A big collection of shadow puppet templates to print and make – setting up a shadow play at home will be easy and fun!

150+ shadow puppet templates to print and make!

Many children quickly learn how to play with shadows on the walls, using their hands. They tend to love any activity that is both full of innocent magic and pushes bedtime off a little bit longer!

Once they have explored hand shadow puppets, it is natural to progress to traditional shadow puppets! A long time ago, they were made from hide or parchment. Nowadays, they are mostly made of stiff card stock or acetate.

But is there really a place for shadow puppets in this age of 3D animation and computer graphics?

Absolutely, yes. They’re still a lot of fun for children!

Using shadow puppet templates, children can stage their favourite fairy-tales or engage in open-ended storytelling. They can conduct scientific experiments with light or try coloured filters. They can even use shadow puppets to create simple animation! Bottom line, shadow puppets allow them to be creators instead of the audience, so it’s just the right kind of toy for any young artists, writers, directors, or animators.

Over the years, we have also created a variety of printable shadow puppet templates suitable for an educational environment. We have shadow puppets that allow teachers, librarians, or parents to present fairy-tales, fables and nursery rhymes, teach about animals, and explore myths behind some festivities. And we enjoying continually adding more to our collection, so if you have an idea for a new set, leave a comment or send a message.

How to Make Shadow Puppets

You can get printable shadow puppets and cut them out yourself or you can order a shadow puppet set from us that has already been cut, and we will ship it to you.

If you want to cut the shadow puppets yourself, there are several ways you could go about it. Read a detailed post with a video about it here.

In short, you can cut the shadow puppet patterns using traditional tools (scissors and a hobby knife) or using silhouette cutting machines (Silhouette or Cricut). The first takes longer, but doesn’t require any special tools at all. The second is very easy and fast, but requires an investment in a specialized machine. Our designs for shadow puppets are saved in PNG format, so that they can be used for either method.

How to Put on a Shadow Puppet Play

A flashlight is enough for a start. Just point the flashlight at the puppet and let it cast shadows on the walls. You can have a bit of shadow puppet play before bedtime every now and again and tell stories with puppets.

Shadow puppets with the flashlight

If you want to have a proper theatrical performance, add a simple cardboard puppet theatre or invest some time into building a sturdy vintage-inspired theatre from wood. It would be surprisingly easy to organize enchanting performances at home for friends and family behind a screen of parchment paper!

Shadow puppet theatre

150+ Shadow Puppet Templates

The list is constantly updating, so come back regularly to check for new templates!

Fairy-Tale Shadow Puppets

This series of shadow puppets were based on famous fairy-tales, so that we could reenact familiar stories with our children.

Open-Ended Shadow Puppets

Open-ended shadow puppets are not based on any particular story or fairy-tale, but instead include a set of familiar characters that will prompt children to make their own stories. They are the most likely to encourage creative storytelling.

Animal Shadow Puppets

Technically, animal shadow puppets are also open-ended sets, however they can also be used to supplement various nature study units.

Holidays with Shadow Puppets

Other Educational Shadow Puppets

A big collection of shadow puppet templates to print and make - setting up a shadow play at home will be easy and fun! #shadowpuppets #puppets #stemactivities #homeschool #homeschooling