Crescent Moon & Star Thaumatrope Tutorial

Today the kiddos and I made this Crescent Moon and Star Thaumatrope, which is a toy that was popular in Victorian times.

A disk or card with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to combine into a single image due to the phi phenomenon and persistence of vision.

Instead of string to cut and measure and untangle, we made our thaumatrope easy with a stick.

Crescent Moon & Star Thaumatrope by A Crafty Arab

This thing turned into a huge hit and they wanted to make more instantly.  As these toys were so easy, the kiddos made more while I took a much needed nap.

If you have a 3 inch circle punch like I do, you can make them tons of the circles ahead of time and let them go at it.  You can substitute straws for our use of the un-sharpened orange pencil above, so this craft can be done on the cheap for birthday parties, or keep a little baggie of circles, straws and pencils for long restaurant waits.

Some silly ideas to try on your thaumatropeis include a lady and her hat, a baby and it’s bottle, a car and it’s driver, etc.

However you adapt this, it’s guaranteed for hours of fun.  At least in our household!

Supplies
2 3inch circles of cardstock.  The thicker the better.
Pencil
Colored pencil, or crayons, or pens, etc
Extra pencil, straw or stick for swirling
Tape

Crescent Moon & Star Thaumatrope by A Crafty Arab

Draw your moon image on one side of the circle.

Crescent Moon & Star Thaumatrope by A Crafty Arab

Study where you placed your moon and draw your star on the second piece of cardstock in a location that it would appear next to the moon when swirled.

Crescent Moon & Star Thaumatrope by A Crafty Arab

Color in your moon and star with your pencil.

Crescent Moon & Star Thaumatrope by A Crafty Arab

Glue down your pencil, straw or stick to one of the circles and then use double sided tape or roll up plain tape to put around this.  Place your second circle on top of the first circle, making sure you study the locations of your images so they line up.

Crescent Moon & Star Thaumatrope by A Crafty Arab

Kids: Twirl, twirl, twirl!  Mothers: Nap, nap, nap! 🙂

Crescent Moon & Star Thaumatrope by A Crafty Arab