Welcome to Little Tikes Camp Play@Home! I’m Junior Counselor Jeff (not to be confused with Eco Master Jeff, whose favorite movie is Downton Abbey). In addition to being a former camper myself, I’ll be your digital guide for all things Camp Play@Home. That’s right, I’ll have tons of videos, activities, games, and more for you to do. In case you’re wondering, my favorite movie is Back to the Future 2, which is the best movie (that features a Delorean) of all time.
Any who, at Camp Play@Home, we’ll be bringing you tons of fun stuff for the whole family to do (and a few things to save Camper Mom and Camper Dad’s sanity, too). This Friday, our Movie Week activity video goes live, so today we’re going to get things rolling with another fun activity for you and your bunk mates to do together: Filming a Shadow Puppet Movie!
How to Film a Shadow Puppet Movie
If your kids love telling stories (what movie maniac doesn’t?), you can stretch theirÂ imaginations by having them build their own shadow puppet theater and film a movie of their own. Here’s everything you need to build a shadow puppet theater:
A big cardboard box
Some construction paper
A large piece of tissue paper or a bedsheet
Your phone or video camera
A lantern or powerful flashlight
Start by making the cardboard box into your theater. On the bottom of the box, draw a square that’s about 2-inches from every side using your pencil. Use your safety scissors to cut along the outline of the square. When you’re done cutting, the bottom of the box should look like a TV without the screen in it. Put the tissue paper or bedsheet inside the box, covering the hole you just cut out, and tape it in place. Voila, your stage is set!
Next, have your kids cut paper figures, props, animals, and anything else they want out of the construction paper. No need to get super detailed, you want to make sure the outline looks a lot like what you’re imagining though. Try to give your figures distinctive features (like a cowboy’s lasso, a firefighter’s helmet, a shark fin, or anything else that makes their paper figures recognizable). Tape a popsicle stick to the back of each figure when your kids are done cutting them out to make it easier for to hold onto.
Put your box up on the table (you can cut the box’s flaps off if that makes it fit better) and position the lantern / flashlight high up behind the box and shining right through the tissue paper / sheet. This backlighting technique will help create the shadow puppets’ visual look while also hiding that your kids are ‘backstage’ putting on the show. Try tinkering around with the angle and distance of your lantern / flashlight until it’s just right.Â
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to make sure your kids know not to block the light while they’re putting on the show!
Next, let your kids dream up the story they want to tell with their shadow puppets. Perhaps they want to recreate a silly story from real life, continue the events of their favorite movie, or recreate a beloved fairytale. Whatever pops into their brains, encourage them to keep building on it.
That’s it, you’re all set to start telling stories with your shadow puppets! Make sure to film your kids while they’re performing. These are the kind of priceless (and usually embarrassing) memories we know you’ll want to have on camera.
Friday’s Camp Play@Home Make Your Own Drive-in Movie Theater
Oh, and before I forget, we’re making our own Drive-In Movie Theater this Friday for our official Camp Play@Home activity! Here’s everything you need for to participate in this Friday’s Make Your Own Drive-in Movie Theater Activity:
Two large cardboard boxes
Movie night snacks
You can download this week’s activity badge, Movie Magic, here. Make sure you print out your badges every week and have your kids color them in. There will be a new badge released every week of Camp Play@Home.
Hope you enjoyed today’s activity. Make sure to snap pictures as you and your bunk mates film your shadow puppet movie, and don’t forget to tag us when you post (@OfficialLittleTikes on Instagram, @LittleTikes everywhere else on social media)! Ready for more? Check out the Camp Play@Home website for new videos, activities, games (and some special things especially for you as parents to stay sane) every day!
At Little Tikes, we don’t just make toys, we make play. Looking for more great active play ideas? Check out www.LittleTikes.com for all our latest play tips & tricks!
~ Junior Counselor Jeff