Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – a shadow puppet theatre to celebrate Halloween.
The Halloween tradition began with an ancient end of summer Celtic festival when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
The festival began to grow in popularity throughout Europe and eventually, the celebration spread to America.
Though still a celebration filled with mystery, magic and superstition, Halloween has now become a fun excuse to dress up in elaborate costumes and decorate homes in readiness to welcome trick or treaters.
Though less widely celebrated in Australia, Halloween and the fun of trick or treating has grown in popularity and many people go to elaborate lengths to decorate their homes.
BENEFITS OF CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN
Celebrating Halloween has great benefits. It teaches children the all-important lesson of sharing. They happily give away lollies and trinkets that at other times they may be inclined not to share.
It also promotes a sense of community. Trick or treaters walk around their neighbourhood, admiring the decorations of participating households and chatting with neighbours they may not otherwise have met.
This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic still a very real threat, the celebration may be different.
However, that doesn’t mean it still can’t be fun.
This Halloween shadow puppet theatre is a great way to celebrate the event within your household.
Turn it into a fun game by having family members take turns manipulating the puppets and telling the story. What a great way to promote imagination.
While witches, bats, spiders and cats, make great Halloween characters, there’s no need to confine your puppet making to them.
Young children can practice their scissor skills and cut out shapes which can be mini-monsters or aliens.
Older children can create more elaborate puppets.
If you’re stuck for puppet making ideas, download my Halloween shadow puppet theatre puppet template here. Print it, cut the outlines and use them to trace around on your black cardboard.
HALLOWEEN SHADOW PUPPET THEATRE
- Black cardboard
- Strong cardboard – from the side of a carton works well, A shoebox lid works perfectly.
- Wooden chopsticks or skewers
- Baking paper
- Sticky tape
- Box cutters
- White pencils or crayons
- Halloween puppet template (if using)
- Use the box cutters to cut a rectangle from your shoebox lid or thick cardboard. If using a shoebox lid, the Halloween Shadow Puppet Theatre will stand on its own. If using thick cardboard, cut some long triangular pieces of cardboard and attach them to your stage with sticky tape, creating a stand.
- Cut the baking paper to fit the hole you created in your stage and glue or sticky tape it into place.
- Use the white crayon or pencil to draw your puppet designs on the black cardboard.
- Cut out your puppets.
- Sticky tape the wooden chopstick or skewer to each puppet
TO USE YOUR HALLOWEEN SHADOW PUPPET THEATRE
Ensure you have plenty of light behind your puppet theatre, as this will ensure your puppets are easily visible to your audience.
Hold the sticks in your hands and move the puppets around, behind and close to the baking paper on your stage.
See who can come up with the most outrageous adventures for your puppets.
Follow my Grand Halloween Pinterest board for more inspiration.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria