If you want a really quick and easy Halloween pumpkin craft that you can make with kids of all ages, then look no further! A thaumotrope is an optical toy that was invented hundreds of years ago consisting of a disc with a design on each side. When you spin the disc, it gives the illusion that the images on both sides blend into one.
My Earth Day Thaumotrope and St Patrick’s Day Thaumotrope have been very popular, so here’s a special Halloween version where you can see the Jack-o-lantern’s face appear on the pumpkin!
I’ve included a FREE template for the thaumotrope; you can find the download box at the end of the tutorial. In order to save paper, there two copies per page. There are two face designs to choose from, and I’ve also included a blank disc if you want kids to draw their own spooky faces for the jack-o-lantern!
- A sheet of white cardstock
- Coloured pens, pencils or crayons
- Sticky tape or masking tape
- Wooden kebab stick
How to make the Halloween Pumpkin Craft Thaumotrope:
- Download the free template (see the download box at the end of the tutorial) and print the thaumotrope onto white cardstock. There are two designs to choose, and two copies of the thaumotrope per page, so one sheet will do for two kids.
- Colour in the pumpkin.
3. Cut out the discs. Use some sticky tape to fix a wooden kebab stick to the reverse of the pumpkin disc. Make sure you fix the stick so that the design is straight when you hold it up – very young kids will need help with this.
It’s a good idea to use masking tape, as you can peel it off and re-stick it easily. You could also use a pen to mark a little dot on the bottom of the disc, which will help kids see where to fix the stick.
4. Put some glue on the back of the jack-o-lantern’s face disc and stick it to the pumpkin one so that you sandwich the kebab stick between the two. Make sure to stick it on straight – again, young kids will need some help with this.
5. The thaumotrope is finished! Hold the stick between the palms of your hands and rub them backwards and forwards to make it twirl. Watch the jack-o-lantern’s face appear on the pumpkin!
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This is a free printable, but please read our FAQ for full info about how you can use our materials.
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