Did you know that the original King Kong movie released in 1933 was created using miniature models? The producers of the movie brought to life one of history's most iconic horror characters by animating small mechanical models filmed against a miniature jungle set. The movie is recognised as a pioneering achievement and continues to inspire many film school students to this day.  

This creative printable activity is a tribute to the special effects work of King Kong. Let's reimagine the humble "terrarium" with a little movie magic!

Printable & Activity Objectives

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Age: 6 to 9 year olds, Activity Time: 1-2 hours, Items Needed: Colouring pencils

In this activity, your child will learn about two seemingly unrelated themes i.e. (1) the use of miniature models/sets in movie making in the past and (2) terrariums :) He/She will do so by designing miniature scenes or sets within a printable terrarium template.

It will help your child or student:

  • Learn about how film makers in the past used different forms of physical props and filing techniques to create animated movies before the age of computer generated imagery (CGI).
  • Learn about the art of setting up and maintaining miniature self-sustaining eco-systems called terrariums.
  • Develop their artistic and design skills through the designing and colouring the miniature "jungle" scene within the printable terrarium.

How to Get Started

Simple steps to start:

  • Research and find out more about stop-motion animation and how such movies were made in the past (and how some continue to be made today). Take a look at the stop-motion animation here in this short clip of King Kong (1933):

Here's another video explaining how stop motion animation works detailing the process and the puppetry:

Here's a more comprehensive inside look at how legendary stop-motion animation studio, Aardman Animations make their "claymation" movies:

  • Research and read more about tiny bottled gardens called terrariums. Here's a simple explanation about how terrariums sustain plant life and how to make one:
  • Start working on the printables and design a terrarium habitat fit for the mighty Kong!

What's in the Printable Pack

This creative printable design challenge pack consists of 2 printable sheets for your kids to design their own Kong Island terrarium. There is an extra sheet illustrating the basic components of a terrarium.

Hopefully this printable will inspire you and your child to make an actual terrarium once you've completed this activity.

Click on the download link below to get started. Please note that this printable pack is only for paid members.

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