A step-by-step guide to making your own cereal box theatre

At Hopster, the preschool learning and entertainment platform, our aim is to keep kids entertained while teaching them something new every day. That’s why we’ve created Two Minute Tales from Shakespeare, a new series that teaches preschoolers about famous Shakespeare plays.

After watching the show, Hopster’s head of learning, Lelia Ingram, recommends acting out each episode so children can build on their storytelling skills and explore characterisation and setting. This will encourage preschoolers to think about scene changes and how they can change their voices and expressions to suit the setting.

To create your own theatre, all you need to do is follow the below easy step-by-step guide and then cut out the characters and props that you’ll find in our fun activity packs.

What you’ll need to make your own cereal box theatre:

  • Cereal box
  • Green and red paint (we used acrylic)
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • A piece of strong cardboard
  • Glue gun
  • A piece of velvety fabric
  • Strings
  • Wooden skewers
  • Fringing
  • Decoration for the stage (eg. decorative ribbon, beading and sequins)
  • Black cardboard
  • Fairy lights
  • Sellotape
  • Colour pencils or pens

How to make it:

Step 1: Paint the cereal box a fabulous red. We’ve used acrylic paint.

Step 2: Using a craft knife, cut out the theatre door. We’ve measured 4cm from the edges along the top and sides. You may want to make the measurement a little smaller if you’ve got a small cereal box.

Step 3: Using a craft knife, cut 3 lines into the top of the theatre to create a flap that lifts up. We’ve kept the incisions the same measurements as the front (4 cm from each side).

Step 4: Using a piece of strong cardboard, make a support for the back of the theatre. We’ve painted it the same fabulous red and used a glue gun to stick it to the back.

Step 5: We’ve used the glue gun to stick down the side flaps of the cereal box. It’s not essential but makes it sturdier and looks great.

Step 6: For the curtains, measure the width and height of the stage and cut the fabric to size. Remember to add on about 2–3 cm extra in length for the fold. Glue with a glue gun and then slide onto the wooden skewer. Add details like fringing if you’d like.

Step 7: To attach the curtains, make a small (about 5 mm) cut in the shape of a sideways ‘U’ into each side of the stage and slot the curtain’s stick inside each flap. Stick into place if you need to.

Step 8: Make two small holes either side of the stage and feed string through them to tie up the curtains.

Step 9: Time to decorate your lovely theatre! We’ve used a lot of gold. A big strip of gold decorative ribbon looks great at the top of the stage to cover the wooden skewer. We’ve also used beading and sequins to add a pop of zing.

Step 10: Using a light green and a dark green acrylic, paint a piece of card and use this as the grass and bushes.

Step 11: Make a stage using thick cardboard. Measure and cut to size.

Step 12: To make the starry sky you need to cut tiny crosses into an A4 piece of black card and poke the lights through. Stick them in place with sellotape. Remember to keep the battery pack to one side so that it’s easy to turn on and off.

Step 13: Time to slide the starry night sky into the background.

Step 14: Cut and colour your Two Minute Tales from Shakespeare characters and props. You can find them all here.

Step 15: Let the show begin!

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Sandbox Kids

Sandbox Kids

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Sandbox Kids is a leading provider of on-demand, multimedia, multi-platform, digital subscription services for children and families worldwide.