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Movie-Making Magic

Stop-Motion Madness

In the days before digital effects, filmmakers had to rely on more old-fashioned techniques for creating movie magic. Stop-motion animation is a filmmaking technique that makes inanimate objects appear to move on their own. Today, we'll go back to the days of stop-motion filmmaking to try our hands at this technique from the past.


what you’ll need

  • Your Camp Kinda toolkit
  • A sketchbook or a journal with blank paper
  • A mobile phone or tablet with a camera
  • Various household objects or toys
  • Post-It notes (optional)



Ask About Today

What can you tell me about stop-motion films? How do you create stop-motion animation? (And make sure they show you one of the many stop-motion clips they made today.)

Dinner Discussion

If you created a stop-motion film about something that's happened this year, what would it be about and why?

Skip the Ads

Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.

About Today

Several activities today require the use of Stop Motion Studio, a free app. It's downloadable for Android or Apple devices. If you prefer not to download it, skip to the flip book animation activity, where your kids can make their own animation with nothing but Post-Its and a pen.


30-60 minutes

What is stop-motion filmmaking, anyway? Before you can become a stop-motion filmmaker, dive into what it is and how it all works.


Lost + Found

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Start by watching this award-winning stop-motion short film.

Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.


Behind the Stop-Motion Scenes

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Wait, how did they do that? Visit a stop-motion animation film studio to find out.


The Evolution of Stop Motion Animation

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See how stop motion animation has evolved from the early 1900's to today.


The Motion of Kubo

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The animated move Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the more recent films to use stop-motion techniques. Take a look at the painstaking work it takes to bring those puppets to life.


What about Claymation?

Claymation uses stop-motion techniques to bring molded figures or objects to life. Learn more in this article from Wonderopolis.


Stop-Motion at Home

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In this short clip, you'll learn how you can start making stop-motion films right at home. (We'll get to that shortly!)


45-60 minutes

Stop motion animation makes inanimate objects appear to move on their own. Now, you'll try making your own.


Teach Yourself Stop-Motion

You'll use a free stop-motion app to make your own movie at home. You can download it for Android or Apple devices, but make sure to ask an adult's permission first. Once you've downloaded it, spend 15-20 minutes going through the tutorial to learn how it works.


Stop-Motion In Action

Place an object or toy in front of your camera and snap a photo using your Stop Motion Studio app. Then, you'll move the object a tiny bit and snap another photo. Repeat this process twenty times (or twenty-thousand times!). When you play back the sequence quickly, the object will look like it's moving.

Need More Help? Follow the steps right here.


Flip Book Animation

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No camera? No problem! Flip book stop-motion is just as cool. All you need is a pen, a pack of sticky notes, and these instructions.


30 minutes

Turn your walk into a short film.


Stop-Motion Walk

What if the most mundane activities could become stop-motion films? On today's walk with a sibling or family member, give them simple tasks to do—things like picking up a leaf, moving a stick from one spot to another, or just climbing the front steps.

The trick is, they have to do it one small motion at a time! Stand in one place and take photos as they move. For example, if they are throwing a ball, take 10 photos of them bringing their arm with the ball back, then another 10 as they bring it forward to throw. Using your stop-motion app, turn your photo series into a mini stop-motion film.

Be Safe: Ask an adult before going outside.