At The Y, we empower our young people in many ways. School Holiday programmes need to captivate and inspire everyone, from the youngest children to adolescents. Young people need care and support, and to have access to activities that are age appropriate.

Maryke De-Beer, who is tasked to creating the programme each school holidays, actively searches for fun and unique opportunities and activities for our 11-15 year olds as they have specific requirements. “New activities keep them engaged, excited and wanting to return.” This involves a combination of completing market research to find out what is trending, seeking outward inspiration, and asking our programme participants for feedback around programmes and ideas of what they would like to do next.

Maryke’s Stop Motion activity suggestion was universally regarded as a must do, so in the Summer Holiday Programme at The Y Hamilton, our 11-15 year olds learnt the techniques and worked in pairs to create their very own stop motion animated short film.

Stop-motion is an animated filmmaking technique where objects are moved in tiny increments and photographed, then stitched together to look like they’re moving - it’s an incredibly fun and creative way to tell a story.

Participants were responsible for exploring the creative process; from concept and story boarding to production design, filming, and editing. The Y team provided equipment, instructions, and support. With the older age bracket, we like to give them independence, and they couldn’t wait to get started. Something about creating a story and having free reign over the process really hooked them. Not only were they excited about creating a story, but they were eager to get creative with character development, background design, and prop selection. Many of them were eager to explore the iMovie app and fiddle around with filters, settings, and music.

Stop-motion animation encourages participants to express their creativity. They can plan out their projects, develop characters, and construct scenes. This process reinforces important storytelling structures and allows them to communicate their ideas visually. It requires planning and organisation, as well as problem-solving and collaboration. Stop motion encourages lateral thinking and resourcefulness to invent creative solutions. With careful planning and a can-do attitude, our participants were able to confidently and independently craft complex and visually stunning pieces of art. All valuable skills that our participants developed while having epic fun.

Check out some of the creations!

All the teens got an opportunity to write their own movie at first. Everyone then decided on the top four scripts. All four scripts were then combined to create one movie. Ash, one of the Y team members, comments “the participants were engaged for the whole day, which is amazing for this age bracket. 95% of the young people who were booked in for the day participated and worked independently.”

From a programme manager perspective? Maryke believes the activity was a huge success. “Everybody involved was engaged, worked together and were excited to see their final product. It could not have gone better as teenagers are challenging. I already had a request for another Stop Motion Day, with Lego and minifigures requested for the next one. I am currently looking into this and possibly planning it for the July holidays.”