Curriculum Animation
Getting started: developing drawing skills and techniques related to animation
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Starting animation

The difference between children drawing a single picture and drawing a sequence for animation is that animation requires many drawings that are repeated with slight changes.

Animation drawings are usually simple shapes like a face, and the changes are usually small, such as altering the mouth shape, or making the eyes move. That is, animated drawings are easy to create, and the repetitive nature of changing the drawings quickly builds up the child's drawing skill.

Anyone who has watched a child colouring in a painting book will notice that the child rarely finishes colouring the picture. This is because they lose concentration quickly. The child will start painting the largest areas, but as the areas get smaller and the chance of over-painting more likely, the job requires more concentration. Yet give a child a pile of simple drawings to colour in, and they will usually finish them. The repetitive nature of the job means that it quickly becomes an automatic action. Animation at this level is well suited to children who have a low level of attention.

Depending on the age of the children, and the child's level of concentration, you can go through the following stages:


Use short sequences of animated drawings, such as those in a roller or flipbook, that have already been printed and just need colouring in.

Making a roller


Use a sequence of ready-made drawings that need to be traced over before being coloured.


Use a sequence of drawings that have a part missing. For example, a dog with a missing tail. The tail has to be added in the up and down positions. The dog is then coloured in.


An outline of a face with the features missing. These have to be added to the sequence and coloured.

Face outlines

As children become familiar with the idea of the sequence they can have more input at each stage. It takes a very short time for children to create complete drawings and animate them.

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