My 5yo son watches more YouTube than I care to admit. But he loves searching out anything having to do with LEGO and Minecraft, and once you weed through the junk, you can find some really clever, inventive videos on YouTube.
Fortunately, we learned about the launch of the YouTube LEGO Channel, and Eli is in love. He can watch webisodes, product videos, behind the scenes, and more. His favorites, though, are the “Web Tips” videos the developers film to walk kids through creating something with LEGO bricks.
We own thousands of LEGOS, and Eli builds something new every day – several times a day. He’s also a bit of a ham, so he recently asked me if he could film his own LEGO Web Tip. I helped him out, and the result was quite adorable. I tweeted the video to the folks at LEGO, and Eli was excited when they responded:
Of course, this only encouraged Eli to dive into making more videos!
To help develop his creativity, I decided to “hand down” a Flip video camera I had, as well as a Kodak Playsport* for back-up (I had received both cameras through blogging, for which I’m grateful!). I showed him how to use both cameras with a Gorillapod for table-top work, and a larger, standard photo tripod for far-away work. He’s become obsessed.
And his subject matter has branched out from LEGO Web Tips to capturing life around him:
Every time he finishes a video (which is about 10 times a day), he begs me to put the video on YouTube. So far I’ve been able to talk him out of doing that (his videos are pretty rough still!), but as the videos have gotten better – and cuter – I have felt compelled to share.
Here’s a video from earlier this week. He was super chatty in this one, and cracked me up a few times as I overheard him filming. Since I know it’s sometimes hard to understand a young child who is not your own, I’ve included a transcript for your reference – as well as some notes of my own that might help makes sense of what he’s talking about.
Hi! And my name is Eli.
Mom gave me this tripod when me and Dad and Isaac and Logan – you may not even know Logan (Logan is his cousin) – went to Walla Walla, Washington. And now I’m so polite! Now… (<–not sure what he means by ‘polite.’ i tell him all the time he needs to treat his video equipment with respect. maybe that’s what he means?)
Mom won’t let me use the white camera anymore… (<–he means my new Samsung Galaxy camera, which he’s been begging to use. not yet, buddy!)
OH! One minute!
Phew! Good thing I don’t need to go pee. (<–he often leaves his videos mid-filming to go potty, letting the camera continue to roll on dead air. i’ve been talking to him about not doing that.)
And now…time for the….what’s so special about this car about…this…the Golden…it…when you put the Golden Stick…and the Gold…it makes the perfect, perfect antenna. So keep an eye out for that “sneaky Dad!” He always wants the…he thought that if having the Golden Antenna he would be the- he would be RICH! But that’s not gonna happen. (<–i’m not sure where this whole section comes from. but it reminds me of Dora and Swiper, you know?)
Now, let’s get to the buildin’!
That’s it for me, guys! I’m off!
Okay, so maybe that’s not Steven Spielberg material, but Eli’s new fascination with filming videos – and the equipment used for it – has been fun for me to watch. Anything that gets my kids thinking, using their imagination, and learning a new skill is exciting.
What kinds of fun, creative things do your kids enjoy?
*If your child (or even you!) has any interest in making videos, I HIGHLY recommend the Kodak Playsport. It’s very easy to use, takes both video and pictures, the quality is very reasonable, and – most importantly – this is an insanely durable, even waterproof camera. It has a rechargeable battery and SD card, and videos are easy to get onto the computer. The Flip camera works well, too, but is – in my opinion – way overpriced (compared to the $100 Playsport) and doesn’t offer any features I can’t get with the Playsport.
**Affiliate links are included in this post.