Virtual Museum – Shadow Shapes


“The shape of you
the shape of me
the shape of everything I see
A bug…a balloon a bed a bike.
No shapes are ever quite a like.” –Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss’ book, The Shape of Me and Other Stuff, is a celebration of different shapes and objects, all outlined as silhouettes. Join us and experiment with shadows, light, and shapes to make silhouettes dance across your custom-made theatre!


  • Scissors and box or poster board
  • Waxed paper or tissue paper
  • Flashlight or bright lamp
  • Thin cardboard (cereal box, poster board, cardstock)
  • Bamboo stick, straw, or hanger wire
  • Tape
  • Optional: brass fasteners, string, or twist ties


  1. Create your screen. Cut 3-4 pieces of waxed or tissue paper, each about 2 feet long. Cut a large rectangular opening in a cereal box to create a frame for the waxed paper. Stack the waxed paper together and tape it to the frame. Use extra cardboard to create legs.
  2. Create a puppet. Using thin cardboard, cut out a shape. Start simple and get more complex as you go. Tape a bamboo skewer or straw to the back of your puppet shape to hold it up.
  3. Make your silhouette. Hold a flashlight behind your puppet and hold your puppet close to the back of your screen. Look on the other side to see a shadow silhouette. Move the puppet and the light to see how the silhouette changes.
  4. Put on a show. Make multiple puppets to create a show. You can make puppets move by creating separate pieces and attaching them with brass fasteners or twist ties. Have fun naming your puppet characters and giving your theatrical performance a fabulously silly or stupendous title. Tell a fun story and let the show begin!