How to Make Kids' Hand Shadow Puppets

Written by shae hazelton
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How to Make Kids' Hand Shadow Puppets
Shadow puppets can foster your child's imagination. (hand image by Imre Forgo from

Making hand shadow puppets with your children can spark their imagination and teach them how you use the most basic methods to entertain themselves. Hand shadow puppets are shapes (usually animals) that you make with your hand while a strong light makes a dark shadow of the shape. Children do not have the best eye-hand coordination, though, so you need to be patient as you teach them how to hold their hands in the correct shapes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Flashlight
  • Sheet

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  1. 1

    Turn on a flashlight. Aim it toward a wall or hanging sheet. This works as the backdrop. The closer the light source is to the backdrop, the more accurate the shadow puppet's shape will appear.

  2. 2

    Create a shadow puppet shape with your hands so that the child better understands the task you are trying to complete. Show her your hand close up so that she can understand the shapes you make with your fingers.

  3. 3

    Arrange the child's hands into the desired shape of the shadow puppet (move slowly so that you don't hurt them). You may experience some resistance as the child tries to anticipate your movement, but just stay patient and keep correcting the child's fingers.

  4. 4

    Release the child's hand once you think he can hold the shape. Flash the light toward his hand and let him see his shadow puppet come to life.

Tips and warnings

  • Use only the basic shadow puppets you know until the child becomes more adept at making the shapes with her hands.

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