WATCH: DIY Optical Flip Toy

Paper Thaumatropes (Kid-Friendly!)


Heavier-weight cardstock paper

Regular copy-weight paper (like construction paper)

String or twine



Glue stick

1.Cut a circle out of the heavier-weight cardstock paper. The paper circle/disk used in the video measured approximately 5 ½” in diameter.

2.Decide on a two-part image to appear on the two sides of your paper circle/disk. The image could be drawn directly onto the disk or cut out of contrasting color paper and adhered with glue stick. In the video, the first part of the image (the hand) was cut out of the regular copy-weight paper and adhered it with glue stick to one side of the disk and then the disk was flipped over VERTICALLY and the second art of the image (the heart) was glued to the other side.

3.Using a paper punch, punch two holes into the paper disk – one on either side of the image.

4.Cut two equal length pieces of string or twine. Take one piece of string and thread it through one of the punched holes and tie together. Repeat this action with the second pieces of string and the opposite punched hole.

5.To play with your thaumatrope hold one piece of string in either hand. Flip the disk around several times to wind it up tightly and then pull string firmly – this will cause the disk to spin quickly in the opposite direction. This action will cause your eyes to combine the images on either side of the disk and seem them as one!