Image: Hugh Threlfall
February 14 2013
If you have arty children and struggle to keep them gainfully occupied for periods of more than 10 minutes, then this complete animation kit – which comes with a high‑definition webcam on a manoeuvrable stalk, animation software and clay – could be a lifesaver.
It’s do-it-yourself Wallace and Gromit, with the added bonus that the fun to be had is open-ended. And given the painstaking nature of animation, it also teaches the priceless virtue of patience. Set junior up with a spare PC or Mac laptop and an old directional table lamp, spend a bit of time showing them the principles of stop animation, and he or she could carry on creating for weeks; there are no exercises to complete or levels to reach.
Of course, even the most understanding of parents could wilt after viewing a certain number of child-made animations, but you’ll just have to accept that as part of the deal. It’s also worth watching the “getting started” YouTube clip on the Hue website with the children before they begin.