Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giving PresenCE – Shadow Puppet Kit

Our family participates in the [Advent Conspiracy]. The four tenants of [AC] are Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All. For the past few years, we’ve been trying to find creative ways to give Christmas gifts that are gifts of presence, not just a present. In the days leading up to Christmas, I’ll be sharing some of these ideas with you.

I am so very excited to give this gift to my kids this Christmas!

They really love anything to do with lights: flashlights, glow sticks, night lights, and making shadow puppets on their walls. I decided to make the mega treasure trove of light for them: a shadow puppet kit. It has lots of different elements._MDS2062

First, it started with this link I saw for a shadow puppet kit. I knew I could make my own inexpensively, so I did. I used craft foam with adhesive on the back, and cut out the shapes I wanted. Two of the shapes are silhouettes of my kids’ heads. I sandwiched a wooden skewer (the kind you use for cooking kabobs) between the two sheets of foam, then stuck them together._MDS1532

I also found some cool flashlights that have attachments to create shadow projections. This Cars one was about $6 at Walgreens._MDS2051

This space flashlight was about $5 at Cracker Barrel._MDS2053

And this Halloween flashlight was $1 when holiday clearance prices were in effect._MDS2054

I found a pack of fingertip flashlights for $1 at the Dollar Tree. They are cool because the lights attach to your fingers, so you can have a whole light show going on with just one hand!_MDS2049

These flashlights were already in our stash from an event at our church a year or so ago. I corralled them into an empty peanut butter jar._MDS2050

I found these battery-powered “glow sticks” at my favorite store, Leftovers._MDS2052

And I found a pack of Celebration Lights at Michaels craft store. I think they are about $6 or more, but I used my 40% off coupon and got them at a discount. They are small enough to fit inside a balloon. I’m sure the kids will enjoy playing with illuminated balloons! (Who wouldn’t?!)_MDS2055

I put everything together in a wicker “treasure” trunk I inherited from my grandmother’s house after she died._MDS2059

The most exciting piece of this gift is something Santa is bringing the kids. (Yes, he told me this!) They are asking for a Doodle Dome, which is a tent that has glow material on the inside. The kids can get in the tent and draw with lights to make it glow.IMG_0075

I can’t wait to turn off the lights, hang out with the kids, and have some awesome shadow puppet shows. I hope Christmas Day is really dark!_MDS2045

P.S. I apologize for the poor lighting in these photos. I had to take them in the basement near the gift stash, while the kids were occupied somewhere else. It’s hard to be sneaky and hide gifts around Christmas!

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