The traditional children's theatre belongs to Victorian days. In the
nineteenth century, prints of characters and scenery from the popular
dramas of the time were sold "penny plain and twopence coloured." These
prints were cut out and mounted on card. Each actor was then
moved on and off the stage by means of a wire from the side of the toy
theatre. The Victorian children's theatre has now become the property
of the antique dealer. However, modern adaptation of the early
children's theatre can give a great deal of amusement as a children's
game as well as serve as an introduction to puppetry. Pictures of
people, animals, cars,ships and scenery can be cut from magazines and
pasted to card stock. A child's imagination can soon fit these
pictures into the story being developed.
Because it is small and intimate and requires small scenery, props and
puppets, it is wonderful to use with youngsters in the classroom.
Below are plans to construce a simple toy theatre, but since it
is basically a box, a Toy Theater can also be made out of any size
box. Give Toy Theater a try. Here are plans for 2 different
Toy Theaters. Use one of them or create your own.
Materials you will need:
- X-acto knife
- One piece of fomncote (30' x 40n)
- Bristle paint brush
- Duct tape
- Paint (tempera, acrylic, watercolor).
for the construction of the stage
Take one piece of foamcore and make a pencil pattern following the
diagram. Copy the letters carefully. The letters will tell
you how to connect the pieces of your stage.
Cut all the pieces. Set aside the pieces that have an "X" on
them. They are leftover pieces.
Connect A - A and E - E with hinges of duct tape.
Connect C - C and turn over so that duct tape hinge will be inside the
Connect B - B and D - D, using duct tape outside the stage.
To fold push D to front, then C becomes left edge of folded stage.