Animation Software for Children (4-16 years old)

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I am an engineer and I know the benefits of technology. But excessive use of it is not good.

When my son was small, I tried to control his media time (TV, mobile, computer). I have already written about my struggles in controlling the screen time in the blog post – Is your child addicted to cell phone . Right now, I am using a parent control app called Mobicip . I mainly use it to block inappropriate content and screen time (during exams).

But controlling screen time mostly ends up in arguments and fights. So I encourage my son to learn new skills using computer. Animation is one of them. Please note that I never taught him animation. He learnt on his own (he is yet to master it).

I usually introduce him to new skills and provide him means to learn it (ex: books, software, tutorials). If he likes it he continues to learn on his own ( now he is into game development).

Learning animation has following steps

  1. Learning drawing
  2. Learning animation principles
  3. Learning animation software

About drawing and animation principles, I have written in my previous post – How your child can learn animation- easy way. Do check it out.

Selection of animation software depends on animation technique/type that we want.

Animation types

  • Hand drawn animation (2D, pixel animation)
  • Vector animation (2D)
  • 3D animation
  • Motion graphics
  • Cut out animation

These techniques can be combined and several different styles of animations can be developed.

As beginners’ children can try either hand drawn animation or vector animation. They can start from 2d animation and slowly move into 3D.

Animation Software

Stykz (Age 5+)

Free

Compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux 

This software is very simple and easy to use (my son had it in school computer).Using this my son did below animation (he was 7 years old then).

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As name suggests everything in stykz is done using ‘sticks’. So, it is best for beginners. It can also generate very good animations like this.

My son liked this but soon lost interest because it lacks drawing features.

Download Stykz

Learn Stykz

Pencil2D (Age 7+)

Free

Compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux 

Pencil is a 2D drawing software which has very good drawing and animating abilities. Check this animation.

Download Pencil2D

Learn Pencil2D

Drawing using mouse is difficult especially for tiny hands. Tablets or touch screens are best for children.

FlipaClip (Age 4+)

Freemium

Android and iTunes. 

My son is in love with this software. This software can be downloaded into smartphone and works very well with touch.

This animation my son did yesterday (11 years old now).

IKnowITMOM, animation, flipaclip, children, how children can learn animation

Download FlipaClip from Googe Playstore

Download FlipaClip from iTunes

Advance Animation Software (Age 10+)

Moho  (Age 10+)

Paid

Compatible with Windows, Mac OS X

Moho is powerful 2D animation software. I have professional version of this software and my son learnt with me (he used to sit next to me when I was learning it). He started using this software when he was 8 years old but it takes time and effort to learn all the possibilities of this software.

Learn Moho

Download Moho

Blender (Age 11+)

Free

Compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Blender is a world itself. It is a huge software which has everything that one needs to make cinema quality animations. It is a open source 3D software but also has great 2D animation abilities. Watch a blender movie.

Learn Blender

Download Blender

There are several animation software and above are few which my son tried. Though most software comes with their own tutorials, for more structured tutorials Udemy is best.

Hope this helps.

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Chetana S

Chetana S

Chetana is an animator, story teller, entrepreneur and engineer who has worked in technology domains with international clients. She is certified in psychology from Yale University and also a certified story teller from Kathalaya. She had immense success in combining psychology with story telling.

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