Engaging creatively with stories from the past

Past Times is a site helping children, parents, and teachers engage with history, mythology, and ancient stories through shadow puppetry. We offer printables, how-to articles, and inspiration for conducting your own programs in your class, place of worship, or home.

Shadow or silhouette puppetry is inexpensive and accessible for everyone. All you need are some basics to make history feel vibrant and fun. Using just paper, scissors, and a home-made screen, you can create a fun and engaging activity at your educational event, family reunion, community gathering, holiday, or holy day.

Helene van Rossum, Creative Director

Helene van Rossum

Helene is the founder and creative director of Past Times, and a crafter, archivist, and children’s book author. Her passion is helping children engage with historical sources and bringing history to life at home and in the classroom through imagination and play.

Davie-Lyn Jones, teacher and contributing writer


Davie-Lyn has a BA in History and an MA in Elementary Education and has been teaching in the elementary school system for twenty years. Teaching social studies as a 5th grade teacher, she has incorporated shadow puppetry in Black History Month projects in her curriculum since 2019. Passionate about Black and local history, she has her own blog: Black History: Somerville, NJ.

Sara Wegman, Social Media Manager and Site Administrator

Sara is the social media manager and site administrator of Past Times. As Helene’s daughter, she spent many weekends in her teen years helping run and narrate shadow puppetry shows with her mom. Today, she is a blogger and programmer.