“Hey, look Mom I am making movies!” is what my son said to my wife a few years ago. Since he was two, my Son has been tinkering around with our iPad. I truly believe he learned his ABCs and basic arithmetic by using different apps. Many believe young kids should not be using these devices, but I do NOT. After all my son is now in second grade, he won the Hour of Code Award this year and is the student of the month at his school.
Teach Them to Make Cool Movies
One thing I started early on was showing my son how fun it is to make his Legos move around the table. We would use iStopMotion which is a great stop motion App. We would set up his Legos in a little scene, and he would move them little by little taking a photo each time. I introduced them to the fact that if you move them too fast the video would be shorts and it would look unrealistic. But if you take your time and move them little by little, taking a frame each time they would look like they were moving around for real. This really enthralled him and he began making fun little films.
One of our close friend’s daughter is another story maker. She loves using her iPad to make little music videos with her friends. She lays out a scene, directs what everyone should be doing, and we'll go out and start filming. All this at age 13! There are so many great Apps that allow you to film and edit such as iMovie and one of our new favorites Musical.ly, allows you to create fun little music videos to your favorite music and share it with the world. It even has timing, slow motion and stop motion effects.
Action Movie FX: Star Wars on Disney Video
The amazing part in my opinion, is that many of these tools can be self taught. I showed my son some basic stuff yet he took it 10 steps further by exploring the different Apps. He even made a short action movie with Action Movie FX App, which was created by Bad Robot, JJ Abram’s company. These kids are becoming so intuitive and these devices are becoming so much easier to use. I truly believe this is a blessing because they can focus more on the story that they're telling then on the technology.
When I was a kid if I wanted to make a movie I had to find a super 8 camera, learn how it worked, then I had to find a place to develop my footage. Where was I going to edit this thing? All of this is now in the palm of their hand or in their pocket. There's even a super 8 millimeter app now!
I guess what I'm getting at here is to challenge your kids. Tell them to go outside and make a cool story for Mom for Mother's Day. Do it as an interview style. Interview the dog and pretend he talks by adding voice overs. Get out there and be creative these tools are just begging for it.