Exploring Optical Illusions with Thaumatropes

Exploring Optical Illusions with Thaumatropes

Help children recreate a popular toy from the 19th century to learn about optical illusions.

Activity Duration

1 Hour

Preparation Time

1 Hour

Estimate Cost of Materials

USD $10

Audience Age

4 – 8


Optical Illusions




In this Activity Kit, children will have the chance to learn about optical illusions by creating one: the thaumatrope. From being a popular toy in the Victorian era, to being the antecedent of 20th century animation films, the thaumatrope is now a fun toy you can help children create themselves.

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This activity kit will require the following resources:

  • Internet access to watch the videos


  1. Watch a video on the history of thaumatropes and the after-image effect.

  2. Watch a video on how thaumatropes contributed to the development of film in the production of Snow White.