Unleash your child’s inner Spielberg, online

My daughter recently had a birthday, and amongst the various gifts she received, she got a digital video camera.

Oh, not a real one. Rather, not a grown-up one. It’s designed for kids and the resolution is low and the options are few, but we’ve all been quite surprised at how much it does, given that it’s basically a toy. It even came with software that allows her to upload her movies and then edit them in various ways.

And now we’ve created a monster.

It’s All Filming, All The Time ’round here. Every move, every word might be a Kodak moment waiting to be captured. She is a girl on a mission, and woe to those who might try to stand between her and her dream with foolish mortal concerns such as “dinner” or “bedtime.”

I’m thinking that someday soon, the batteries in her camera might die. And then there might not be any more batteries for a while. Like, ever. In the world. Hey, it could happen.

Ahem. Anyway! You know what I think? I think that creating animation might be less disruptive than a child running around with a video camera. Yes. So I went looking for some fun movie-making type activities online, and now I shall share my findings with you, because I care.

Remember making flip books? Why not make one online? The interface is actually incredibly clever; you can see the images of previous pages while you draw on the current page, making it easy to track progress. Little ones will enjoy the wild movements of pages that progress randomly and older kids can hone their precision with the previous images as a guide.

Want to make a print cartoon, without the troublesome bother of having to draw anything? Check out the Cartoon Factory over at National Geographic Kids. If your kids are like mine, you’ll have page upon page of characters burping at each other, but there’s no accounting for taste.

Ready for true animated mini-movies? I’ve spent more time than I’ll admit playing with FluxTime Studio. Check out the Gallery to see some of the possibilities. Very cool.

Best of all, not one of these sites requires batteries or that you “Say something interesting, Mom!”

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