Cardboard Box Puppet Theatre

One of the first more elaborate projects I remember doing with my daughter was making a puppet theatre. We took a cardboard box (our favorite toy around here) and painted it and made curtains from scraps of cloth. She had a blast using her finger puppets for the show, and later setting up toy figures. However, the box got old and tattered and we got rid of it.

Cardboard Box Puppet Theatre Encourage Play

I wanted to revisit the idea of making a puppet theatre, because my daughter consistently asks for it. We picked out another cardboard box from our basement, and I cut out rectangles from both sides. I was going to have the kids paint it, but then I remembered I had fancy sparkly glitter duct tape! We added that to the front and added black duct tape around the sides to help reinforce the box and made it sturdy.

My daughter really wanted to make stick puppets for the puppet theatre. I had just gotten a ton of popsicle sticks from Michael’s, so I put them out and she went to work. She made a lion and a lion tamer, an elephant on a tightrope, and a clown (she was going for a circus theme). My son made a ghost.

Then she got ambitious and made a drawing for background scenery for this circus. However, this caused a little controversy for our puppet theatre play. My son did NOT like the background display - before he could just put his hand up with the stick figure and move it around. Now that there was the paper in the way, he was upset. It did make it harder to use the puppet theatre as it was designed - they didn’t want to be constantly moving the scenery. So we tried to use some flexible thinking and solve the problem. My daughter asked me to cut a hole in the top so they could still stick the puppets inside but without having to move around the background around. That solved the problem, until they were too close to each other and had a hard time sharing the space.

Kids playing in the puppet theatre Encourage Play
 Here's the puppet theatre with the curtains.

Here's the puppet theatre with the curtains.


We took a break, and then later on, they decided to add some puppet stick and googly eyes for embellishment on the theatre. Some actually fell off, but most stayed put. Several days later, we were doing some crafting and my son made curtains for the theatre out of felt and toilet paper rolls. I love it because it’s their project and they did what they wanted with it and they worked (kind of) together :-)



Have you ever made a puppet theatre?


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