A few weeks ago, Bean was browsing in our home library and was super excited to discover that we have a book about making stop motion animation, LEGO Make Your Own Movie. She was introduced to stop motion at our local science museum, We The Curious, where they have a hands-on stop motion exhibit, and on discovering the book, she immediately wanted to have a go at making her own.
I came across this book while researching for our building project. It is one of a series of Lego building books, a couple of which I bought for our project and were excellent. I thought this one looked equally simple and fun (and affordable), and with a child who is going through an intense phase of Lego play, I thought it would make a great addition to our home library.
The book comes with a limited supply of Lego, but enough to enable you to follow most of the tutorials. Obviously, if you have your own Lego collection then there is much more potential for creativity. We brought out a small amount of extra Lego, as Bean had very specific ideas about what she wanted to create.
While Bean set to work building a camera stand, I quickly downloaded an app called Stop Motion on my iPhone. I opted for the paid version (which was £4.99 if I remember correctly) as I thought it'd be fun to be able to add a title page, sound effects, music and a credits page. If you're not bothered about those elements, or want to give it a try first, the basic content is free. It’s proved to be really simple to use.
The book comes with some fold out cardboard backgrounds for scenes, a storyboard template, and 10 mini movie tutorials. It includes troubleshooting solutions and a whole section on building more advanced skills, none of which we have explored yet. Bean was telling me just the other day that she wants to try to recreate the sorting hat ceremony at Hogwarts, so perhaps we'll be exploring all the extra special effects next.
Once we were all set up, and had successfully tested our app with the movie frames provided, Bean cracked on with building her custom scene and taking the stills for her animation. Here is Bean's first attempt at making her own stop motion animation. The Lego Friends characters are diving into a portal!
I've since discovered that Bean has made quite a few more stop motion animations on the iPad, completely independently, during her free play time. Of course, if you have a rough idea of how stop motion works, and want to give it a try, then all you really need is the app, although I'd recommend this book for beginners.
Have you tried stop motion with your children?
This blog post contains affiliate links. If you do click through, Bean and I will receive a small amount of commission which will contribute to new books and resources for her home education. You can, however, find all of these resources elsewhere, including other online retailers, second hand selling pages and your local library.