Made popular by Aardman Animationís Wallace and Gromit characters, childrenís animation kits use similar techniques to this famous stop motion film company, but on a smaller and easier scale. Popular supplier Flair are even licensed to make a Plasticine set featuring the famous duo with some of their allies and enemies - they come complete with background scenery and plug in pieces like eyes and feet for extra realism. Morph Plasticine sets can be bought in a similar format.
Various simple computer programmes can be used to manipulate and animate the images that can be taken with a digital camera. Even LEGO are in on the act with a set that includes LEGO bricks and a smart looking LEGO stop-animation camera for capturing close up shots of the changing scenes. Great Gizmos make a working model of a praxinoscope, one of the earliest animation toys that laid the foundations of the modern stop-animation movies, and also teach the some basic optical principles.
Games maker Drumond Park has a wonderful Animatazz set in its offerings that comes complete with poseable figures and a demonstration CD of how to post the movies onto YouTube. Whatever childrenís animation kits you choose, the educational value in teaching the kids patience and perseverance is likely to be of enormous benefit to them in the future.
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