Welcome to the September 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids Blogging
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have let their children take over writing and sharing.
Young people today with their Tubes of You. Sam and I both have been surprised at how much pleasure Mikko and Alrik have found in online videos uploaded by amateurs-turned-professionals, on a variety of topics that we'd never have suspected were so popular on YouTube.
Mikko tends toward gaming videos, learning how best to play the Xbox games he adores. It's a form of research — one within reach of an 8-year-old still learning to read fluidly. He can watch walkthroughs and search for specific scenes he needs help on, and he knows his favorite YouTube personalities. He also gets quite a chuckle from game-related humor, such as musical parodies, and unboxing and reviews of toys he's considering saving up his allowance to buy, such as Transformers and Legos.
Alrik's preferences are more arcane. He watches adults act out scenes with children's toys (yes, we have to make sure the channel is appropriate first), he has crushes on personable young ladies who create funny desserts or test out as-seen-on-TV products, he follows along with families who share their daily lives, he views Japanese-language versions of Power Rangers shows, and he loves surprise-egg videos, which were not a thing I knew existed until he found them and decided they were the best ever. For the uninitiated (was I the only one behind the times?), they feature big plastic eggs with thematic toys inside, often blind bags, and usually some cool decoration over the front. Sam made Alrik a My Little Pony egg for his birthday covered in a Play-Doh design of Rainbow Dash, and Alrik was giddy. He'd entered a YouTube video!
It turns out that wasn't enough for him, though, nor for Mikko. Pretty soon, Mikko started telling us we, as a family, should start our own YouTube channel. He decided it was the way of the future, and we needed to get with the times. Alrik was so excited about the idea that he began requesting that we film him opening absolutely anything: a toothbrush, a shower cap, random packages that came in the mail. He quickly began imitating his heroes and chatting merrily to his "fans," showing an innate video personality that was fun to capture on camera.
So … as a family project, we've gone ahead and created a YouTube channel! It's called Pirate Family Fun & Learning. Apparently we hereabouts lean toward naming ourselves after disreputable characters. It seemed to fit, since we have a history of dressing as a family of pirates for the annual pirate fest in our neighborhood.
We're letting the kids lead in what to film and what topics make for good videos. They've done the research, after all! And then Sam and I are sneaking our own educational, homeschooly tentacles into the lineup. We expect a good portion of our viewing audience to be kids just like ours, so we're tailoring it all to the young'uns. We don't know what we're doing, so we're letting our own kids give us feedback and guidance.
So far, we have up the video above, which features Alrik's own creation of a very active My Little Pony game, Mikko's construction of a fabulous Lego kit below, and, farther up this post, reading piratey baby books with little Karsten (or, you know, not so very little), plus his two goofy older brothers. They are all being totally themselves in that first video — you'll notice Mikko is sitting upside-down.
Besides these, we've got videos spanning several topics, and many more on the way: an outing peddling a boat across the stormy seas (i.e., a lake); a theme park-slash-farm visit complete with hay jumping, pony rides, and a roller coaster POV; reading aloud a very fun book about a ninja girl; and making freestyle stickers with our sticker machine. Don't worry that all our kids do is watch videos, or that all we do is make them — we just figure that, as long as we're doing fun and educational things anyway, there's no downside to filming them if the kids are getting a kick out of it.
Enjoy the kids' sample videos embedded here, or click on over to our family's channel to see what else is available and to subscribe for future notifications. We'll keep making videos as long as the kiddos want to share with their "pirate friends," and they hope you enjoy them!
We could use some followers — it would make the boys so happy!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.piratefamilyfun.com!
Be our mateys:
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon September 8 with all the carnival links.)
- Life in Mexico—from the perspective of my 13 year old son — Survivor's teenage son at Surviving MexicoAdventures and Disasters shares his perspective on living in rural Mexico.
- Baby Boy Working & Blogging — Baby Boy takes over the blog, he has so much work to do. Then, Life Breath Present writes a letter from his perspective about her working and blogging.
- Videos of a family learning & having fun — Prompted by her kids, Lauren and the rest of the crew at Hobo Mama have started a YouTube channel of Pirate Family Fun & Learning.
- Mixed Observations From My 3.5-Year-Old — Holly at Leaves of Lavender shares some fun quotes from her 3.5-year-old son, along with some fun pictures.
- My 7 Year Old’s 5 Favorite Things About Homeschooling — Dionna at Code Name: Mama's son, Kieran, has always loved homeschooling. Today he is sharing 5 of his favorite reasons.
- A Four-Year-Old with A Lot to Say — After a summmer full of fun, Todd talks for the blog Parental Intelligence about all that he enjoyed such as time visiting with Grandma and Grandpa that included going to a play Grandpa wrote that his uncle acted in.