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puppet shadow images of witch, ghost, and two pumpkins on sticks

Spooky Halloween Shadow Puppets

By Brenda Ponnay

Telling stories using shadows has been around since the Stone Age but have you thought about it as a fun indoor activity for this Halloween?

You can easily buy some shadow puppets online (a quick google search will pull up dozens) but maybe you are like us and you’d prefer to make your own!

Supplies needed to make Halloween Shadow Puppets

  • card stock
  • cutting skills (with scissors, or an exacto knife and a self-healing mat)
  • some skewers (with the sharp ends clipped off), straws, or popsicle sticks
  • tape
  • a flashlight to create shadows on the wall

How to make Halloween Shadow Puppets

1. If you like, you can use our Halloween Shadow Puppet printable as a pattern to guide you. Just click here to print.

overhead photo of hand using exacto knife to cut Halloween designs on cutting mat

If you aren’t up to cutting out the complex shapes (I apologize for the skeleton. I tried to make him simple but you gotta have some bone definition!) just make a few ghosts by cutting some blobby shapes and punching holes for eyes.

young girl holding up Halloween shadow puppets on sticks in front of her face

2. Tape your cutout shapes to your skewers (or straw or popsicle stick) and you are ready for some spooky story time.

three photos of kids playing with their Halloween shadow puppets which are projected on a wall

3. Turn out the overhead lights, turn on the flashlight, and let the fun begin!

If you need some help prompting imaginative stories and play with your kids, start them out by bobbing the pumpkin puppets along one side… and say, “Two little jack o’ lanterns went out to trick or treat…” (add some spooky wind and howling sounds for suspense) “They were walking along when all of a sudden (pop your skeleton puppet up suddenly) a skeleton popped out of the bushes to scare them!” Let them squeal with delight as you add each new character. Before you know it they’ll want to play along and make up their own “spooky” stories for Halloween.

young girl looking at Halloween Shadow Puppets on sticks held in a cup with their images projected onto background

Happy Halloween!

More Halloween crafts and activities:

1. Family Vampire Portraits for a Spooky Halloween
2. Embellish Your Witch’s Hat for Halloween
3. Monster Puppets for Halloween

About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of card...

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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