Making Stop Motion Movies with Kids

Written by Diane, Woodlawn Public Library staff member, and her creative kids

Kids are amazing. Their creativity overflows when given the chance. And the pride they feel when they have made something is a gift.

So, let’s make a movie using stop motion animation.

Here’s what you need

  1. A phone or tablet.
  2. An app. We used "Stop Motion Studio", which is free for the basic version, but there are others out there. You can easily find them on the iTunes or Google Play Stores, depending on your device.
  3. Something to hold your phone in place. This can be an actual tripod or some kind of homemade contraption. Use what you have. Your phone just has to stay in one place. 
  4. A set. A table and a wall will work. Put up a sheet or use a piece of wood; just block out the background.
  5. Characters. Use what you have; LEGO, stuffies, clay…the choices are endless.

Production

Start with a really simple idea to get a feel for it. Take a picture, move the characters a tiny bit, take a picture, move the characters, take a picture, move the characters, take a picture…See where this is going?

This can get tedious for little ones (those under 6 years of age may lose interest—but you know your kids best!) and some parents may need to do a lot of this work. Our family's 9 and 11-year-old filmmakers handled this themselves.

Note: They highly recommend having your favourite music playing while you work. It will make this part more fun.

You’ll need to take hundreds of photos but it’s pretty quick work. We chose to play our movie at 10 photos per second, which means that 300 photos gets you a 30 second movie. That’s pretty substantial. Our budding filmmakers are averaging 10-30 second movies at this point. I've lost count of how many movies they've made.  

Post-Production

Did you accidentally catch your hand in a photo? No worries. It’s easy to delete in the app.

When you’re happy with your work, you can email the file or upload to Facebook and share it with your friends. 

Check out one of our favourite creations, titled "Storytime" by Talia Cummins, opens a new window.

Tips

  • Use sticky tack or tape to stick down any pieces or props that you don’t want to move.
  • Use VERY small movements only.
  • Keep it simple.
  • If you’re working as a team, communication is key.
  • Don’t try to make it perfect right off the bat, you can always take pictures out or edit it after.
  • Have fun!
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