We were stuck inside this past weekend, with the cold and possibility of snow and icy roads cancelling all our usual activities. Even the indoor soccer tournament my 8 year old was supposed to compete in was cancelled, because of road conditions.
Board games are a favorite pastime around here. We also snuggled in for some movie time, too. But then my boys went their own ways… which usually means video games or watching videos on their tablets. While that’s okay in moderation, it seems a shame to waste our unexpectedly unscheduled unrushed time together.
My boys have been asking to make a stop motion video for a while, but it’s not something we had gotten around to. This weekend was the perfect opportunity to give it a shot.
To get started, you only need some sort of background and props as well as a smartphone or tablet(possibly a tripod), a stop motion app, and an idea for your story.
The cool thing about making a stop motion video is that you don’t need to have complex or expensive materials. You can check out the suggestions for free stop motion video apps as well as some tips on stop motion videos (like moving an object a small distance to make it appear to move slowly or moving it a little farther to make it appear to move faster). There’s a cool tip in there about how to make something seem like it disappeared and you’d just need a cotton ball to make it look like something vanished into thin air- we’re definitely going to try that one soon!
Since my 8 year old was bummed about missing out on his soccer tournament, he decided that he wanted to make a soccer stop motion video. We used green construction paper for the field, a white crayon to make the lines, some lightweight cardboard and decorative tape to make the goal, a soccer ball sticker for the ball, paper for the trophy, and Goldfish Colors for the soccer players.
We had the app downloaded and open, with the screen focused on what we wanted to shoot (with a little help from a mini-tripod that you can pick up for a few dollars… though I’ve propped my phone up on a stack of books and taped it in place for videos before I had a tripod- but you do want to keep your camera in the same spot). Then my son took over, positioning his Goldfish cracker “players” on the field, snapping the first pic, then deciding how to move them and the ball to show the action he wanted to.
We could watch the video to see how it was progressing and then add to it. Since he’s the soccer player, I told my son he was in charge of all the motion and I think he did a great job, especially for his first effort. Go ahead and give it a watch!
Making a stop motion video is so much easier than I thought it would be and a fun family activity. You can visit the Goldfish Tales Animation Xperience to get inspired and learn some cool how to’s. The “Get Started” video shows you all the basics and there are other videos that show you more in depth, too. If you make your own stop motion video, you can submit it to the GoldfishTales page for a chance to win $5,000! You can see all the details over there- there are different categories and multiple winners. Give it a try- it’s really fun and easy!