes, musical instruments, insects…
Then it’s your turn grown-ups: copy the drawing onto a piece of black card with a pencil (make the design central on the card, you’ll see why later).
Cut the shape out with a craft knife (remember they’re very sharp!) then cut inside the puppet shape leaving black card ‘outlines’ which will become the frame to which the acetate will be glued. Keep the piece of card that you’ve cut out from for later.
Now it’s time to add some colour. The kids will enjoy this bit. They can cut out rough shapes of coloured acetate, glue the black card puppet outline and stick on the colourful sheets. This does not need to be accurate because you, the grown-up, can trim the excess afterwards.
Lay a wooden skewer on the back of the puppet and stick down with sticky tape.
You’ll need a darkened room, a torch or bright spotlight lamp and a light coloured wall to bring your puppets to life.
Remember saving the pieces of card you cut the puppets out of? You can turn these into stained glass windows. Glue around the edges and lay on coloured acetate. You can stick these finished creations to a window pane. The sunshine shining through will make them look wonderful.