SHADOW PUPPETS by Anna Goolsby, Marketing Assistant

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are closed until further notice. Learn how you can support the museum during our closure here.


Choose from a spectacular, fulldome show in state-of-the-art Sudekum Planetarium; hands-on, interactive exhibits; or one of our award-winning programs like daily Science Live! demonstrations, 3D printing workshops, summer camps and more!

  800 Fort Negley Blvd., Nashville, TN 37203

 Open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. every second Saturday of the month.
Closed on September 9 - 10, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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DIY Science

Rainy day blues? Summertime slump? Cabin fever?

Don’t worry… we’ve got you covered!

Adventure Science Center is proud to offer DIY science lessons and experiments the whole family can enjoy! Each lesson provides instruction, a materials list, and ideas for activities to get hands-on with science, including sample questions to get those gears turning.

SHADOW PUPPETS by Anna Goolsby, Marketing Assistant

Shorter days don't have to mean less play time! Shadow puppets are a great way to get your little one crafting and playing, even when after the sun has set. Take advantage of the darker evenings with this fun DIY activity that explores light, shadow and good, old fashioned storytime fun!


  • Lamp
  • Cardstock
  • Tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Skewers or Chopsticks
  • White or Light-Colored Wall


First things first, you need a story! Use your favorite bedtime story, tell a tale about your family, or make up a new silly story together. Using your pencil, draw your characters on the cardstock then carefully cut out with your scissors. Use your tape to secure your characters to the skewer/chopstick, making sure to leave plenty of room for your hand to grasp the end easily. Then, place your lamp on the floor or a table and point it at a nearby white or light wall. Time to turn out the lights! Make sure it's good and dark, turn on your lamp, and move your new puppets across the light to see them on your wall! Take turns storytelling and acting out the scenes with the puppets.

The Science

This activity explores the science of shadows! Sometimes, objects (like our cardboard puppets) are thick enough to block light as it travels through the air. The size of the shadow depends on how close or far away from the light source. Shadows can also "stretch" and "bend" as the angle changes between the object and the light source. This is why trees outside your window can sometimes look like a scary monster!

Further Exploration

  • Try moving your puppet closer and further away from the light. What happens? Does it get smaller or bigger? Why?
  • Visit Space Chase at the science center to learn more about how the shadow of the sun creates our seasons and daily transitions from day to night!
Posted by Anna Leigh Goolsby at 4:14 PM
800 Fort Negley Blvd. Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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