The Chinese Shadow Theater is a very entertaining activity to do with children. You can create a lot of characters, as well as use dolls or objects that you have around the house to make your story.

The Shadow Theater Traditional interpreted with silhouettes of characters made from leather or paper and is often accompanied by music and songs. It is usually represented by groups of theaters that have various puppeteers. The shadows of the characters come to life thanks to the rods with which the puppeteers can move them.

Although there is no tradition here, in China these companies usually go from city to city explaining traditional stories and interpreting the characters. They are true masters of this theater genre.

There is evidence that this genre began around the 2nd century BC, at the time of Emperor Wudi …. That is to say, more than 2000 years ago!

When television and tablets did not exist, being able to see this type of show was really a luxury. Making the characters come alive was, at that time, something very advanced.

So we are going to try to copy a little the way they had to make the Shadow Theater in China to invent stories and let ourselves be carried away by the characters…

Activity time : Minimum 1 hour

Difficulty: low

Age from 6 years

Caution : with scissors


  • 1 box of cereals, the bigger the more space for representation.
  • 1 sheet of white paper
  • Felt pens
  • Scissors
  • Zeal

Steps to follow:

1. On one side of the Cereal Box draw the shape of a stage curtain and cut it out.

2. On the flip side, leave a 2cm margin and cut out the excess cardboard, but don’t throw it away!

It should look like this image:

Making a Chinese Shadow Theater

3. Take the paper and go over the silhouette of the stage that you have cut in the cereal box. Then paint it to your liking and stick it in the cereal box.

4. If you have paper left over when you glue it to the cereal box, cut it out.

5. Use the cardboard cutouts that are left us to draw characters, animals or objects you need for your work.

Above all, remember to draw a stick at the bottom of the characters to be able to move them.

Look at the image you have below:

6. Now cut out the characters with your stick. Look:

7. Put a light or a spotlight behind the theater and move your characters holding them by the stick.

8. See how it looks in this video!


9. To finish, if you want you can put music, any type of music or one that is Chinese.

Beatrice Sassi’s Theater :

Look here at the shadow theater that Beatrice, a 6-year-old girl, lives in southern Italy. Bravo Beatrice !! It has been very good for you!!


Nicolás y Sara’s theater:

Nicolás and Sara have sent us the photographs of their theater and their characters so that we can see how they have done it. They have been beautiful !!

Now they just need to do their play.

They ALREADY have the names of the characters:



Valora el post