Family Activity

Cité Family Activity

Have some fun exploring the art forms of Cité before or after going to see the show! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. Bookmark to discover how you and your family can continue your theatergoing experiences at home.

You can also find all of our Family Activities (and more!) at


Hand Shadows

The puppeteers in Cité use objects to make shadows, but did you know that you can make shadow puppets with just your body? Use a flashlight and your hands to see what your own shadows can create.

Materials: An empty wall or white bed sheet, a flashlight (Hint: a one-bulb LED flashlight works best).

Step One: Find an empty wall or grab a white bed sheet and drape it between two chairs (once called a fort, now a puppet theater). Then, grab a flashlight and turn off the lights!

Step Two: Use your hands to create shapes. Try making these things using just your hands:

  • Square
  • Heart
  • Star
  • Bird
  • Spider
  • Empire State Building

Step Three: Now it's time to work together. See if you and your kid can create one shadow creature using both of your hands or even incorporate other materials from your home!

  • What does the shadow of a feather look like when you put it next to a book?
  • What does a shadow look like through a transparent object (like a plastic clear cup) vs. an opaque object?
  • What does a shadow of a piece of fabric with holes in it look like?
  • What happens when you bring your object closer to the flashlight or farther away?

The Great Shape Race

In Cité, a cityscape is created entirely from geometric shapes. While the creators of Cité spent a long time creating this show, you and your family will have to race against the clock to see who can find the most similar shapes in your house and build their city first!

Materials: Anything you have around you

Step One: You are about to play a game! You will look for objects that are all the same color or shape. For example, the first shape you choose might be a circle. You'll have one minute to find as many circles in your home as possible.

Step Two: As a family decide which color or shape you are going to find first.

Step Three: Set a one-minute timer and you're off! Everyone should point out as many similar shapes or colors as possible before the timer runs out!

Step Four: Count 'em up! See who found the most similar objects. If you don't agree on a shape discuss together why that object isn't considered a similar shape. Who got the most creative?

Step Five: Repeat the game as many times as you want looking for as many different combinations of shapes and colors as you can think of!

BONUS: Take this game to a nearby park and see if you can find similar shapes and colors in nature!


The Amazing Appearing City

In Cité, the puppeteers create a cityscape using nothing but black shapes on a brightly colored background. Now you get to create your own cityscape using only black paint and bright colors!

Materials: Sturdy paper (cardstock, posterboard, sketch paper), wax crayons or oil pastels, black tempera paint, liquid dish or laundry detergent, a foam paint brush or sponge, something to scratch off paint with (toothpick, paper clip, chopstick, coin)

Step One: Using the crayons, color the paper as many different colors as you want. You can draw shapes, scribbles, designs—anything you want! Make sure every part of the page is covered with crayon.

Color your piece of paper completely.

Step Two: Mix the black paint with a few drops of soap. The ratio should be one drop of soap for every tablespoon of paint (or sixteen drops per cup).

Mix together black paint with drops of liquid detergent.

Step Three: Using the foam paint brush, paint over all of the crayon with the black tempera paint (it's okay if a little bit of crayon peaks through).

Paint your colored paper and allow it to dry.

Step Four: After the paint dries completely (at least 1–2 hours), use your a pointy object to "draw" a picture (we suggest drawing a cityscape!). All of the colors will reappear when you scratch off the black paint!

'Draw' your cityscape with a pointy object.

Ready for more activities? Come early and visit the lower lobby area before the show.

Twitter   How did your colorful cityscape turn out?
Snap a photo of it and share it with us on Instagram or Twitter, #NYCité!
Facebook   What unexpected shapes and colors did you espy during your Great Shape Race?
Like us on Facebook and message us with your winning list!

Artwork by Katie Diamond
Stop motion by Allison Luecke