Summer Brain Games

Experiment: Flipping for Fun

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Instrucciones en Español


Flip book* 
Markers, pen or pencil
*  Make a flip book by cutting squares of plain paper and stapling them together on one side


  1. Flip through the pages of the flip book with your thumb to get used to flipping through it.
  2. You will use your flip book to draw pictures that gradually change from one page to the next. When you flip through the pages quickly, the pictures will look animated. 
  3. Start on the last page of your flip book. This will be your first drawing.  
  4. Draw your first image near the bottom right of your flip book. If you draw too close to the inside or spine of your book, you won’t be able to see your pictures easily. 
  5. If this is your first flip book, keep your images simple and small. Some examples are raindrops, a bouncing ball or circles. Use your imagination!
  6. Draw the next image on the second page from the back, the page on top of the bottom page. Draw what you drew on the first page but change where you put it a little bit.
  7. Continue drawing pages on top of the other pages. Change where you put each image just a bit from where you drew the one before it. This way, they don’t jump across the page or suddenly move out of order.

What’s Happening?  

A flip book is a sketchbook with several images that gradually change from one page to the next. When you flip the pages quickly, images appear animated. You are seeing what is called apparent motion. This is when the brain creates a sense of motion between images that are not really moving. Our brains can fill in the blanks between images if the distance between two images is not too large and if there is a short time between seeing one image and the next. 

Begin to think about how our eyes communicate distance, size, and depth to our brains and how that is in turn understood by the brain. Our brains are amazing!