Create Your Own Thaumatrope!
Writer: Gayatree Pethe
Illustrator: Manas Bhagwat


Let’s learn how to bring animation to the palm of our hands using the thaumatrope, which when flipped in a rapid circular motion, makes a complete image using two different images!

What you need: 

  • A stiff A4 or smaller cardboard sheet
  • A pair of scissors
  • Crayons or sketch pens
  • Paper
  • Glue
  • A two hole puncher
  • Two rubber bands or strong strings/yarn

What to do:

  1. Take the stiff cardboard sheet and cut it into a circle. A small circular cardboard will also work.
  2. Now take some paper and cut out two identical circles. The paper circles should be of the same size as the cardboard circle.
  3. Next, draw on the paper using crayons or sketch pens. You may draw anything you like. Draw one part of the drawing on one circle and another part on the other circle. For example, if you want to show a cat in a house, draw a cat on one and the shape of a house on the other.
  4. Once your drawings are complete, put glue on the back of both the paper circles. Now stick them very carefully on either side of the cardboard circle. Each drawing has to be upside down with respect to the other.
  5. Then, take the two hole puncher and punch one hole on either side of the circle.
  6. Lastly, put one end of a rubber band through each circle’s hole and put it through the other end of the rubber band so that it makes a knot as done above. If you feel this is difficult, you may use a strong string or yarn.

Your thaumatrope is ready! To play with it, hold one end of the rubber band in each hand and tell someone to wind up the rubber bands or strings tightly. Then pull the ends of the rubber bands quickly so the thaumatrope spins in a circular motion and forms an image when the circle is moving. Enjoy!

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