A lot of us send our kids to school in the (false) hopes that they will learn skills and develop characteristics that will help them for the rest of their life. But somewhere in the middle of this process, we find out that school is only going to teach them a handful of basic skills (if they can be called skills at all) and the rest of the burden falls on the parents. Now we’re not going to start a debate about what the schools should or should not be doing. What we’re going to do instead is talk about how parents can play a more positive role in their kids’ lives. With the condition at schools, nowadays, it falls on the parents to expose their children to a host of interesting and new things. Homeschooling parents are known to take a more active approach in their child’s education, but it’s not something that’s exclusive. Whether you’re a homeschooler parent or not, you can do it too.
Teaching your kids animation can not only broaden your child’s horizon but also develop his artistic, social, and creative skills. It can also teach them the life skills that they are going to require to go through life.
Animation is an exciting thing for everyone. Whether it’s a child or an adult, we all like animated movies. They bring out the child in everyone. Getting your child involved in animation will not only engage them physically but also mentally. You will soon see that your child is now invested in the project. After watching so many animated movies, making them is the natural next step for the child.
Animation is not a one-man-show. It involves taking ideas from one persona and then a team or even a group of people trying to figure out how to break that idea down into visual data so that others can easily comprehend it.
Young children usually possess the tools required to communicate what they’re feeling to others properly. You always see children throwing tantrums, getting angry at their parents, throwing things, or breaking stuff because they don’t know how else to express themselves. Teaching them animation will not only help your child with his conversation skills and etiquettes but also give him different ways to express his ideas and feelings in fun and positive ways.
Young adults have a lot of ways in which they try to express themselves artistically. It could be music, art, acting, writing, or any other activity but these activities might not work for young children or they might but not on your child. The child might start believing that he is not talented enough or doesn’t have what it takes. Give them something different to try. They might find it easier.
Animation ensures that kids focus on a lot of things that they wouldn’t have even thought of. Animation forces them to think about material limitations, differentiating between multiple visual effects, getting the set ready in your budget, plan ahead, re-think, re-evaluate their strategies and so much more. Animation requires thorough planning and can greatly improve their problem solving and analytical skills. If your child is not taking an interest in math, teach him animation instead. He will start taking interest in not only math but also physics.
Like we said earlier, animation is a group project. It gives the children a chance to work in pairs or in groups, divide tasks, communicate, give feedback, support each other, offer insights, and take criticism in a positive way. Animation teaches kids collaboration and teamwork better than any other activity can.
It also teaches them about leadership. Taking charge of the project or the part of the project that you’re entrusted with. Delegating tasks to others, taking feedback about those tasks and managing a group of people.
Video animation gives your child exposure to presentation skills and the technical skills necessary to make and then present their videos to the world. These include skills like editing shots, setting up the camera, working on different softwares, etc. In the world of youtube, instagram, and facebook live, these skills can immensely help prepare your kids so that they won’t be washed away with the current when they finally enter the digital world.
HOW TO START
When the topic of animation comes up, most people immediately think about Maya or some other software and the difficulties kids might have with them. But your child’s animation experience doesn’t have to be that hard. Start them off slow with hand-drawn cartoons and stop-motion works. Not only will it teach them valuable skills but also help you spend some quality time with your child and strengthen the parent-child bond. And to top that off, it’ll be something that you and your kids can proudly show off to family, friends, and even on social media.
THE PAPER AND THE PENCIL
Drawing is mandatory for any kind of animation. Whether it’s old school, with a sheaf of paper and some pencils, crayons, or colors, or its modern – with a stylus and a tablet. But as a starting tool, we would recommend going old school and handing your child a pencil, some colors, and a big batch of blank papers.
We’ve all been there, with the projects that we started with our children left halfway because the child lost interest in them. Be ready to share multiple ways of animation with the child as he may not be ready to delve into the way you want him to. Let him make his own way through the jungle and the interest and the challenge might help catapult him into developing a lifelong love for animation.
MAKE A FLIPBOOK
Flipbooks are just as interesting and amusing now as they were in the good old days. Nothing beats the fun of developing a flipbook.
STOP MOTION PROJECTS
These are the best way to introduce children to the basics of animation. It’s cheap and doesn’t need a lot of preparation.
Animated video productions like these are perfect for teaching the concept of animation to the young ones. They’re fun, cheap, and easy to work with. If all this works out, maybe you’ll be breaking out the clay models next. And who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be the one talking about your kid’s own video animation company and how they are working on Fast and the Furious 38 or something.