We’ve reached the half-way point of summer, which is oh so bittersweet. We all love having extra time to spend with family, wonderful weather to enjoy during picnics and barbecues, and late sunsets that help us get everything out of the day. But then there’s the dark side of summer. The screaming kids that won’t leave you alone, the siblings that seem to find 10 new things to fight about every hour and the infamous, “Mom…I’m booored!” wail coming from the living room. Yes, dear VideoBlocks readers, these are the true terrors of summer. Have no fear, though. Not only are we great at keeping you up to date on the latest video industry news and tutorials, but we’re top notch children entertainers, too. Here are 10 great ideas to keep your children busy using video this summer.

10. Go see classic movies in the park.

Many park districts or city organizations host movie nights in the park. Some of these are geared towards families with features like Kung Fu Panda or Spy Kids 17, but see if you can find some that feature the classics like The Wizard of Oz or old Shirley Temple movies. You can teach them a little bit about how they used to make movies back in the day, and you may open a whole new world of movie fun for the family!

9. Host a neighborhood film festival.

Your town doesn’t offer movies in the park? Well maybe it’s time to host your own! Invite neighbors to make a short film with their family and throw a viewing party outside. See if you can borrow a projector from your local library or school, and debut all the movies on the side of someone’s garage or make a screen with a white bed sheet. Kids will love feeling like a hollywood star up on the big screen, and it’s a great way for adults to get together and enjoy some cocktails as well.

8. Turn summer reading assignments into summer movie making.

As a child, I hated doing summer reading for the following school year. It’s boring, and I would always forget most of what I read by the time the school year started. Help your kids with retention and creativity by having them document the book on video as they read it! With each chapter they finish, record them acting out or recalling some of the important events in that section. When the school year finally comes around, they can look back and get refreshed on the book. Watching themselves will be a lot more fun that looking back through old notes or worksheets.

7. Make your own cooking show.

Need to keep those rascals entertained while you make dinner? Hand over the video camera and let them turn dinner prep into a Food Network worthy show! They’ll love being behind the camera, and you can teach them a thing or two about your favorite family recipes, too. Plus, when they’re older and in college and are trying to figure out how to make mom’s famous lasagna,  you can just send them the YouTube link.

6. Watch home movies together.

A great way to get kids interested in video is to have them watch videos that they are in. Host a family movie night, and make your family the stars! It’s the perfect platform for you to brag about your fancy movie making skills!

5. Put your kids in charge of summer vacation home movies.

No one likes it when Uncle Frank puts a camera in everyone’s face at the summer family reunion, but if your 9-year-old son does it, it’s all the sudden an adorable project that everyone wants to be part of. Get your kids to capture the family memories this summer. All it requires is a quick tutorial in how to work the camera, a trusting parent and watchful eye to make sure that camera doesn’t somehow end up in the pool.

4. Recreate your favorite movies.

Back in the day, I used to do a lot of babysitting, and without a doubt my most successful day in Nanny history was the day I whipped out the video camera. We spent the entire day, sunrise to sunset, recreating the Star Wars trilogy. All I did was turn the camera on and point it in the right direction while the three kids made costumes, assigned characters and practiced light saber battles in the backyard. In the end we had an hour or two of fun to watch footage that served as excellent blackmail when they grew up and were in high school.

3. Make sports highlight reels.

If your kid is old enough to handle the video editing on his/her own, let them cut up some footage from old little league games or gymnastics meets to create their own ESPN highlight reel. Put it up on YouTube (on a private account, of course) and let them show it off to friends and coaches!

2. Make a silent movie.

If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, have your kids make a silent movie! Give them some examples by looking up old Charlie Chaplin movies, or even clips from this year’s Oscar winner, The Artist. Provide some dress up clothes and some poster board for captions, and you’ll suddenly find yourself with an hour or two of blissfully silent entertainment.

1. Hand over the camer and see what happens!

Though it can be scary to hand over any piece of technology to a child, the fact is, they might intuitively know how to work it even better than  you do. Trust your kids and let them have fun with the video camera for an afternoon. You’ll never guess what they can come up with!


Have you been having video fun with your kids this summer! Share it with us! Leave a comment below and tell us what projects were fun, or better yet, share some of your videos with us on our Facebook page! We’d love to see what your family has been up to!

And while you’re here, don’t forget to download this free production music track. You can use it in any of your family videos! Enjoy!

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