How to Make Kids' Hand Shadow Puppets

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight
  • Sheet
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About the Author

Shae Hazelton is a professional writer whose articles are published on various websites. Her topics of expertise include art history, auto repair, computer science, journalism, home economics, woodworking, financial management, medical pathology and creative crafts. Hazelton is working on her own novel and comic strip while she works as a part-time writer and full time Medical Coding student.