When my children paid a visit to their grandparents last weekend, we didn't do much as it was a short trip. The kids had only 2 days, 1 night to spend.
To best make use of the trip, I tried to get the kids to bond and hopefully form a closer relationship with my parents and siblings, whom they only meet once every few months.
Of course, playing with kids was one of the ways. But there’s one problem. It took a while for the kids to “warm-up” and accept my parents as playmates. Furthermore, my folks can't match the grandchildren’s enthusiasm.
Fortunately, I found a better idea: watching home made videos.
Over the months, after I bought a video camera, I have captured some interesting moments of the kids on video.
Initially, I thought playing the videos for my parents to watch was nothing more complicated than watching TV. The only exception was my kids were the stars.
I was wrong. I came to realize that it's more than that.
- Get the kids talking. I noticed, while watching the videos, my preschool daughter explained the details of the videos to her grandparents: "Ah, this is my friend." “We went to a birthday party…” The videos helped reduce the communication barrier between grandparents and grandchildren faster.
- Updates. My parents and siblings got a taste of what was going on in the kids’ lives – even though we lived hundred miles away. They don’t miss a thing. It’s like a rewind of the kids’ big and small events.
- Entertainment. We laughed and cry together as we watched the videos. No TV programs were more interesting than watching grandkids doing funny things on TV.
Isn’t it a cool idea? Why not you do the same when your kids visit their grandparents next time?
The video camera is one heck of an investment that well worth the money.
But the only thing is…
The storage problem. Since videos take up more space than still digital photos, you need bigger hard disk for videos. Over the last 6 months since I bought the camcorder, I have made 30 GB of video clips, which is the size of the hard disk in the camera. To overcome this, I just bought a 120 GB notebook hard disk just to store our family photos and videos. I may burn some clips on the CDs.
Oh yeah, another problem is, after fiddling with the gadget for some time, you don’t feel as “motivated” to shoot videos as when you first bought. But it’s always handy to have a wife to remind you to take out the camera and prepare some videos for next trip.
For more Works for Me tips, head over to Shannon’s Rocks in My Dryer.