tweetkids workshop: thoroughly thaumatroped


Today was…an illusion!

Let’s get thaumatroping, but first let’s just explain what a thaumatrope is. A thaumatrope is a disk with a picture on each side, attached to two pieces of string, or simply placed on a stick. If you hold and twist the strings between your fingers and then pull them to let go, the disk will spin and the two pictures will appear as one moving image.

thaumatrope is a toy that was popular in Victorian times and can roughly be translated as a ‘wonder turner’. Here we are with our modern versions. We worked on a few concepts such as a bird in a cage, a fish in a fishbowl, a cat in a basket, and a leopard in a den.


To make a thaumatrope you need:

  • String (or elastic bands)
  • Scissors
  • A4 piece of card
  • Hole punch
  • Glue
  • Coloured pencils or felt tips


And here’s how to make one:

  • Draw and cut out two circles (coffee cup size)
  • Decide on a animal and its home (e.g. fish in a bowl)
  • Draw and colour the fish on one circle and a bowl on the other circle
  • Glue the back of the two circles to each other so the pictures (the fish and the bowl) are each facing outwards. 
  • Hole punch two sides of the circles so that they are level and in line with the middle of the drawing
  • Attach the elastic bands using the holes, pull them through to fix them in place. 
  • Thaumatrope complete! Hold the elastic bands between your fingers and twist them to wind it up. Then let them unwind quickly and watch the two pictures appear as one moving image!


Well done everyone, we made some lovely illusions to play with!

Erica, Lorenzo, Viola, Giulia, Arianna, Gabriele, and Sara.

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