Stop Motion Ideas You Can Share with Your Kids

Phil Lohmeyer

Phil Lohmeyer

Looking for an engaging activity to work on with your children? Whitby's Upper School Design Teacher Phil Lohmeyer shares some tips and ideas on how to use LapseIt to create stop motion animation movies with your kids.


What is LapseIt, you ask?

LapseIt is a stop-motion tool that you can install on your iPad, iPhone and other devices - and best of all, it's free! This is a great tool to teach kids, students and any other beginners about the basics of animation.

Materials needed

For your stop animation film you'll want to have 2 chairs, 2 sticks, iPad or another smart device; scissors, pencils, markers, and construction paper.

Now that you have the materials to get started on your project, here are some tips to guide you through the animation creation:

Tip 1: Adjust settings from 2 seconds to Stop Motion

When you open the LapseIt app, make sure to adjust the setting to "Stop Motion." Changing this setting will hide your hand from all the shots when you start to move around your characters.

Tip 2: Shoot at 15 Frames Per Second

In other words, 15 pictures=1 second of animation. This is a good speed for a stop motion film as it allows for a very smooth animation. It also teaches patiences to children since they will need to be mindful of the time and each individual shot.

Tip 3: Creating Characters and Expressions are Key to Any Great Stop Motion Story!

Fold a piece of construction paper in four so you can create the same sized character with a few different expressions and the shape will be the same size.

(Bonus Tip: I've found that some of the easiest things to animate are fruits and vegetables.) 

When you're doing stop motion animation and you swap the characters out, it creates the illusion that their emotions are changing.

Tip 4: Create Speech Bubbles that Mimic Character Expressions

The ideal speech bubble rate is 5 frames per word. The words will still be visible to the viewer, but they will display for a short enough time to keep people's attention. As you are creating expressions on your characters, think about matching expressions with speech bubbles. That will help you build the foundation of your stop animation story.

Want to hear more tips and watch a stop motion animation come together? Watch Phil's complete tutorial:

Phil Lohmeyer

Phil Lohmeyer

Phil Lohmeyer is an Upper School Design teacher with a passion for storytelling through comic strips and animation. He has been teaching Cartooning in Greenwich since 2003, and began leading animation workshops at Whitby School in 2014. His areas of expertise include stream-of-consciousness drawing, outlandish premise creation, and funny voice mimickry!