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Going to the Theater: Shadow Puppets with Projectors

Right now it’s summer, and the sunny days and long nights make the ideal conditions for my children to be outside, playing in the yard. But inevitably, the fall and winter will come and my kids will be in forced outdoor-activity exile.

Usually, when they are relegated to playing inside, they’ll be starting fights and tattling on each other. My wife and I are always on the search for more constructive uses for their time during times of indoor captivity, and recently we hit upon a fun and unique use for our Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2000 Projector. It would let the kids be active, creative and inside …without killing each other.

We had the idea to create a shadow puppet theatre, complete with animal cut outs and giant exotic backgrounds, which should provide the kids with a playful storytelling experience. We imagine that they will find this much more fun than your typical little puppet show. What we like about using the projector is that it projects a huge image, and by using our laptop, we can change the backgrounds in an instant for new scenes, letting the play’s plot twist and turn as their imaginations run wild.

We’ll try the first theme, The Great Outdoors!, on the next rainy day. Seems fitting, doesn’t it? Everybody will be able to get involved in making some puppets and setting up the theater. Then we can sit back and let our kids loose to fight—but in the puppet show this time. It should prove to be a very entertaining process. So let the rain begin!

Download some example puppets and backdrops here or get creative with your own! We’d love to see what you and your children come up with. Feel free to share photos of your puppet theatre ideas or other rainy day activities either with us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

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