Celebrate the Fourth of July by creating your own optical illusion of fireworks blasting in the night sky! A thaumatrope is a toy that was popular in the 19th century. It is a disc that has two images on each side. When the images are rapidly switched back and forth, a mini animation is created! Popular thaumatrope designs include a bird and a cage, a tree and leaves, and a fish and a bowl.
You can make your own fireworks/Fourth of July–themed thaumatrope or create the one featured above.
What you need:
Firework disc printable
2 rubber bands
Print out the firework printable, cut out the discs and glue them together back to back. Next, hole-punch the sides of the disc. Then cut your rubber bands to create two long “strings.” Attach your rubber band strings to each side (one through each hole on the disc). Now spin your disc as fast as you can by twirling the rubber band strings with your fingers!
Erin Bittman is a designer turned teacher. Check out her blog E Is for Explore!