5 Ways to Teach Kids Animation For Fun and Learning

As many teachers could tell you, art is an amazing vehicle for students to show self-expression and creativity, and to really let their imaginations soar. Art can be especially important for children today who are growing up with the benefits and draw-backs of an extremely fast-paced life, in which instant gratification is a given. What is not usually easy however is teaching patience, achievement, and long term explainer video animation satisfaction, and due to this, it is often hard to introduce projects that can be time-consuming, and may not show results right away, but can produce very satisfying achievements.

Here are 5 projects you can use to explain to students about animation which course from the fast-paced and straight-forward, to the more complicated and more drawn out. The various projects teach kids valuable lessons about using 2-D and 3-D images in quick succession to form the illusions of movement. There’s something for every student, and you can start your location and have great fun!

Photo Animation For Kids with Special Needs

This is one of my favorites for students with special needs, since the students don’t need to be able to draw, or have a lot of an attention course for this one to work. Just like with any of the animation projects I teach, I love to show the students a quick video as an example of how other people have inked the project, to offer inspiration, and understanding. When i get the students to think of an overall idea of what they want to have happen in the short animation clip they will be producing. The easiest way is to have one student take photos every second or two, as the other students move slowly about the room. You can also have a ‘themed video’, for example, I made a video where students came gliding into the frame on rubbish can covers. Used to do this insurance agencies them stand in one place on the covers, then once the picture was taken, I’d you can keep them move a foot forward, and take another photo, and keep repeating to continue the movement. This project works great because it can be done as a collaborative project with lots of students, or independently, so long as one student is able to operate the camera. It also successful for very low-functioning students.

Drawing Animation Is for All Levels

This project works great as an independent activity, and is still pretty straightforward and simple for students. I love to begin by producing yellow sticky pads, as the flip books for the students to draw on. Each student may start drawing a sequence of events that develop and change as the pages advance. Since this project is independent, students’ works will change dependant on their artistic abilities. Pictures can range from renditions of stick people who move slightly forward in each new frame (to walk across the page when the pages are flipped), to more advanced, more descriptive pictures which could make a whole scene become more active. It’s great because it provides the students a solid foundation to understand how animation works, and can be done by students at all artistic levels.

White Board Animation is Environmentally friendly

Using a white board to create animation starts getting a bit more complex. This project can be done by either taking photos, or by using a video camera to capture video footage, for a more advanced project. If you opt to take photos, it is generally better to achieve the camera set up on a tripod, with the white board put in an area of good lighting. Like the flip book, the student can draw a design, and then to capture the design, they would take a photograph of computer. The student can then decide to wipe off part, or all of the design, and draw it slightly differently, or in a sequence of actions, like they did with the flip book, making sure to take photos of the progress as they go, as to have an computer animated slideshow once the photos are shown quickly in sequence. One of the benefits of this is that it is a more environmentally friendly way of doing animation, since you are not using tons of paper to achieve your sequences of images. You can also step this project up a step by filming the try a video camera, since you can do stop-motion animation, in which you can have other objects enter the scene that interact with the drawing.

Clay courts Animation is Inexpensive and Fun!

Clay courts animation, or clay-mation, is a very popular form of animation, due to the fact that clay courts can be used to create 3-D characters or objects, which can then be filmed or photographed and moved slightly at times to create motion. The best part of using clay courts is that it moves so easily and it is an inexpensive way of creating animation, through stop-motion. It does however require a bit more planning though, since the content of the animation clip changes from the 2-dimensional world of drawing in writing, to the 3-dimensional realm of being sculptural. The student needs to think more as to what else they will include, or exclude in the scene, such as background objects and additional objects, or scenery to form a context.

Organic Animation is Subtle and Interesting

This type of animation is really just a time-delayed type of animation in which you can take pictures or video of something organic as the days pass by, such as a plant growing, or mold consuming a piece of fruit. The benefit of using this type of animation is that the students need not be very creative to have a really neat video, since the object they are filming will be moving on their own every day. The students just needs to set-up a tripod, and make sure that the technical side stays the same, such as the sunlight, or positioning of the tripod. The downside to this type of animation however, is that it generally is more of a long-term project, since you have to wait a certain amount of time to physically show a big change in the object that one is saving. I have seen this project done many ways, even by taking a photograph of a person every day for a year, showing subtle changes that may don’t you have been caught by the eye on a daily basis.

These are just some of the examples of how you can teach students to make animation, and they are very effective as an introduction for other styles of moving picture once students understand the basics.

Animation Turns Everyone into an immediate Artist

Once students set out to master these easier forms of “stop-motion” animation, they have a great direction to begin trying out computer animation, and other forms of more complicated video projects. Just remember, animation can be done with varying intricacy levels, using pictures, or objects from at home. It is really open for model and can be a ton of fun. So pick one of these projects, and help a student to enjoy the fun world of animation.