Introducing Stop Motion to Young Kids with Felt Board App
This year I tried twice to introduce my Kindergarten kids to stop motion and both times it was a big fail. I have seen other K classes complete stop motion videos with great success so I know it can be done with younger kids but for some reason it didn’t work for us (blame the teacher.) Since I am always looking for unique ways for my kids to tell stories I refused to give up on the idea. After reflecting on our process I came to the conclusion that manipulating the figures and the concept that small movements translate into a movie was a little much for them so I started trying to find a way to make the process more basic. The idea I came up with was using felt board since my class becomes so familiar with the app by using it to create scenes all year (see here and here.) The process is below and the final product video is at the bottom of the page.
The first step is making the opening scene with the felt board app. Then they move the characters slightly and take a picture using the camera icon that is provided by the app. That image is saved to the camera roll and the process is repeated until they have enough images for a movie. In this example there are about 30 images that make up the movie. From this point on I think the teacher would need to be involved to complete the process for the youngest kids but maybe after helping a few times they could do most of the process.
The next step is importing those images into iMovie. We made sure there was no transition (set to 0 seconds) in-between each image and change the time for each image to one second. This is something you could play with depending on how many images you have and how much they moved the characters to make sure the movie looks somewhat smooth. One second seemed to work best for us.
Adding the audio to the movie is the next step. (If you don’t want any sound in the movie you are done at this point) Here is how I added audio and it worked really well. First I exported the movie to my camera roll so the kids could watch the movie and practice the words they wanted to say. After they had their story planned and had practiced we were ready to record the audio. I used the free app Audio Memos to record the audio and then email the audio file after recording. All I did was open the Audio Memos app on my phone and recorded the audio as the kids watched the movie from their iPad. The paid version (0.99) has many more features for uploading but for my purpose the free version worked fine.
Once I had the audio file I added it to our iTunes account and we were able to drop the audio into iMovie. Since we played the actual video while the kids were recording their story the audio file matches up exactly to the movie. I then exported the movie one more time and we had the final product below.