Strawberry Fields // Sunshine Coast Videographer

strawberry fields

In my opinion, one of the keys to really beautiful video of kids, is to have them doing something they are interested in, and that’s why the Strawberry Fields always makes such a great video – the kids are loving what they’re doing, they’re smiling, they’re cheeky, and they look so darn cute in gumboots! It’s the perfect place for a family video, or a special childhood memory captured.

Strawberries – we eat them pretty much constantly this time of year. The absolute delight on Eli’s face as he says “ssberry!!” over and over before we eat them is priceless. They have always been Lior’s favourite too, though I do find at times he gets a bit of a reaction to them. It really does suck when the things you love don’t love you back!

As promised, here is the video from the Strawberry Fields the other day. You can view all the pictures over here.

Video by Talia Carbis – Sunshine Coast Videographer

5 tips for getting great video of your kids

5 tips for getting great video of your kids

It’s no secret that I love to take video of my kids. I take snippets of video a few times a week, and film a purposeful session every few months. I love to look back on them, and to see their cheeky smiles, or hear their baby talk again. People often ask me how I get my kids to behave when I film them, and how I get them to “perform”. This is a hard one, as the key is really patience, and subtlety. I’ve put together some thoughts on 5 things to do to get great video of your kids.

  1. Use a familiar camera.

    • Buy this I don’t mean familiar to you (though that’s certainly important!!) I mean familiar to your kids! If they get distracted by your camera, then you’ll need to get them more familiar with it. This will take a bit of time, but is as simple as using the camera more, and having it out for them to see.
      If you’re in the market to buy a camera, than I definitely recommend getting something smaller (but still great quality) so that you can take photos and videos of your kids without being intrusive.
  2. Film an activity, not a posed position.

    • Every now and again I get my kids to pose for a video, but most of the time I film them doing their regular activities. Playing with toys, running in the playground, painting, or doing a special activity like picking strawberries, or making a fruit salad.
      These activities make great footage because the kids are involved, not distracted by the camera, and they’re happy and smiling! Even for my professional videos I love to give the kids an activity to do.
      This doesn’t mean that you don’t ask them to pose ever, but you’ll end up with grumpy, unhappy kids if all you did is ask them to sit nicely, and put their arm this way, and smile the other way. :)
    • take better video of your kids - birds eye view of them eating lunch
  3. Make it flexible & fun!

    • I love to just go with the flow and see what my kids to next – that’s what I love to take video of, and in my opinion, this makes some of the best video! These are the memories you really want to keep and re-watch later in the year, or many years later. You want to remember their walk, and their little baby voices. You want to remember the way they held hands with their siblings when they walked, or the way they would stomp their feet when they have a tantrum.
    • I try not to give too many directions, or be too bossy. Sometimes you can gently move something out of the way, or turn their art work to face you better so you can get a better shot, but at the end of the day you need to be flexible and work with whatever you can get.
    • Definitely don’t get stressed while you’re filming them – if you have too concrete an idea in your mind then frustration will set in when your kids don’t “perform”. They will feel that stressed energy, and then you’ll end up with not just no good footage, but a generally bad day as well! Don’t stress! If you take video frequently enough then you will have another opportunity the next day, or later that same day anyway.
  4. Use different angles.

      • I love to get a variety of different angles when filming kids – it helps to tell the story, and make your video interesting. I love getting close ups of their hands doing little activities, and love the wider shots so you can see their movements.
      • It’s so important not to always just stand next to our kids to take video. Get down on their level for much better video!
      • take better video of your kids - low angel shot of boy in playground

     https://vimeo.com/131397685

  5. Keep your camera handy

    • One of the best ways to achieve these things is to keep your camera handy. Buy a case for it so you can keep it in your handbag or nappy bag all the time, and get in the habit of getting it out before you start each activity. You don’t have to be religious about it, but the more you have it out, the more likely you are to catch the moment as it happens, and not have to miss out on any fun!

