Finger puppets are always a fun idea for kids, and this little shoebox theatre is the perfect stage for them. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a puppet theatre from a shoebox, with a few things you probably already have at home. It’s a fun activity that doesn’t require a long attention span from young children.
Kids love putting on ‘shows’ for family members and friends, and it’s a great way for them to stretch their creativity, explore interpersonal relationships through ‘acting out’ scenarios with puppets, and use their imagination to construct a story line. Perfect for school holidays – and beyond!
A shoebox or gift box with a lid
Pom-pom trim (Or you could make mini washi tape bunting from my very old tutorial)
Confetti and a length of fabric for a backdrop – optional
Let’s get started
1. Using a craft knife, carefully cut out the base out of the box.
2. Cut one long side off the lid.
The shoebox I used was plain black, so it’s perfect for this tutorial. If you’re using a box that’s printed on the outside, you can always get your child to paint it first, or you can wrap a strip of paper around the outside and secure it with tape. Fast and easy.
3. Turn the box on its side and stand it in the lid as shown below.
4. Cut a piece of wrapping paper a few centimetres bigger than the lid. Fold the edges of the paper under so the paper is the right size to sit on the ‘floor’ of the theatre. The folds will create nice neat edges, which is easier than trying to cut the paper to exactly the right size.
5. Cut the pom-pom trim into pieces that are the right size to wrap around the sides and front of the theatre. Secure the ends to the side of the box with tape.
6. Throw some confetti around.
7. Hang a fabric backdrop on the wall behind your theatre, get your finger puppets out and play!
When focus wanes, your shoebox theatre is easy to disassemble and pack away for another day’s play. Next time you get it out, you could spend some time with your child redecorating it with new paper and trims, creating something new and different each time.