How To Make Stop Motion Videos With Kids

Stikbots studio

Let’s start at the beginning – do you know what stop-motion videos are?

Stop motion is an animation technique where objects are moved in small increments and photographed each time, then the photographs are put together in sequence to create the illusion of movement. Think of the old-fashioned cartoon flip-books you used to make at school, and you have the idea. Of course the best example would be something like Wallace and Grommit, but that is a mile away from what we have managed to create!

Kids are now being taught film-making technology in schools. Stop-motion is often where they start. It is relatively simple and helps them to understand how a film is made frame by frame. Therefore, getting involved in making stop-motion movies or clips will not only ensure you keep up with the latest technology, or appear to be ‘down with the kids'(!), you will also be helping them with their school work and learning. You’ve heard the phrases STEM or STEAM bandied around, haven’t you?

We started our stop-motion journey with Stikbots. We firstly chose a small set of two figures from Wicked Uncle. Our boys loved the idea of them, as they are poseable and come with their own free downloadable app. They were particularly excited to see that there was a green-screen facility on the app, as Hugo got a green screen for his birthday and was keen to use it. Unfortunately though, the Stikbots didn’t stick to the green fabric, so he found it quite frustrating, and eventually took to the outdoors to make his movie debut.

Fast forward a month or two, and we were lucky to be sent more Stikbots from the manufacturer. This time, a great Stikbots Studio set (Zanimation Studio) which came with its own green screen and blue screen, and a mini tripod to hold your phone, plus a really funny Action Pack set with different hairstyles for our Stikbots. Check out the Mullet-Bot – hilarious! The screen/stage setup was only cardboard, but was robust and the perfect surface for the characters to stick to. The boys were so pleased!

Stikbots Zanimation Studio & Accessories
Stikbots Zanimation Studio & Accessories

One thing I really like about Stikbots is that they encourage creativity and the use of imagination, as well as developing I.T. skills. I got my kids to draw out a story board to think about what their characters would do in the video, so they were writing a story and drawing out a sequence – a brilliant creative writing experience for children who don’t usually like to write! Sneaky, huh?! Since the set came with its own mini tripod, I was happy to leave the boys to their own devices to develop their film. The app is very user-friendly, and they are probably better at the technology than I am anyway! After the movie is made by taking a series of snaps, there is also the option to add sound effects, music or a voice-over.

Stikbots studio
Stikbots studio

The thing many children may need help with is realising that making a stop-motion video is a time-consuming process. They need to take so many pictures just to create a very short film clip, moving them just a fraction each time, which can be frustrating to the less patient child in need of fairly instant gratification (like mine are!). However, they may just have fun acting out the story without actually making a video – my children certainly did. They almost couldn’t understand why we couldn’t just film the Stikbots in real time and just have the hands in the movie. Well, to be honest, why not? It’s their toy, whatever makes them happy and keeps them occupied!

Left to make their own stories with Stikbots
Left to make their own stories with Stikbots

If you want to see how it’s done ‘properly’, there is a whole channel on YouTube for Stikbots called Stikbot Central. It’s really fantastic as a showcase of creativity and provides so many ideas and such inspiration. It’s very entertaining and funny for the kids to watch too! I’m not sure our efforts will ever be featured, but I’m happy that my kids were learning as well as having a good time.

You can make stop-motion videos with so many different things, the principle is always the same. You simply move your object a small amount and take a photo each time. There are so many apps which will put the clips together for you and allow you to add music or you can use conventional movie-maker type editing programs. Try children’s toys (Lego works well, or perhaps poseable figures), or fruit and veg with the addition of googly eyes or drawn on faces, and of course those of us old enough to remember Morph will know that plasticine or clay works well too.

Or stick with Stikbots, they’ve got all the right pieces and pose so well for you!

Stikbots are available on Amazon from approx. £3.99

The Stikbots Zanimation studio is currently £18.26 (prices correct at time of publishing and subject to change)

These are affiliate links                                                       

Disclaimer – we were sent the Stikbots Studio and hairstyles accessory products for the purpose of reviewing, but all opinions are completely honest and entirely our own.

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Thimble and Twigethannevelyn.com

 

20 Replies to “How To Make Stop Motion Videos With Kids”

  1. I need to show this my son he got this for Christmas and we are yet to figure it out …thanks for the tips xx
    Caroline recently posted…Cruising with the whole familyMy Profile

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      You’re welcome Caroline. Once you work the app out it’s easy. Message me if you get stuck (and I’ll ask the kids!) x

    2. Kaisstikbottheatre says: Reply

      Where did you buy it

      1. You can get them on Amazon

  2. Oooh I am so pleased that I read this post! It’s our oldest’s birthday in a couple of weeks and i’ve been trying to think what to get her. She would love this and I think the studio looks really good and the film your two made is brilliant. Watch out Pixar!

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Lol thanks Emma. The films are only short but they are quite proud of them and they kept them occupied. Glad you feel inspired!

  3. I’m glad I came across this post, this looks as if it would be the perfect gift for my niece! I would have so much fun!
    Kelly-Anne Combes recently posted…7 Best Teacher Gifts That They Will Actually Want…My Profile

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thank you Kelly-Anne, glad it has inspired you!

  4. Oh this looks fantastic! My son adores making his own ‘videos’ on the iPad, but he would be so impressed to make a real animation! You are right it can be difficult for kids to have the patience needed to make a stop motion, but you could have so much fun with the creative side of this. I know they would love watching the finished movie too! xx
    Rosie Little Fish recently posted…Living Arrows: 25/52 In the ParkMy Profile

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      It does give them a great sense of achievement x

  5. That kit looks amazing and so much cheaper than what I would have guessed something like that would cost. What fun for the kids and I bet they learnt a lot too. Thanks for sharing. #littlemakes
    Fee Shaw recently posted…#Littlemakes – Week 13My Profile

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      It is really good value, especially for the amount of play and use it will get, as well as the learning as you say x

  6. My guilty pleasure is Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time so I love to see stop motion animation. It’s interesting to read that it is now being used more in schools. #littlemakes
    Helena recently posted…Things I’ve Liked and Loved in JuneMy Profile

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Lol I love that Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time are your guilty pleasures!

  7. That is just so cool! Prices are reasonable too! #fabfridaypost

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thanks Jade – yes very affordable toys!

  8. Wow a little Walt Disney in the making. This is a fab idea and I had no idea that you could do this with the kids….I must get more ‘down with the kids’! I know my eldest would love this, not sure she has the patience just yet but looks fun x Thanks for linking up #Fabfridaypost

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Yes it’s good fun but does require some patience, although I just let them ‘play’ in the conventional way in between, acting out the movie they want to make.

  9. This is so cool and makes me laughed! I love it! I will show this to Ethan. He’s been longing to do stop motion videos for ages. Thank you so much for this. & Thank you for sharing with us on #FabFridayPost too. x
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…Big Day Out Festival 2017 ReviewMy Profile

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Oh really? He’ll love this then!

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