Here’s a really easy St Patrick’s Day craft you can do with kids of all ages! It’s an optical toy called a thaumotrope, which was invented hundreds of years ago and consists 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 proved to be very popular, so I decided to make this St Patrick’s Day version with a pot of gold that magically appears at the end of the rainbow!
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. I’ve also included a blank disc if you want kids to experiment with their own design – instead of a pot of gold they could draw a shamrock, a horseshoe or a leprechaun!
- A sheet of white cardstock
- Coloured pens, pencils or crayons
- Sticky tape or masking tape
- Wooden kebab stick
How to make the St Patrick’s Day 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 copies per page, so one page will do for two kids.
- Colour in two discs – one rainbow and one pot of gold.
3. Cut out the discs. Use some sticky tape to fix a wooden kebab stick to the reverse of the pot of gold 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 rainbow disc and stick it to the pot of gold 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 pot of gold appear at the end of the rainbow!
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