Fun with Video Cameras
• Fun polls. Have the kids question friends and home members about a fun topic, such as: “When it’s raining, do you prefer vanilla or chocolate ice cream?” Video their responses and, of course, their quizzical looks.
• Video diary. Want to know what your kids have been up to? Pick a regular weekly or biweekly time to set up your video camera and have the kids talk about any exciting happenings at school or in the neighborhood.
• Instructional video. Have your kids create their own how-to video for cooking a special dish, doing an arts-and-crafts project, etc. Maybe you’ll even learn how to use that computer.
• Educational TV. Older kids can create a video related to something they’re studying at school, such as recycling, other cultures, etc. What current events are “hot” in your family?
• Local travelogue. Kids can make tapes describing places they know well, starting with their own home. Older kids can make a video tour of the neighborhood. You won’t need to visit your local video store to take your next travelogue trip.
How would your family members like to discover the power of the press while expanding their journalistic and artistic talents? All it takes is some paper, pens or pencils, crayons or markers, paints, a stapler—and a little time and imagination.
• Certificates of merit. Everybody deserves a pat on the back every now and then. Have each participant choose a family member (perhaps by selecting names out of a hat) and design a special award to honor him or her for a recent achievement (say, for putting toys away). Then, emcee a family awards night and present the certificates.
• Read all about us! How would you like to create a public-relations brochure about your family? Fold a sheet of paper into thirds, and have each participant design a panel about a family member (pre-writers can illustrate the text). And don’t forget to title the brochure with a snappy headline.
• Create comics. If your family members have some artistic talents, why not put them to work designing a comic book? You might have each participant work on a page individually, or you can ask younger children to draw the pictures while older kids and grown-ups write the text. Then staple the book together so your children can share their great works with friends. Or have your computer-savvy child draw or illustrate using a computer program or stylus, etc.
• In the news. Has your family been following current events in the community, the country, or the world? Have each participant write a paragraph or two about a recent happening and draw a picture to use as an illustration. Then fold the pages together newspaper style, and try reading it aloud.
• Family magazine. Would your family like to be featured in a magazine? Simply have an “editor” assign stories to “reporters”—say, about school, work, or a recent or upcoming family vacation. Then have your reporters submit their work, staple it together, and find out why your family is so famous.
• Freehand photo album. Here’s an assignment for the artists in your family: Have them draw pictures of themselves or other family members. Or give each person a task, such as drawing somebody at school or sketching the family at a special dinner. Staple all of the “snapshots” together. And don’t forget to add captions for each “photo.”
• Birthday book. Here’s a great gift that family members can make for one another’s birthdays. Have each participant write and illustrate a page of a story, making sure to use the name of the birthday boy or girl at least once on every page. Then design a cover, and staple the manuscript. Now you have a truly personalized birthday gift.
• Numbers book. Here’s a way to help younger children learn their numbers while making another book to add to their collection. Give your child ten sheets of paper, and ask him or her to write a number (from one to ten) on every page. Next, have your child draw as many items as needed to match each number: one duck, two houses, three flowers, and so on. Bind the book with a staple and add it to your family library.
• Holiday newsletter. Would distant relatives and friends enjoy hearing your family’s news during the holiday season? Have your family members put together a newsletter about seasonal activities, trips, games, and other projects. Make sure to add illustrations.