9 Best Stop Motion Animation Kits
Inspire Creative (and Tech-Minded) Kids!
Our favorite stop motion kits for kids are:
- Zu3D Animation Kit
- StikBot Studio
- OgoBild Animate It
- Hue Animation Studio
- Stopmotion Explosion
- MineCraft Stop-Motion Movie Creator
What is stop motion animation?
Animation is the creation of a sequence of images (which can be drawn, painted, made of clay or cut out pieces of paper, generated by a computer, and much more), which move quickly from one to the next, creating the illusion of motion. It’s not a new concept – in fact, humans depicted motion in static art as early as the paleolithic period (that’s 2.6 million years ago – the Stone Age!)
However, a rudimentary form of stop-motion animation hit it’s stride in the 19th century, when various devices were invented to depict motion in animated images by flipping between still images quickly. These devices include the magic lantern (a precursor to the the modern day projector), the thaumatrope (a basic toy that alternated two images when attached strings are quickly twirled between the fingers, which gained popularity during the 19th century), a phenakistoscope (spinning disk with a series of images), and more.
Best film-making toys for kids
Looking for animation toys for kids? Depending on the skill level of the user, stop-motion animations can range from relatively rudimentary to extremely complex. But, at their simplest, movie making kits for kids are an easy way for children as young as 6 to get their feet wet with film-making. Younger kids will find that stop-motion is a good starting block for making their own movies because they can pause in between each photo, go at their own pace, make movies as long or as short as they want, and incorporate their own toys (and themselves!) into the film.
Because stop-motion lacks many of the frustrations of other types of movie-making toys, parents will find it a way to encourage young directors without early disappointment which can derail their confidence. As a result, we name stop-motion animation kits for kids as one of the best way to nurture the creativity of a budding film-maker .
9 best stop motion animation kits for kids
#9 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
Zu3D Animation KitZu3D is used in thousands of schools in the UK and is becoming popular across the world. Zu3D bundles all of the components you need (animation handbook, mini set, green screen and modeling clay!) to create amazing animations, including fully featured Zu3D software compatible with PC, Mac OSX and iPads and two everlasting licenses with absolutely no ongoing costs.
Pros: The included high quality webcam & mic is mounted on a sturdy and adjustable stand, and the mini animation set and green screen fabric make editing a breeze. The software makes it simple to playback your film at any time, speed up and slow down your film, and copy, edit, move & delete frames.
Cons: 512MB RAM and 350MB disk space required, so just make sure you have enough for the minimum specs ahead of time.
#8 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
Phone stand, free app download, and StikBots (posable robot characters) make for an easy introduction to basic stop-motion animation principles. Suction cups on the hands and feet of the Stikbot means that it can stand on it’s own while you capture the image, and the limbs and head snap into place for easy action.
Works with: free mobile app
We recommend for: Ages 6-10
Pros: The mobile app is dead-simple to use, encouraging even very young kids to make seemingly magical stop motion animations. It is easy to upload directly to social media, and consequently, there is a robust community following and sharing each others animations.
Cons: Because there are a set number of poses that the StikBot can do, there are limitations to the action that kids can create in their stop motion animations. However, there are add-on packs with animal StikBots, props, costumes, and more which add additional possibilities (and, as they are likely to include their own toys in the fun, this may not be so much of an issue).
#7 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
This stop-motion animation kit for kids is bundled with 100 OgoBild abstract construction pieces, a webcam, and Kudlian stop-motion animation software (from the creators of Wallace and Gromet!) The manual gives a short-but-sweet overview of stop motion animation that is great for most somewhat-savvy users.
Works with: Mac and PC
We recommend for: Ages 8-10
Pros: A wide variety of stop motion construction attachments and pieces means that there is almost no limit to the characters, vehicles, and types of actions that kids can animate. Also, since the stop motion camera is included, it’s truly a one-stop animation stop, making it a great birthday or holiday gift. There is an easy upload-to-YouTube feature, meaning kids can easily share the videos they make. While there is no mobile app, the webcam allows you to do steadier shots, more interested angles, and provides greater flexibility.
Cons: The software does not allow you to add sounds or music (although you can easily add royalty-free YouTube soundtracks), and does not have green-screen capability without an upgrade through Kudlian. The software, although easy and adequately featured, is desktop only.
