First, you'll build your zoetrope out of supplies you most likely have around the house. Then do some doodles and voila! You'll be animating in no time. If you love STEAM projects, be sure to continue reading to the bottom of the post where we're sharing some other fun patriotic STEAM ideas.
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Supplies you'll need:
- Zoetrope Templates (optional)
- Dark colored paper
- Scissors or an X-acto Knife
- Container like a pie tin
- Pencil or a dowel
- White printer paper
- Writing utensils for drawing
Build a Zoetrope
You will find the directions for building a zoetrope here.
Once you've built your spinning device, you can begin to create the art that you'll be able to animate. For our zoetrope design, you'll find that strips of paper that are an inch and a half wide work well for your drawings. Templates for the strips are included with the templates to build your zoetrope, available here. We created an American flag design and some fireworks for our Fourth of July animation.
What other patriotic or summer designs could you make? Here are some ideas:
- Parade floats
- The Statue of Liberty being built
- The crack forming in the Liberty Bell
- A moving map of the United States
- Talking Mount Rushmore
- Red, white and blue Popsicle melting
Zoetropes aren't the only way to make your own animation. You can create a stop-motion movie using LEGO bricks. Or try a clay animation video. You'll find a kid-friendly clay animation article here.
Here's a classic example of clay animation in action.
If you're interested in doing more STEAM projects at home, you won't want to miss these Family STEAM night ideas.
Patriotic STEAM for Kids
Check out these other great patriotic STEAM ideas for your 4th of July and summer vacation!
Fluffy Patriotic Slime :: Schooling a Monkey
Make an American Flag Using Water Science Experiments :: From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom
Patriotic Animation :: Share It! Science
Film Canister Rocket Fireworks :: Science Kiddo
Home with the kiddos this summer? Check out this awesome new resource to keep them creating, experimenting and tinkering: Camp STEAM!