Stop Motion Animation is a fun activity for children of all ages, but it also can help them learn transferable skills and be great for their self esteem.
The feeling of success children feel when learning a new skill is priceless. Animation is an easy skill to master with a few basic instructions, and they can freely express themselves using their favourite toys, modelling clay, paper or even drawings.
They can easily share their animations and creations with family and friends, giving them a sense of confidence, and pride and achievement in their work.
Animation does take a little time to master, but it is quickly rewarding as their animations come together. When Merlin Crossingham from Aardman animation was asked if you require patience to animate, he said “Animators aren’t all that patient… You do have to be able to lock out the world, but time flies when you’re animating. There’s so much to think about.” This is so true. I have seen children who are not usually patient get so absorbed by and lost in what they are doing, that they don’t realise that they are learning and using these skills.
Fine Motor Skills
In animation the movements between each photo need to be small and carefully controlled, honing children’s fine motor skills. Rather than focussing on fine motor skills as an exercise in itself, in using an activity like stop motion animation they are unconsciously using and developing their fine motor skills. Moving their characters or objects just a small amount, making animations using paper or clay, colouring and drawing all use and fine tune the small muscles required for writing and manipulating small objects.
When making animations, children may want to work out how to make a character stand on one leg, fly or kick a ball, there are no limits to their imaginations. When making animations, recreating the ideas in their heads can exercise their creative thinking and problem solving skills as they work out how to bring their ideas to life.