Working from home isn’t always a walk in the park, especially if you are combining your normal WFH day with homeschooling or looking after your children. But with Easter weekend within touching distance, you’ll be able to turn off your computer and spend some time with the family. You’ll no doubt have seen a plethora of emails, blogs and videos with crafting, baking and activities to do with your kids. But have you ever thought about trying animation? We thought we’d share some tips for getting kids interested in animation. Stop Motion is one of the easiest forms of animation and it’s a lot of fun.
Creating your own stop-motion animation can be really easy. All you need is a camera or a smartphone, some toys or objects and a blank background. Then simply set up a scene, take a picture, then move the objects slightly, take another picture and repeat until you are finished with your scene. You can then use free apps like Stop Motion Studio to paste all of these images together, then you’ll have your finished masterpiece! But make sure you keep the camera in the same place in between shots otherwise the final film will be jittery and hard to follow. Try marking where you put the camera in the first take with a piece of tape, or a post-it note.
Need some inspiration? Try:
- Get your children to pick out their favourite toys and then create a simple narrative about them
- Use Lego. Lego can easily demonstrate how do stop motion: 1 brick, picture, add brick, another picture, repeat
- Experimenting with food. Then you have 2 activities in one!
Here’s an example of someone who has already given stop motion animation a go as part of the homeschooling schedule.
Once you’ve got the basics of stop motion animation and you want to get a bit more technical why not get your kids to try and design a storyboard before they start their stop motion. This will give them more clarity of where they want the narrative to go and also help them plan out the movement they want their toy/object to make. To make a simple storyboard, all you need to do is grab a piece of paper. On one side the images, and on the other write a brief description of what is happening in the scene.
When you think stop-motion animation, you will likely think of the wonderful work of Aardman Animation, who revolutionized the film and animation industry with their characters. They have always been at the forefront of stop-motion and recently have worked with Coldplay and Greenpeace, respectively, on videos. But Aardman also has a number of great online resources to help get kids started in animation. The Wallace and Gromit website has a number of great resources for children, including colouring sheets, easy recipes but also tutorials on how to draw and do stop motion animation. Aardman also has a separate website called, Animate It, which contains lots of useful information and tutorials to get kids interested in animation. You can even download a free trial of their stop-motion animation software to play around with. Alongside this, there are multiple tutorial videos, and documents to download to help plan and make a stop motion video, the Morph Film Kit even includes a template so that you can create your own iPad stand.
If this inspires you then why not check out some of the Aardman films that have recently been added to Netflix (all the Wallace and Gromit films and Shaun the Sheep) and have a full day of animation fun.
This could also be a great opportunity to find a new skill that you didn’t know your child had, or this could inspire them to become the Giggle employees of the future!