Black Forest Theater Presents Dinosaurs is a book set with everything a child will need to investigate shadow puppets.
The set, hand crafted by Montana Toy Company, includes
- A theatre backdrop
- An interactive storybook about dinosaurs
- An Led light that stands up
- 5 dinosaur shadow puppets with removable sticks
- A protective cover.
The backdrop is sturdy and stands up well. We set it up and assembled the shadow puppets and the light.
The children had to figure out for themselves the best position for the light and puppets to enable the shadows to reflect onto the backdrop. I feel that a page of instructions may have been helpful although there is also a part of me that liked them having to work it out for themselves. Perhaps a little section in the book about the science of shadows would be good?
The puppets are made of sturdy black card and the sticks have Velcro attachments so you can change the position if desired. I can see these being popular in a pre-school especially as a prop for an overhead projector. I would introduce the materials using the rhyming book and then let the children create their own stories.
My children enjoyed inventing their own story with the puppets.
Black Forest Theater – Dinosaurs retails for $29.99
Disclaimer: No payment was received for writing this review, we received a product for review purposes.
I recently cleaned out the linen cupboard and gave the kids a huge bag of old sheets to play with. They like to make-up stories and turn them into royal capes or build dens with them. In amongst them was a white sheet. I thought it could be used to build a shadow puppet theatre in the garden. We have a swing set that isn’t safe to use, so I removed one of the swings and fastened the sheet to the frame.
The children and I made puppets from cardboard. The children chose characters and I helped them draw them in silhouette. They collected sticks from the garden, whittled them to smooth them out and stuck the cardboard characters on with tape.
I also found images of hand shadows. I printed and laminated them and stuck them on the swing set frame for reference.
We had to do a bit of work cutting back the tree branches to make a clear screen, but soon it was ready. The magical stories they have created have been wonderful. I think this would be a great resource for a school or pre-school to encourage story telling and build the foundations of story writing. You could build it outdoors or inside with a light source behind.
Videoing the story showed the children where they needed to improve. They saw that sometimes you couldn’t see the characters well because they were too low or placed at an angle. They also noticed that the size of the puppet changed according to how close to the screen it was.
I love the way my daughter played with accents and voices. It particularly love the voice of the bird and banana man in the land of the forgotten.
Shadows, like mud are a great, free play resource – check out some of our other shadow explorations or follow my shadow and light pinterest board