#6 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
Hue is considered one of the top education stop-motion animation kits and has been downloaded over 100,000 times for use in hundreds of makerspaces, homeschools, and classrooms with STEAM activities.
Works with: Mac and PC
We recommend for: Ages 8-12
Pros: Because this is considered an educational stop motion animation kit, it is one of the most robust and highly feature intensive software, and the highest quality stop motion camera. Onion skinning, time-lapse, and green screening (Chroma Key) are some notable features. The 60-page full color instructional manual will give kids a solid understanding of the principles of stop motion animation, some good techniques, and a solid idea of where to begin.
Cons: It does not come with anything to animate, meaning bring-your-own-toys; which may or may not be a good thing, after all. Manufacturers suggest using LEGOs, modelling clay, paper or any other toys you have around the house. The biggest complaints for this stop motion animation toy center around the installation process and customer support.
#5 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
If your child is graduating from the beginner stop motion animation kits and is looking for the next challenge, Stopmotion Explosion is the kit for them. If you want to get super fancy with your animations effects (like turning sticks into lightsabers and adding fuel trails to rocket launches). The included 290 page instruction manual provides lots of tips and guides for creating more complex animations.
Works with: Mac and PC
We recommend for: Ages 10-12
Pros: The robust software makes it relatively simple to make stop motion explosions, gunfire, laser blasters, lightsabers and rocket-launch effects, as well as add voices, sound effects and music. The included 720p HD video camera has an internal microphone, manual focus, and clip.
Cons: The software can be somewhat challenging to learn, and is recommended for experienced animators, not beginners.
#4 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
If your kids love playing minecraft, this stop-motion animation kit helps them bring their characters to life. Included game-authentic figures and accessories are great for animation, the movie stage and background look just like the game graphics.
Works with: free mobile app
We recommend for: Ages 6-8
Pros: Software works on a tablet or phone, and some Kindles.
Cons: The app has been reported to have occasional glitches that can cause errors with the film, which can be a bit frustrating for young film-makers.
#3 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
A greats entry level stop-motion animation kit for kids that includes a blue/green screen for easy background editing, easy addition of sound effects and voice, and included background music.
Works with: PC
We recommend for: Ages 6-9
Pros: Extremely easy editing interface is appealing to younger or beginner users, but has optional advanced features for more savvy animators (for example, if you want to make something look like it’s flying, check out the String Removal feature and you’ll be amazed at how lifelike it is!) A stop motion animation toy that truly grows with your child.
Cons: No Mac compatibility
#2 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
Non-toxic, non-hardening clay is great for beginner hands to learn claymation (stop-motion animation with clay), and many included sculpting tools help kids make their character exactly as they want. The simple interface makes it a great intro to movie making for kids.
We recommend for: Ages 6-9
Pros: Clay is an easy introduction to stop-motion because it is infinitely pose-able, simple to move and change, and holds it’s position.
Cons: Clay colors combine and rub off on one another, making it difficult to animate multicolored objects. Does not come with stop-motion software, you must use another program on this list for that.
#1 Best Stop Motion Animation Kit for kids
An extremely basic animation maker for kids. Kids are able to develop custom animated videos with coloring book characters that they actually draw. Tracking markers recognize different poses of the mannequin, so that the character they color matches the motion of the mannequin on the screen. This means that the background and the kids are removed from the final animation.
Works with: iPad
We recommend for: Ages 5-8
Pros: Kids are delighted to see their own drawing rise up to life and take action.
Cons: Although it’s not technically stop-motion, but it gives younger kids an encouraging basis for learning the principles of animation.
Thank you for reading about the best movie makers for kids! All of these stop-motion animation kits for kids are great gifts for filmmakers, and encourage your child to explore their creativity while learning the techniques of movie making. Stop motion animation kits for kids encourages the development of story-telling skills, comfort with tech, collaborative creativity, basics of film-making principles, and most of all, imagination! With the right stop motion animation kit, kids are able to generate amazing animations and interesting stop-motion shorts in only a few minutes. But, older and more advanced users can also get a lot of benefit from a complete animation studio kit with the right stop motion camera. Inspire the budding director in your life with these filmmaker gifts for kids!