We’re not trying to rush summer break, after all it just began! However we can all anticipate that one of the first things your child will be encouraged to do upon returning to school will be to talk about what he or she did on summer vacation. So why not get a head start on that with a summer project that will allow your child to star in his or her very own movie? (This project is also educational and will help develop 21st-century technology skills that will be in demand; but we won’t tell your child that if you don’t.)
Creating movies is a great way for your child to express him or herself — just like journaling. And in today’s world, there are plenty of kid-friendly programs for filming that are either free or cost very little. iMovie for Apple and Movie Maker for Windows are both convenient and easy-to-use video editing programs. For your more advanced techies, here are some additional programs for Apple and Windows.
Lights, Camera, Action … but FirstWhile it may seem like making a movie is all magic and takes little effort, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are quite a few steps that go into a movie’s creation, and every one can serve as a learning activity for your child. Let’s take a look at each step:
- An idea. This shouldn’t come as a surprise — everything begins with an idea. The original concept can be broad; as in this case, something as simple as documenting the things that your child does during vacation. However, it’s impossible to cover everything, since a movie that did that would be two months long. That’s where the next step comes in.
- Storyboarding. This step is the planning stage. Usually when people make a movie, they plan out all the scenes they want to film. This preparation can be done with a graphic organizer such as these examples. For a “What I did on my summer vacation” movie, your child can pre-plan, creating a rough-copy storyboard of things he or she knows will definitely happen (such as swimming).
- Filming. This step is pretty self-explanatory. In this case, the steps can be switched around so that filming goes first, as your child enjoys the entire break, and organization comes at the end, when the break is concluding and he or she is ready to put it all together.
- Editing. Just like your child would edit an essay, he or she should edit a movie too. After all, not everything that’s filmed is going to be appropriate for the final product. This is where storyboarding comes back in. You child can go through all of the footage and then plan out what he or she wants to use.
Make it a collaboration.
- Depending on your child’s age and skill level, you may need to help out with the movie production. There are plenty of ways you can lend a helping hand, including with the actual filming and editing. Creating a movie together is not only a great way to get in quality family time, the movie itself will be an amazing keepsake of the time you spent together during the summer.
If you are looking for additional resources for your budding filmmaker, check out this “Movie Making Apps and Websites” for kids site. Do you have any kid-friendly movie-making suggestions? Let us know in the comments.