Activity: Reel Time
When Technology and Good Old Fashion Play Collide
Inspired by a blog post from the enviably inspiring Joel Henriques, my three year old son and I tried our hand at a little Stop Motion animation. With my newly acquired iPhone, I quickly downloaded the Stop Motion Recorder app and set about creating a rather silly sequence in our little back yard.
The back step became the set, the props were few – a PlayMobil figure and a flowerpot, and yep, that was it! But for over an hour, we positioned and imagined and lip synched our way to creating an eight second movie all of our very own! After all that work and only a blink or you’ll miss it result, I posted our attempt, with a little proud hesitance, and although pretty meagre, the aim was twofold – to share our moment of simple, imaginative, fun play and to show how, with the help of a little technology, you can embrace the small screen without sitting in front of it.
So with this in mind, it got me thinking about TV and the whole discussion of how much is too much. If we are so worried about draining our kids with too much screen time then why not shift the focus a little, engage a little more in what technology is in fact positively offering us and move our kids from in front of the box to the other side.
With so many phones and cameras with movie settings, why not offer your kids the chance to try their hand at a little movie production. Throw in a little role play, a lot of imagination, a dash of team work, a healthy dose of encouragement, and hey presto, you might have yourself a united creative moment!
I had a look at what options there are for kids to step behind the camera and get creative. Apart from the aforementioned Stop Motion Recorder, if like me, you are an iPhone or iPad fanatic, then why not try the 8mm Vintage Camera app. It will totally bring you back to being a kid watching your cringe worthy old Super 8’s on those pull down screens, but can bring a whole new light to your budding director’s vision.
If you are a little more crafty than camera savvy then perhaps you would like this rather sweet creation by architect Ryuji Nakamura. Using any webcam, Skype and some paper, scissors and glue, you too can create this little house which in turn generates the illusion of you becoming a giant, without the use of special effects, funny camera angles and tons of props. Roll the camera and relive a scene from Gulliver’s Travels! Fun.
If Smartphones and webcams are not part of your home, then any digital camera will allow you the same creative opportunities. It doesn’t need to be fancy or super high tech. At the end of the day it’s about trying something new and extending the options for your child’s imagination.
Now go play!