If your child has a curious eye, positions you so you're "in the frame," and says things like, "Where's the emotion? I need to feel you more," you may have a budding film or music video director on your hands. As the main starlet in his creation, it's important to cultivate that talent and let your child’s creative energies flow freely. There were a couple cool products at the Toy Fair for doing just that from Klutz, the wonderfully eccentric kids’ book publisher whose popular titles include, The Encyclopedia of Immaturity and Rule The World: 119 Shortcuts to Total World Domination.
Klutz promotes creativity and gives kids the freedom to explore new talents. Here are two in particular that caught my eye:
All kids need for the coolest in movie trickery is this book and a video camera to begin experimenting with their own versions of fantasy films. The book takes readers through different how-to’s, like making people disappear and how to become a cartoon. There are some cute examples of videos using trickery in the videos at this link. With enough practice of these tricky video tips, your kid could become the next Tim Burton.
This book teaches kids about the concept of storyboards, how to shoot effectively for the greatest impact and even includes tips on how to dress the band. There's also a green screen included, so once that's in place, it's time to rock out! Once the director yells cut, she can use the accompanying video editing software to work her rock video making magic.
Although the following options were not at this year’s Toy Fair, they are good complements to the Klutz products to guide your kids down the road to their Grammy or Academy Awards.
Windows Live Movie Maker: This is a free downloadable program for any Windows 7 or Vista users that offers a simple layout and interface for kids to create movies and even share them online. Once your kids get their feet wet with editing prowess, you can then move on to more sophisticated software, but this is a great choice for beginners with lots of options.
And if your kid would rather experiment with cartoon characters rather than ones from his or her real life, Nickelodeon Toon Twister 3D is a game where kids can create an animated backdrop and direct SpongeBob SquarePants in their very own cartoon creations.
These products not only flex another muscle in our developing kids’ brains, but they also offer a whole new dimension to screen time.
If you have a question for Screen Play or would like to submit a product for consideration, please contact LetsPlugIn@gmail.com.