Animation is defined as the technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the movie is shown as a sequence.
I took the bold step to teach my kids about animations and how they can create their own animations. I started with cutting multiple sheets of paper into small pieces and drawing the animation sequence on the cutouts. The animation sequence can be anything you want and is only limited by your imagination … and drawing skills.
I decided to implement a sequence where an apple is falling of from a tree. The complete sequence comprises of 12-15 drawings. After drawing the sequence I stapled the paper together to make it like a small scrapbook. Finally, I initialize the animation sequence by quickly going through the scrapbook using my thumb.
My son was amazed and delighted by watching the apple falling to the ground. My daughter was not much impressed and continued working on her scrapbook.
My daughters scrapbook. I don’t think at this point she understands how animations works but she was able to draw a complete story about prince and cinderella.
Animations is surely a difficult concept to grasp for young kids and I will surely have to revisit this lesson again in the future.
I am back with another lesson! This time I introduced my kids to the concepts of loops and repeats. I started with drawing monsters on the paper but quickly realized that monsters should not be part of the scenery but a separate cutouts. The separate cutouts gave me the flexibility to add more monsters on the same scenery.
I also made small cutouts for “JUMP” and few numbers which indicated how many time the hero/princess will jump. After that I handed a piece of paper to my kids and asked them to draw any scenery they want. Since, I told them that I have already created some monsters they were more inclined towards creating a scary cave.
The black background is colored by my talented young kids and it represents a cave. The princess is trapped in the cave and she needs to get to the blue diamond. Unfortunately, the 3 monsters are in her way. The only way to get to the diamond is that if she jumps 3 times. Luckily for us we have the JUMP instructions along with the number of times she needs to jump.
I asked my kids to place the instruction and the number of times the princess has to jump the monsters on the sheet. At this point the monsters cutout came in real handy as now I can easily increase the number of monsters in the cave.
Loops and repeating instructions is a complicated topic for kids and definitely needs more lessons to paint the clear picture. In the next lesson I will introduce the concept of looping scope. Stay tuned and happy programming!
A computer itself is a pretty dumb machine! It is not capable of doing anything by itself. Fortunately, computer is really good at following instructions. Instructions is the core concept of developing software. We issue instructions to the computer and the character on the screen jumps. A different set of instructions can make a fairy fly or turn a frog into a prince or even shoot a fireball at the mean dragon.
I started with a story about a princess who wanted to go on an adventure. The paper cutout princess started on a beautiful scenery that I created and which my kids colored using crayons. Unfortunately, the princess came across fire which blocked her from moving forward.
If only we have some way of telling the princess to jump, we can pass the fire!
Luckily, this lesson is about instructions and we can consult our instruction set. The instruction set is made up of two small cutouts which simply say “JUMP“. You can have as many instructions in your instruction set as you want. In most scenarios your story will dictate the instruction set. In my scenario the only instructions I need is a set of jumps.
I asked my kids to place the jump instructions where they wanted the princess to jump and they quickly placed the jump on top of the fire. Then they moved the princess forward and as per the instruction jumped on top of the fire. The princess was unharmed and continued on her quest.
The blue line in the above picture was done by my son (3). I decided to keep it original and leave the line there!
You can even join multiple scenes to create a much bigger story and an extended instruction set as shown below:
As you can see above I have joined two scenes together and added “CLIMB” to the instruction set.
My daughter has the freedom to color the tree anyway she wants so she choose not green color.
My kids in action drawing and coloring the scenes!
I really had fun teaching the basics of instructions to my kids and also the implications of the instructions. Now, I have an assignment for all you parents. Follow the above lesson and create your scenes and instruction set. You can then Tweet your work to @WeAreBinaryKids. Also you can send me an email at WeAreBinaryKids@gmail.com and I will be more than happy to share your awesome work with the rest of the community.
Welcome back! Before jumping into the highly technical content I think it is a good idea to introduce the instructor (me) and the students (my lovely kids).
Mohammad Azam is an iOS Instructor at The Iron Yard. Before joining The Iron Yard Azam worked as a lead mobile developer at Blinds.com, A Home Depot company. Azam led the mobile team at Blinds.com to develop the Home Depot blinds/shades online experience. Previously, Azam has worked as a team lead for many large companies including Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, AIG and VALIC.
Azam has also published 8-10 personal apps to the App Store, including Vegetable Tree – Gardening Guide which was featured by Apple as the best gardening app in the App Store. Azam is also active on YouTube and maintains his popular channel “AzamSharp” where he shares his iOS knowledge. Azam is also a Udemy instructor where he has published courses on “Swift 2.0” and “iOS MapKit Development Using Swift Language”.
Azam also frequently contributes iOS articles to the Code Magazine and talks at different iOS conferences all around the country. Before entering the iOS community Azam was an active member of the Microsoft .NET community. Azam was also awarded Microsoft MVP award due to his contributions in the .NET community. When not developing iOS applications Azam likes to spend time with his family and plan his next trip to the unknown corners of the world.
Love of my life and my heartbeat! Mehreen is a princess, mermaid, tinkerbell, fairy and all the other cute things in the world. Highly creative and a rebel 🙂
Super hero fanatic and currently the world wrestling champion. Favorite hobby is to throw things.. watch out 🙂
I have been developing software for more than 10+ years now! Like many kids my interest in software development started by playing video games. At the age of 15 I was digging into GW BASIC language. I still remember an awesome application I wrote where I created a smiley face and then used the timer events to open and close the eyes of the smiley, after that I was hooked.
I am very lucky to be in software development profession. A profession where you can never get bored. Every single day a new technology or framework is released, waiting to be explored. I wake up every morning and gets really excited about learning something new.
Binary Kids is my project to introduce my kids to the wonderful world of programming. Don’t worry we are not going to dive into Perl or Objective-C immediately. We will start from the very basics and I mean very very basic. Since, my kids are 5 and 3 I will have to explore the concepts of programing without a computer. This will definitely be an interesting journey and perhaps my most adventurous and ambitious project.
Binary Kids website will be used to document this journey! Hopefully, my experience will help you to introduce your kids to programing and build a better future!