Creating Stories using Art and Play: Part 2 – Stories in Shadow

Shadow Stories Pinterest

I’ve discovered that egg boxes and sieves make fantastic army tanks!

Most of us will by now have seen either on TV, U-tube or even live at the theatre, the seemingly effortless magical stories from the shadow theatre group know as Attraction who won Britain’s Got Talent in June 2013. The shows are original, moving and mesmerizing, surely three of the most coveted elements of any great story.

So continuing with the art and play story theme to help develop children’s imaginations, this week my boys and I created our own version of shadow stories – on a much smaller scale of course.

For this we collected together several random everyday items from around the house such as kitchen utensils, fruit, toys, boxes, bowls, pencils, books, flowers etc. as well as a very important blob of Blu Tack. Barr the Blu Tack these items could have been anything as it was more about looking for different shaped objects. We then twisted and turned the various household items until creative inspiration took hold so we could start to set the scene for our stories. This is where the blob of Blu Tack proves invaluable because invariably things will need supporting, sticking or boosting at some point!

There were a few challenges we encountered whilst setting up. We needed a light bright enough to show a good contrast and it also had to be just the right height to work effectively. Achieving quality photos of the shadows was somewhat tricky but hopefully I’ve captured them sufficiently to give an idea of how it works so you can try it out for yourselves.

Below: Battle of the Tanks………

Shadow Army 2

…… and this is how we made it!

Shadow Army Items

Below: Land of the Giant Butterflies.

Shadow Butterfly

We used the items below and a stalk from a shrub in the garden (not pictured) as the tree.

Shadow Butterfly Items

Below: The Pirate Captain’s Pet Sea Monster.

Shadow Sea Monster

Who would have thought a banana, some plastic cups, custard pots, toothbrushes, bowls and pencils could look like this?

Shadow Sea Monster Items

Below: Alien City.

Shadow Alien City

Here we held the Velcro ball and bat up above as a UFO against the city skyline.

Shadow Alien City Items

Below: Dancing Round the Maypole.

Shadow Maypole Fete

A pencil, wool, cut out people, Lego figure, book and a large mixing bowl was all it took!

Shadow Maypole Fete Items

Once we had set up our scene and given it a title we swapped silly stories of what could happen. Sometimes other objects got added or we used hand shadows to add more shapes and creatures. As with my sand stories blog last week these images are ideal as a story starter for a written piece of work too.

If you do try this with your children I’d love to see the results so feel free to post any of your sand or shadow stories on my Facebook page.

Creating Stories using Art and Play: PART 3 – Paintbrush Plays.

Creating Stories using Art and Play: PART 1 – Sand Stories.