Got a spare shoebox lying around? Recycle it into a Jungle Book-themed puppet theater to inspire imaginative play with Mowgli and friends.
There is nothing more satisfying than transforming a cardboard box into a toy that inspires play. Cardboard is my favorite material to craft with. Whether it’s a cereal box or shoebox, there are dozens of fun cardboard craft ideas that are perfect for little hands.
Older children and parents can prepare the box. Young kids will love to draw the puppets and play with the theater.
I was lucky enough to source a blank cardboard shoebox from a local shoe shop. If you have a graphic rich box start by covering the graphics with a layer of paint and leave to dry (I like to use interior wall emulsion paint for this purpose - it usually covers in just one coat).
Mark the shape of your theatre window on the front of the box and cut out with the craft knife.
Cut out the window and keep the leftover piece of cardboard.
Cut two or three slots along the top of the box, just a little wider than the skewers. Hot glue the box lid shut and any internal flaps into place.
On the leftover piece of cardboard draw and cut out some large 'jungle-like' leaves, outline with permanent black marker.
Hot glue the leaves to the front of the box.
Paint the inside of the box green.
Cut strips of green and brown paper to the width of the shoebox, curl and slide them into the base of the shoebox - these act to give the shoebox some terrain depth and help anchor the base of the skewers for a smooth left to right motion. You can also cut some thin strips of black paper and hang from the top to give Mowgli some vines to swing from.
Now your Jungle Book Shoebox Puppet Theater is finished…… and it's time to think about the puppets.
Click here to find out how to make quick and easy felt stick puppets for your new shoebox jungle theater.