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Why not have a go at this shoe box theatre. This is for 2 weeks work if you'd like to give it a go!

Little Red Riding Hood Shoe Box Theatre

Now I'm sure you can guess what a shoe box theatre is, it's in the name, however in case you are a little unsure it is a shoe box that is made into a theatre. With the use of puppets, backdrops and props we can really make it come to life to truly inspire the brilliantly creative minds of your children. This activity will give them a chance to participate in make believe play, to create their own plays and dialect, to practice their reading and writing skills, they will get to exercise their oral language and phonetic skills.. plus it's really fun! These are the skills they can practice and achieve once they have made the theatre, there is still lots of fun and many other motor skills they will be using and improving upon during the making. Talk about an all round winner!

So, where to get started then? Lets grab all the materials we are going to need.
  • 1 Shoe Box
  • Lollipop Sticks (at least 6 - one for each character and prop, however you can always make more characters and mix up the story!)
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 
  • Sticky Tape
  • Felt Tips/Coloured Pencils/Crayons
  • As many decorations as you can find (You can freestyle the outer design of the theatre. Lets see what you guys can come up with!)
  • Optional You can download and print our character, backdrop and prop sheets to colour in and decorate yourself. They will be found at the appropriate steps. (This is perfect for the younger ones as they can colour in, however, older children or those keen to draw can draw their own characters!)

Okay, so now we have everything we need so let's get making!

Step 1

We need to take our shoe box (shoes to be removed prior to this activity! A little attempt at a terrible joke). There are a couple of different ways you can cut your box to make the theatre. We have opened the lid to lay it flat on the table and then we have cut rectangles along the sides (as you can see in the pictures).  You could also keep the lid up and cut out a big square to frame the set, whichever you prefer.

Take a felt tip, pencil, crayon or anything you can draw and leave a mark with and draw a rectangle at the side of the box.
Once the shapes have been drawn we need to cut them out! This may require a bit of assistance from the grown up helping, they may just need help to start off or the grown up can do the cutting.
Top Tip - Get your children to draw these boxes with a ruler if they are more advanced, or you can prep a stencil out of card/cardboard for them to draw around. It can be tricky to cut out the rectangles when it is going through a few layers of card so we cut all the additional layers and sticky taped the box to keep its shape.
Step 2
Woohoo! All cut out, now for the really fun bit. Let's get decorating. This part comes down to the creativity of you guys, you can literally do this however you like! It can be crazy and random or it can even have a theme.

Here's mine below, feel free to show us how you make your theatre look!

Step 3
Now, lets get down to business. We have our theatre, now we need our backdrops and props. We have created print outs which you can print off (hence the name!), colour them in and cut them out, or you can use them as inspiration to create your own.
Make sure you print the backgrounds in the right size for your box. We had to print ours A4!

Be sure to make them as colourful as possible! You could also use other materials to decorate them with, such as tissue paper, glitter, pipe cleaners, felt and anything else you can think of.

Here are the backdrops! You can download them by clicking on the picture to make it larger, right click and select view image then right click again to save the image to your computer. If you have any trouble accessing the larger images, links are provided at the bottom of the post.
Top Tip - The bunting at the top of the theatre was perfect for keeping the back drop in place without having to stick it down!
Step 4
Lights! Camera! Action... Oh wait.. We need our characters! Again we have another printable that you can use for the characters. Choose to decorate these or use them as a template to make your own version.

After being brought to life with colour and decoration, you can cut them out and pop them onto lolly sticks like below. You don't have to use lollipop sticks, you could use straws or anything along those lines.