Animation in Early Years

We’ve put together some ideas to help incorporate stop motion animation into lesson plans for reception classes.

Communication, Language and Literacy

  • Animate a nursery rhyme, song or part of a story
  • Animate the letters in their name whilst saying the sounds out loud
  • Explore and experiment with sounds, words and texts
  • Retell narratives in the correct sequence, drawing on language patterns of stories
  • Use talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking and ideas
  • Use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences
  • Listen with enjoyment and respond to stories, songs and other music, rhymes and poems and make up their own stories, songs, rhymes and poems
  • Speak clearly and audibly with confidence and control and show awareness of the listener

Creative Development

  • Express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings by using a widening range of materials – including animation
  • Match movement in animation to music
  • Explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two or three dimensions – creating models, props, scenery for use in animated films
  • Use their imagination in art and design, music, dance, imaginative and role-play and stories – all of these aspects can be used in the planning and creating of an animated film

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

  • Say and use number names in order in familiar contexts
  • Animate number songs
  • Make counting animations
  • Use language such as ‘greater’, ‘smaller’, ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’ to compare quantities

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

  • Create an animation to show how an animal moves
  • Make an animation to show understanding of different forms of transport
  • Make an animation showing a simple life cycle
  • Make a weather symbol animation to a weather song or rhyme
  • Find out about and identify the uses of everyday technology and use information communication technology and programmable toys to support their learning

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Work as part of a group or class, taking turns and sharing fairly
  • Be confident to try new activities, initiate ideas and speak in a familiar group
  • Make an animation to show good manners, sharing or other social story
  • Use animation to explore different points of view

Physical Development

  • Handle tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control

Animation in Primary Education

Stop motion animation is a fascinating learning tool in all K12 classrooms and especially through Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.


  • Planning stories
  • Developing understanding of narrative structure
  • Animated stories
  • Story telling
  • Animated poems
  • Develop speaking and listening skills
  • Hotseat / Interview an animated character
  • Create an animated Wanted Poster
  • Animated instructions or explanations
  • Animate onomatopoeic words
  • Create an animated alphabet
  • Demonstrate what a sentence is through animated words and punctuation
  • Animate a blurb for a book – persuasive writing
  • Create a film trailer – persuasive writing
  • Making adverts – persuasive writing
  • Illustrating spelling rules
  • Create moving characters that can be used as a stimulus for a poem or play


  • Demonstrate fractions
  • Bonds to 10 / 20
  • Animated times tables rap
  • Explain division
  • Doubling and halving
  • Looking at 2D and 3D shapes


  • Animate a life cycle (i.e. seed germination)
  • Animation of earth, moon and sun
  • Animate what happens in an electric circuit
  • Illustrate vibrations producing sound
  • Explain states of matter


  • Illustrate the water cycle
  • Make an animated weather map
  • Show a route on a map


  • Crossing the road safely
  • Bullying scenarios
  • Fire safety advert
  • Electrical safety
  • Illustrate dangers of drugs and alcohol
  • How to care for your pet – animated instructions
  • Develop team work and cooperation


  • Animate a Bible story or prayer
  • Animate a hymn
  • Animate a story from a festival
  • Show how a Muslim prays through an animated character


  • Recreate past events – moon landing
  • Interview famous people from the past
  • Illustrate characters and situations – Victorian children
  • Show contrasts – rich and poor in Victorian times


  • Illustrate the rules of a game
  • Make an advert about playing fair
  • How to jump and land safely
  • How to kick a ball
  • How to hold a tennis racket / cricket ball


  • Record a composition to accompany your animation
  • Add sound effects
  • Choose appropriate music from a collection to enhance your film


  • Experiment with different ways of creating the set for your animations
  • Make props for your set