5 tips for getting great video of your kids

Kindy Homeschooling – Weather, Calendar and Chore Charts

kindy homeschool chore chart, calendar and weather

When we got back from Israel I was feeling a bit out of sorts, and also a bit stressed. For a week or two I couldn’t work out what it was, and then I realised – we didn’t have much purpose or direction in what we were doing at home. The activities I’d been expecting to come back to were all on holidays, and the things we were doing at home weren’t fitting in with the age of the boys, as they both seemed to grow up heaps while we were away, and then have secondary growth spurts (physically, but mostly mentally) as we returned.

It hit me that Lior is now 3 ½, and if he were born in a different time of year, he could well be starting Kindy at this age, but because he is a January baby, he will turn 4 just before he starts Kindy properly. I put my teacher hat on and started to look at ways I could create a Kindy learning environment at home, after all, even when he goes to Kindy* he will still be with me 5 days a fortnight, and we’ll still need to occupy our days when he’s at home.

We had two problems at home – the first was that Lior was always asking “What can I do?” and that was making me stressed, because I wasn’t organised, so I really didn’t know WHAT he could do. And the second was that there were lots of complaints when I needed time to do my own work and chores, and they couldn’t see the bigger picture, or understand that they would have their own time later. Enter the “Today Is” chart.

So I looked online at example kindy classrooms, and I’m making a bit of a plan for things we can do, but the first thing I took to doing was this “Today Is” chart. It encompasses a range of concepts which Lior can start to be familiar with – things like the weather, seasons (he doesn’t believe it’s Winter because it’s not snowing – thanks Frozen :-/ ),  the days of the week, and chores.

kindy homeschool chore chart, calendar and weather

How it works

At our station we have three boards – one “Today Is” board where all the information about today goes, the second board holds all the cards that aren’t being used on this particular day (other weather events, days of the week etc.), and the third is the chore chart. 

Together Lior and I look at the pieces on the big board, and decide what we need for today, then we move them to their place on the “Today is” board. Some of them I do myself (like the date and day), and others he can choose completely independently (like the weather). We talk about each of them as we do them, and he will learn to do them all by himself eventually.

On the big board there is a pocket which has all the different activities we might possibly do inside it, and I choose out a few that I know we have to do, and he can choose some others based on his preference (“Would you like to do building or making today?”).

On the Today Is board there is also 20 squares with numbers inside them. This is his sticker chart. He gets stickers for saying “yes mum” when I ask him to do something, having a good attitude, and anything else I think he should get one for. We talk about what the prize will be at the end (most recently he got a Thomas the Tank Engine, but it could be non-toy items like a special ice-cream, or a trip somewhere that he likes).

I’m totally surprised that Lior is loves the chart as much as he does. He asks every morning, “what are we doing today?” and when I start telling him he says, “no, on the board!”, so we have to go to the board and do the whole process. :)

kindy homeschool chore chart, calendar and weather

3 Year Old Chore Chart

We also have the chore chart. I am still amazed at how well this works. Before when I asked Lior to do anything chore-like he would always say no. Now, he looks forward to doing each of the activities. There is no set reward for doing them, though sometimes when he needs an incentive we talk about how if he gets all of them done today he can get a sticker.

The chores I chose for him were really simple:

  • Get dressed
  • Make your bed
  • Feed Pepper (our dog)
  • Set the table
  • Pick up your toys
  • Brush teeth

I chose these activities because they’re easy for him to do (or at least attempt), but also some are ones he doesn’t currently do – like feeding the dog, and setting the table. All need a certain degree of parental help, which is totally fine!

Ideally I would have liked to take photos of him doing the different activities, but that can be an amendment down the track – for now I’m keen to get it happening, so I just found pictures online which I could print out, and attach to card with the labels. Labelling the chores as well as having the picture is important as Lior is all about letters and words at the moment, and he loves to ask me to read things, and sound out the letters in the words.

So that’s our set up at the moment! While I was making it I filmed the process, so I can show you how I made it in a follow up blog post soon. :)

 

 

* Perhaps this is worthy of a different blog post, so I’ll just say it briefly here – we plan to homeschool our children, at least for Prep and Year 1, as I don’t like the current QLD curriculum for these early years. I DO like the Kindy “curriculum”, as long as we find the right kindy. There are quite a few other factors, but I’ll talk about those another time!