Damsels and Dragons

One of my earliest shadow puppets was Sir James, inspired by a dear friend whom I liked to tease with his notions about chivalry and gender roles. Dreaming of rescuing damsels in distress, Sir James had his debut in my son’s first grade class on Valentine’s Day, where he failed to win a princess’s heart but managed to steal a kiss from the teacher instead.

Shadow screen showing a teacher kissing a puppet knight projected from overhead projector
The original Sir James kissed by my son’s first grade teacher

The following puppets are available to download from the Printable Library (please sign up for our mailing list!)

    • Dragon
    • Knight
    • Lady or Princess
    • Horse or Unicorn
    • Jester

Not surprisingly, my cutouts of the knight and dragon have traditionally been most favored by boys, while the princess and the unicorn were most popular with girls.

Feel free to let children play around with traditional roles: let the princess fight the dragon, make the knight dance with the jester, or let him tame rather than slay the dragon, and have all characters go for a ride on the dragon and the unicorn!

Helene van Rossum, Owner of Past Times

Author: Helene at Past Times

Helene is the founder of Past Times and a crafter, historian, and children’s book author. Her passion is bringing history to life for children, classrooms, and families through imagination and play.

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