The holiday season is full of fun and festivities, and sometimes it all becomes sort of a blur. Maybe this year, you and your little ones can use a digital camera on your phone or tablet to capture some of the merriment and memories and then, when you find a moment or two, use some simple apps to add your child’s voice, thoughts, and memories to these photos and videos to make them more than “just an image on your device” or a photo in a drawer.
Sometimes when it is hectic, your child seems to demand more attention. Let your child have the important job of documenting the festivities. She can use the camera on your phone or tablet to take pictures of the people, the preparations, the process, and the decorations. Help your child take pictures with better focus by having him keep his elbows close to his body and holding his breath while pushing the camera button. Remember though, the photo does not need to be perfect to capture a memory. Later, when the action has calmed down, help your child create with these images and share them with others.
As you are enjoying the time creating with your child be sure to engage in rich conversations to make the festivity a lasting memory for you and your child. Here are some conversation-starters:
- Let’s tell about your favorite part of the festivity.
- Let’s record you telling Auntie Sue what you like about the toy she gave you…
- What is special about this _____ (celebration, special item like a candle holder, or decoration)?
- What part of (a special meal) do you like to eat the most? How does it taste?
- Grandma and Grandpa want to hear about the party — what should we tell them in our book?
- Which picture is the silliest…the prettiest…the _____?
- Let’s make your gift say thank you to Uncle Joey. What words will it say?
- Which picture shows your favorite thing?
- What happened first, next, last…shall we put them in that order?
- What kind of music would go with these photos for our slideshow?
- Explain for your friends how we celebrate _______?
- Tell about what you saw when we were getting ready for the celebration.
- Did anything happen that made you laugh? Tell me about it.
We like the following apps for creating memories with children.
Use the Photos app to create a simple slideshow with music, a calendar, or a book. The photos can also be edited or enhanced with filters using the apps. (A photo album or similar app may be available on other platforms; the slideshow feature described is specific to the iOS Photos app.)
Use the camera app to capture video of the action. Still images only capture so much — the action of special times might include special songs, shared stories, or the manic fun of new toys and games. Use iMovie to make simple edits of the video you and your child have captured. You can add quick messages from your child or a voiceover explaining the action. You will treasure this as it tells the events through your child’s eyes, heart, and mind. (iOS and Android)
Use Sago Mini Doodlecast to have your child draw a thank you and tell about the gift or person as they draw it. You may need to prompt children to talk about their picture or to tell about their pleasure or gratitude as they draw. Be sure to save the final products as videos and share them with the intended recipients. (iOS)
Use Chatterpix Kids to have your child tell about a holiday tradition using items which are part of the tradition. Take a picture of a special item — your Christmas Tree, a Kwanzza Kinara, a letter to Santa, or New Year’s Hats and streamers — and use Chatterpix Kids App to add a mouth with a swipe of one finger. Then record your child telling about the event, the item, or a memory. The object will appear to be talking with the sound of the child’s voice. Then share these sweet recordings with loved ones. (iOS)
Use Book Creator to make a book together using some of the many pictures you each took of the holidays or year end celebrations. Perhaps a page each day or complete the book’s pages after the events as a way to reflect on the events of the season. Record their voice or a video to add them to the pages. (iOS and Android)
Taking time during, or just after, the special times in December to create and save reflections made by and with your children will leave you with amazing treasures you and your child will want to watch and talk about well into the coming year.
Be sure to check out our book Using an iPad with Your Preschooler for even more apps and ideas! Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, via email: Gail-Gayle@SuddenlyitClicks.com, or tweet us at @suddenlyclicks.