Social Stories: Printable Shadow Puppet Kit


Prepare children for new social experiences by making social stories and acting them out with shadow puppets!

This listing is for the digital design to cut your own version. You can read the instructions on how to cut shadow puppets here. If you want to buy the puppets that are already cut and have them mailed to you, please check here!



If you already have a flashlight, then this is all you need in order to present a shadow puppet show. Print and cut the shadow puppets, attach the sticks, and let the story unravel on the walls of your very own playroom. Make a simple cardboard puppet theatre, and you can stage spectacular performances for friends and family!


  • sixteen shadow puppets (four children of different ages, two adults, desk, front porch, cake, balloons, gift, ball, dog, scooter, bush, and playground)
  • three example social story scripts – Going to a Birthday Party, What to Do When You Are Lost, and Making New Friends
  • guidelines for creating endless number of your own social stories

Examples of social stories you can stage with this set include meeting new people, getting lost, buying something at the store, playing on the playground, interacting with a toddler, approaching a dog on a walk, greeting adults, going for a play date, going to a birthday party, and hosting a birthday party. The number of social stories you can make does not end here though—you can make as many as your situation needs!


Over the course of their childhood, children find themselves in a great variety of social situations. Meeting new people, going to visit relatives, attending birthday parties, playing on the playground, going to a doctor, taking a public bus — these are all examples of social situations that children usually get introduced to throughout a few first years of their life. As adults, we can help and prepare children for those new situations by describing in advance what will happen in any given situation. That’s what social stories are good for! If you have ever taken children trick-or-treating on Halloween and explained to them about knocking on the door, saying “trick-or-treat” and thanking the neighbours for treats, you have essentially made a social story.


  • prepares children for a certain situation by describing it in detail and mentioning a variety of scenarios that may arise
  • talks about what other people may do and say
  • gives children ideas for how to act and what to say
  • turns a complicated social situation into a step-by-step guide for how to behave.

You can make social stories interactive and educational by presenting them with shadow puppets!


When presenting social stories with shadow puppets, you have a possibility to:

  • Present the whole social story by yourself with the help of puppet manipulatives.
  • Make the story interactive by relegating one of the roles to a child. Describe the situation and ask questions, but let them make decisions and come up with answers. This will allow you to assess the child’s readiness for the situation and identify possible weak spots.
  • Perform again with the child reprising his/her role or taking over the whole script. While manipulating shadow puppets, children can role-play social situations, develop social experience and try out different social strategies.


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