Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Videos of a family learning & having fun

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.

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

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:

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

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.)


Kendall said...

What an interesting family project! I love the idea and (of course) if the kids are getting a kick out of it, why not!?!

Although I don't 'really' have a YouTube account (except the one Google says I have, but don't), I will definitely look into you all's channel! :)

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

The intro to your videos is *fab*ulous. You are going to get tons of hits simply due to the intro. Also, your kids are marvelous. :) My personal fave is the MLP plush toy game, but I'm afraid to show it to my two for fear that 1) they'll beg for plush toys, or 2) they'll do it with the plastic ones and end up wearing permanent pirate eye patches!

Anonymous said...

My son also started a YouTube thingy. I'm so far behind the times I don't even know what to call it! He makes helpful videos in both English in Spanish. It's so interesting to see what sort of hobbies kids pick up!

Holly Scudero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly Scudero said...

I have a YouTube account, although I generally only go on there when I'm looking for a tutorial on something (YouTube taught me how to fix my sewing machine last time something jammed!), or if I want to keep Bug busy for a bit and he's already watched his "normal" cartoons already. I'm subscribing to you! I'll have to show some of your videos to Bug to see what he thinks.

What a fun project!

paganista said...

Subscribing! My little ones will surely love to check it out!

Lauren Wayne said...

@LB Present: We are definitely having a ton of fun! Alrik especially is way into it. We used to use our YouTube account mostly for throwing up private videos of baby antics for our family, but it's fun to branch out as well — there's so much great content on there now amidst the silliness!

Lauren Wayne said...

@Dionna @ Code Name: Mama: Thanks about the intro — Sam took his time crafting that puppy.

Maybe you could do a video IN a thrift store, throwing plushies. They always have a ton, and if you knock something over you have to buy, it'll still be cheap. ;) I think it's hilarious that Alrik's favorite toys are his MLP plushies — and yet he then tosses them in the air, hits them, throws them off slides… Those poor ponies, heh heh!

Lauren Wayne said...

@survivingmexico.com: Oh, that's so cool! If you let me know his channel name, I'd love to subscribe. I bet having bilingual videos can be a huge draw for people.

Lauren Wayne said...

@Holly Scudero: Thank you for subscribing! YouTube is great for sewing help, I've also found. And knitting, and anything to do with needles. I frequently need video help. :)

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