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Why Making Stop Motion Films Is The Ultimate STEAM Project For Kids

Have you introduced your kids to stop motion film making yet? It’s an easy and rewarding STEAM project for kids that teaches them about technology, storytelling, and more!

Challenge the kids to make a stop motion film this summer. It's the ultimate STEAM project for kids!

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You can make a stop motion film with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop or desktop computer that you download photos from your point and shoot or DSLR camera onto. Add a foam core background and whatever object you choose to take photos of, and you are set! My kids like to work with Playmobil sets and LEGO sets and the little pom pom pets they make. I’d love to see what they make with clay. The tripod in the photo above is made by Gorillapod. We love it.

Why Making Stop Motion Films Is The Ultimate STEAM Project For Kids

Stop motion film making is a fantastic STEAM project for kids! Check out these skills that kids develop as they create stop motion films:

Science

A great stop motion film is well lit, and characters are distributed across the screen proportionately. This requires children to develop the same observational skills that will serve them well as scientists.

Technology

Stop motion filmmaking provides the perfect setting for children to learn about cameras, smartphones, tablets, and computers. As they create films, they develop a comfort level with technology that will make it easier for them to embrace other technological tasks as they learn and grow.

Engineering

A solid stop motion film requires a lot of planning! You need to make sure your characters can move fluidly throughout the film. You also have to set up a backdrop and camera. Once all the photos are taken, you need to plan out how long to make each frame last, as well as which frames to cut. All of this planning helps children develop as engineers.

Art

Film making is an art! Stop motion is especially good at developing storytelling skills. Storytelling is every bit as important as reading and writing when it comes to literacy development. Storytelling helps children understand plots, while also allowing them to explore different social situations and emotions.

Math

How long do you want your stop motion film to last? How many frames does that mean you need to take? How smooth do you want your animation to be? The more frames you shoot per second of action, the smoother the action will be. Professional animators sometimes use as many as 24 frames per second, but you can use as few as 8 and have it look okay. What camera angle do you want for your story? Where you should you place your stop motion setup to get the best lighting for your project?

Why Making Stop Motion Films is the Ultimate STEAM Project for Kids

Stop Motion Resources

Here are some great stop motion resources to get you started:

Have your kids tried making stop motion films yet? Do you have another great STEAM project for kids that we should try? Please share in the comments below, on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

4 thoughts on “Why Making Stop Motion Films Is The Ultimate STEAM Project For Kids”

  1. What a super fun idea! One of my boys likes to make videos, but he doesn’t have the patience to set up more than one or two frames.

    1. I can’t wait to see what your son makes for this contest! We have a bunch of kindness prompts that will be published soon if he is short on ideas…

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