Ready, Action! I have yet to meet a child who does not like to see themselves “on film.” My two young children are constantly asking to see video of themselves and they get such a kick out of it! In fact, they will ask to see the same video clips over and over again.
A great activity is to create a short film and let your children be the stars and even the directors, if they desire. With the wide availability of digital cameras and their video capabilities this can be a pretty entertaining activity for even older children/teenagers. We have made a couple videos so far and have really enjoyed the results. You can base it off a favorite book or recently read story. We usually base our videos off of a nursery rhyme, because it is the easiest to put together with young children and the children also choose how to act out each line. Eventually, we will do something a little more difficult, but for now this is perfect. It keeps them entertained, gets their brains working and they always love the results!
For this particular “film” we made below we captured no more than 2 minutes of video and edited (with software already on my computer) down to less than 1 minute. If you want to do it all in one take to avoid editing, everyone always enjoys bloopers! As you can see, it is not perfect. This was a quick film and by the time I realized we accidentally missed the end of one line, the kiddos were already in bed, but I am sure they will still enjoy this. For another example of a film we have done you can check out our This Little Pig video, too.
What You Need:
- A digital camera or camcorder
- Actors and actresses
- Props (optional)
- A script/plan (we used a nursery rhyme)
- Editing software (optional)
Step 2: Practice it once or twice or a lot if you want it perfect. My actors/actresses wanted to do this fast, so we quickly discussed and let them have one practice and then I recorded them right there (personality and all).
Step 3: Lights. Camera. Action.
Step 4: If you would like to edit (cut parts out) it, there are usually programs on your computer and sites that are pretty easy to figure out. I have a free software on my computer called Windows Live Movie Maker and there are free sites, too, like One True Media, that are easy to use.
Step 5: Have fun. I love hearing them giggle every time they watch this film.
This is even a great activity for older children, too. I have even watched my older nieces and nephews create their own short films many times. They will spend hours prepping scripts and props and then recording their short film (usually in one take, so they do not have to edit). They will usually do this all by themselves, too. I can see my 6 year old wanting to do this, too. He really wanted to take charge of the camera with the above video. As soon as I find my camera stand, I will let him have a go at it!
Top digital image credit of: FreeDigitalPhotos.net