How to Brighten a Winter Day with Hand Shadow Puppets

December 21st marked the first day of winter! While we may not have to deal with shoveling feet of snow off of our driveways, we know that in Houston, any temperature beneath 60 degrees Fahrenheit warrants pulling out the winter coats and snuggling up on the couch to avoid the cold outside. When you start to get sick of the movie marathons and puzzles and cabin fever begins to set in, try putting on a hand shadow puppet show! The kids will love it and it’s a great way to explore just another cool thing our hands are capable of. You don’t have to be a puppeteer to put on a hand shadow puppet show, but we’ve got some tips to help you make the most of your performance. Dim the lights and grab the popcorn—it’s show time!

Set the Stage

The best part about putting on a shadow puppet show is that you really don’t need anything other than a wall, a light, and a hand or two. Of course, you can always pin up a white sheet or use a projector screen too. But if you want to get really fancy, you can create your own little shadow box theatre. All you need is an old shoebox, a couple of pieces of tissue paper, some tape, and a flashlight. Voila!

Get Inspired

With hand shadow puppets, you can make anything you want! You just have to get a little creative. Comedian Bob Stromberg is a master when it comes to making hand shadows. With just a quick change of his hand position, he can switch quickly from a rabbit, to a man, to a camel, to a gorilla, and we have to admit—it’s pretty impressive! Watch one of his performances here to get a little inspiration for your own show.

Practice Makes Perfect

Your hand shadow flamingo might not look very much like a flamingo right off the bat, but that’s okay! Pick a few characters you’d like to feature in your play and practice making the shadows until you’re happy with how they look. Here’s a quick video tutorial to show you how to make a few popular shadows, like a dog, a crab, and a bird. But remember, when it all comes down to it, it’s all about having fun.  

Creating shadow puppets is the perfect stay-inside, winter activity. The kids will be entertained for hours discovering the different shapes, animals, and characters they can make with their hands. Plus, it gives them a chance to unleash their creativity through storytelling and enhance their confidence through performing. At the Hand Surgery Specialist of Texas, we’re grateful for all that our hands can do—including putting on an entertaining shadow puppet show!

If you’re dealing with a hand condition that causes pain or makes it difficult to use your hands, don’t hesitate to contact us. Your hand health is our priority—and it should be yours as well! We’ll work with you to find a personalized treatment plan so you can get back to doing the things you love most (like showing off your shadow puppets on a dreary winter day). To stay up-to-date on everything happening at HSST, make sure to follow us on Facebook. Our hands heal yours!