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Extract from Hand in Hand • By Jenny Doh • Published by Lark Crafts


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10 mins

Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids
The thaumatrope has been around in my household since I was a child, though, as one of the earliest motion toys, the thaumatrope can be traced back to 1826. This simple toy consists of two images on opposite sides of a card; the images seem to merge when the card is twirled. This is a quick and simple project that can be made with materials you already have at home. It is extremely adaptable, as it allows instant gratification for younger children, while allowing older children to make the project more challenging. If you like, it can be a great way to incorporate math skills and introduce some basic principles behind early animation.

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© 2022 Jenny Doh / Lark Crafts · Reproduced with permission.
  • How to make a plushie toy. Thaumatrope - Step 1
    Step 1

    Trace two circles onto thick paper using a drinking glass.

  • How to make a plushie toy. Thaumatrope - Step 2
    Step 2

    Draw part of an image on one circle, and then draw the remainder on the other circle. Here
    are a few ideas that have been a big hit in our house:
    • Side 1: a bird; Side 2: a birdcage • Side 1: a fish; Side 2: a fishbowl
    • Side 1: grass; Side 2: a tree
    • Side 1: a bee; Side 2: a beehive
    • Side 1: a football player reaching
    up; Side 2: a football

  • How to make a plushie toy. Thaumatrope - Step 3
    Step 3

    Cut out the circles.

  • How to make a plushie toy. Thaumatrope - Step 4
    Step 4

    Lay the circles back to back, and then open them up to tape the stick in between. Roll up a couple pieces of tape to stick the circles together.

  • How to make a plushie toy. Thaumatrope - Step 5
    Step 5

    Place the stick between both hands and rub back and forth to spin the thaumatrope.

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