Stop Motion for Kids: Activities & Tools

Over the last few months M and M  started recording videos on their tablet. They were having so much fun with the video maker I thought it was the perfect time to introduce them to stop motion for kids!

I was right. We’ve been having a blast learning new stop motion techniques and learning tips to make these simple videos even better.

5 activities and 6 tools for stop motion for kids

Stop Motion for Kids: Activities & Tools

Stop Motion Activities

As I started searching techniques and tips, I quickly realized that learning stop motion could easily become a long term process. We started very simply and I’ve added activities a little bit at a time.

  • Movement. Move a character from one side of the screen to the other. This is a great activity to start with. We used it to learn how the app worked and to show the kids how stop motion works. (Check out apps below.)
  • Play with light. Lighting plays a big part in stop motion. If you are using natural light (like we have done) you need to be somewhere that the light will stay consistent for a while. Try out different spots in your house to see what works best for you. This video on lighting tips for stop motion does a good job of explaining how to use artificial lighting without spending a lot of money.
  • Create a background and add props. Create an entire scene by trying out different backdrops. Use sheets or pillowcases, poster board or draw out a background. Find (or make) props to add into the video.
  • Disappearing objects. Watch this video of disappearing (and reappearing) daffodils. Pull together a collection of items. Create a video where the items fill the space… and then disappear one at a time.
  • Little details. With stop motion, the more attention you pay to the details the more realistic the video will look. Watch this video about objects sliding, then create a sliding video of your own.

5 activities and 6 tools for stop motion for kids

Stop Motion Tools

The best thing about stop motion is that all you need to get started is a tablet or a smartphone. When you’re ready to invest a bit, these are some great tools.

This section of the post contains affiliate links.

  • Tablet. We like our Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
  • Tripod. The kids are currently using blocks to prop up their tablets. This flexible leg tripod is at the top of our wish list.
  • Stop Motion App. There are a lot of stop motion apps. M and M have tried both PicPac Stop Motion & Time-Lapse and Stop Motion Studio. They prefer Stop Motion Studio.
  • 3 desk lamps. We are using natural light for now, but I see an upgrade to artificial lighting in our near future. I like these desk lamp because the flexible neck is perfect for setting up around a stop motion scene.
  • Poster board or foam core. I ran out and bought a few sheets of white poster board. These work pretty good, but they don’t stand well. Our next step will be investing in some foam core.
  • Stop motion kits. OgoBild Animate It Studio Kit is a fun kit that comes with it’s own webcam. This one is recommended for 8 and younger. Minecraft Stop-Motion Animation Studio is perfect for kids who love Minecraft. This one is recommended for kids 6-12.

This should be enough to get you started! If you have a favorite stop motion for kids tip or tutorial, share it in the comments. 

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