Make a Thaumatrope with me!

Make a Thaumatrope with me!

And hello to you! How have you been? It's been pretty busy here at Beagle HQ - I've been attempted the 100 Day Project where I've been trying to make a tiny amigurumi a day (I'm seriously behind though so it's likely to be a 'rest of the year project'), plus I've started writing Weird Wild Two as well as having one of my poems from Weird Wild published in Sirens Call Publications Issue 61 (I'm on page 115).

But I've also started working on my YouTube Channel. I've had it for a while and wasn't too sure what to put on there when I realised that it would be fun to make instructional videos for the fun crafts in our craft kits! I've just uploaded the first video, about how to make the Thaumatrope included in our Spring Craft Kit. I really love this craft because it's fun to make, then relaxing to watch.

Thaumtropes are an optical illusion in which your retina 'holds' one image for a fraction of a second and overlays it on the next image as the disk spins back and forth (the scientific term is 'persistence of vision'). They were very popular in the Victorian era but some scholars argue there have been examples dating back to the palaeolithic

Traditional examples of a thaumatrope are a bird and a cage or a horse and rider but our example of a butterfly fits perfectly with our spring theme.

You can watch the video here or keep scrolling for step-by-step instructions.

How to make a thaumatrope

Your thaumatrope kit includes: two printed circles featuring the wings of a butterfly and the butterfly's body and two prices of cotton thread. To complete this craft you will need some colouring pens or pencils and either PVA or stick glue.

Image of a butterfly thaumatrope from G Clark Hellery Design Spring Craft Box

Step One: 

Colour in the 'wings' side of the thaumatrope. You can choose any colour you like, use real butterflies for inspiration or use one colour as I have done. Additionally you can use glitter pens to add details. Colour the background a uniform colour. 


Step Two: 

Now you need to stick your disks together. In order for your thaumatrope to work, it's really important you have the wings in the upright position, but the body upside down. Apply glue to one side then carefully align the holes punched in the sides of the thaumatrope. 

Step Three:

Once the glue has dried, thread the cotton through the holes and tie the ends together.

Step Four:

To activate your thaumatrope, simply roll the cotton thread between your fingers. After a few spins, the disk should gather speed and the butterfly will be created! Congratulations you've made a thaumatrope. Now sit back and watch the butterfly fly!

I hope you've enjoyed my video and making a thaumatrope. Be sure to check back regularly because I'll be making for instructional videos. 

Our craft boxes are stuffed with fun and educational activities. Explore the full range over in my shop.


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