If the young artists in your life love movies, chances are they’ll love flip books. These books are rest on the foundations of old-school animation, made up simply of sheets of paper whose images appear to move when their pages are riffled at a steady pace. Due to their simplicity, making a flip book is a great activity for creative kids that encourages them to explore their drawing, narrative, and construction skills. Plus, their small size makes them perfect for small hands. For convenience, purchase a flip book kit, which comes with pre-sized paper and other materials to make a memorable piece of animated art.
1. IttyBitty Flip Book Kit
This kit comes with materials needed to draw and assemble flip books using a little help from technology. You get 480 sheets of A5 paper, each featuring pre-punched holes so you can assemble them with posts—you get four dozen of those, too. Also included are six pencils in different grades and two sharpeners. But the highlight is the slim light pad, which comes with three brightness settings. Kids can use this to trace designs while incrementally changing details as they move from page to page. The paper is thin enough to see through when illuminated yet thick enough to prevent bleed when used with wetter media. Perhaps most important, stacks of these sheets are easy to flip through.
2. Lomida Blank Flip Books
If your young artist doesn’t need an illuminated drawing surface, encourage him or her to draw freely with this no-frills option. It comes with six blank flip books, each with enough pages to fill 90 story frames. The brown covers are sturdy and invite their own customization; the sheets are thick so you can use them with markers, paint, and ink. Get started with the included tin of pencils, which feature a dozen grades for creative sketching.
3. Fliptomania Flip Book Animation Kit
Sometimes creativity needs a little prompting. This kit comes with two pre-drawn flip books. Kids get to color in the images, assemble the pages (which are pre-numbered), and use the bulldog clips (included) to hold it all together. When they’re ready to embark on their own narrative journey, a third flip book with empty panels awaits. Fliptomania sells a wide range of these to appeal to different interests, with sets featuring a butterfly and a frog, a rocket and a robot, and a pair of dinosaurs.
4. Andymation’s Flip Book Kit
Similar to our top pick, this kit comes with drawing material and a LED light pad. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a slightly nicer and smartly designed option. Sold by Andy Bailey, a YouTube personality famous for his flip books, the papers are acid free, have a luxuriously smooth texture, and come in two sizes; they’re also pre-punched to accommodate binding screws (included, in two sizes, with an attractive gold finish). The light pad offers two levels of brightness and features pegs that hold paper in place for drawing, which helps to improve consistency across the book.
5. FlipBooKit Maker Kit
In a twist on the format, this crafty kit makes a hand-cranked animation machine that plays your flipbook in a loop. Draw on the provided cards or use the linked website to turn any video into printable frames. Each frame is divided horizontally, so be mindful of the image you choose (a centered face can end up looking funky).