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How to Make Hand Shadow Puppets

Make some low-tech but high-level fun by creating clever shadow puppets on a blank wall using your own two hands.


  • TIP: Raise and lower your arm to make the horse appear to gallop.
  • Step 1: Make a hissing snake shadow puppet by holding one hand upright while you curve your fingers into your palm with the thumb forward before sliding two thin paper strips between your first 2 fingers.
  • Step 2: Experiment devising your own shadow puppets. The next time there's a blackout in your neighborhood, entertain your friends and family with your new skill and involve them in making a hand shadow puppet zoo.
  • FACT: It is believed that cavemen first devised hand shadow puppets.
  • Step 3: Produce a horse shadow puppet by placing your outstretched palms together, slightly lowering your pinkies, and slightly separating your thumb tips to represent ears.
  • Step 4: Make a dog shadow puppet by holding one hand upright with the thumb pointing upward while you tuck the first two fingers into your palm and stretch your pinky and ring fingers forward.
  • TIP: Move the flashlight until it provides a sharp shadow.
  • Step 5: Create a bird shadow puppet by crossing your right hand over your left at the inside wrists, keeping your thumbs together and your fingers outstretched.
  • TIP: Wave your fingers to make the bird appear to fly.
  • Step 6: Sit or stand beside a blank wall in a darkened room. Hold out one hand and position a flashlight between your hand and the wall, or ask a partner to hold the flashlight to free your hands to make shadow puppets.

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