Before the advent of modern cinema, Joseph Plateau invented the phenakistiscope. In essence, this was a rotating disk with a series of images on it. Using specially placed slits or flashing lights, you could trick your eye into separating these rotating images in order to see an animation. With the help of a record player and the frame rate on your camera, it's now pretty easy to recreate your own phenakistiscope!
Over at Makezine they walk you through the process of designing your own using Adobe Illustrator, although you should be able to achieve the same results using free software such as Inkscape. You can then print out your work and watch the animation unfold, or why not laser etch the piece into some plywood or acrylic? Head over to Makezine to learn more about making your own phenakistiscope.