Light Painting: Cold Weather Fun

I am not a fan of cold weather.

If left to my own devices I would get home, get into some sweats, and binge watch Sports Center. But I don’t have a choice in the matter do I? Why not, you ask? Because we live with…
Miniature Humans!!!

Kids do not care about the weather. They want to go outside.

Can’t go outside? Fine! What fun thing can we do INSIDE, daddy!?!

Welp, since I’M not going outside, the challenge is always to find interesting things to do inside.

Let me clarify: Interesting to both of us! If either of us becomes bored with the activity, it’s a wrap!

So I have a Pinterest board of cool stuff to do with a 5 year old but then it dawned on me; why not use what I am passionate about.

Photography!!

So far we have done stuff like a photo shoot with her Barbies and practicing taking portraits. This time I wanted to try something different and her light up toy from Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular gave me a great idea: Light Painting. It was perfect since the sun goes down at like 4pm these days!!
(How rude! Come on, Mr. Sun! Put a full day’s work, why dontcha!)

Here’s how it works:

  • First you need a camera….duh. (You can do this with both digital  and film but for younger kids, you might want to use a digital camera so you can show the results right away.)
  • But you need one where you you can control the shutter speed OR the ability to leave the shutter open for as long as you press the button.
  • You will also need a light source. A small flashlight will do but spinning lights and sparklers are great once you get the hang of it.
  • Next, you need a room that you can make completely dark. Any random light will comprise your image.
  • The next step is to set the camera up on a steady base. A tripod is best but a table or tall chair will work just fine.
  • It helps to be wearing dark clothes but it’s not necessary.

Now you’re ready to paint!

Step 1 – click the shutter

Step 2 – move into position and turn on or ignite your light source

Step 3 – start making shapes like you’re drawing figures in the air.  Any shape will do and you can start and stop lines by turning the light off.

Step 4 – close the shutter or wait for the time to elapse.

Step 5 – enjoy your work!!

Here is what we did in about 10 minutes:

First I tried to make an “H” in a circle but I was to high…IMG_6076

Then I went for Lotus Flower type design!IMG_6077

The Lady C tried her hand at it…
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Lastly I made a house with chimney smoke!IMG_6079

Like I said. It took 10 minutes but it was a ton of fun that we can do again easily.

What indoor activities do you love the most?

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Our Children Marched Today Because…

Today our family marched with thousands upon thousands of other concerned citizens in New York City to protest against police brutality. We saw other parents walking with their children but by and large it was rare to see young children at the event… which is understandable. During the march, we received accolades and quite a bit of attention for having our children with us. Bringing a five year old and 20 month old to a protest march is an interesting decision…

Here is why we did it:
– we wanted them to experience history while it occurred 
– we wanted to reinforce what Lady C (our five year old) learned about civil rights and civil disobedience in school
– Lady C learns a lot about justice but it is equally important that she learns about INJUSTICE

This was a learning moment and teaching opportunity. For weeks now, we have been trying to think of a way to discuss what is happening in the country and have been at a loss. We’ve read blogs and articles and gathered children’s books that discuss race and civil disobedience. In reality, we were over-thinking it. Once we decided to attend the march we had to confront the issue of discussion. And just spoke from the heart.

We asked Lady C to tell us about what she learned about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. She said they wanted people to sit wherever they wanted on a bus. We told her that one of the ways they made their opinions known was by marching with other people who shared their opinions. We told her we wanted to do the same to let the world know that we do not agree with people being treated unfairly. We decided not to delve too much into the particulars of the most recent cases and kept it very general.

We prepped by packing snacks, loading up on clothes to stay warm and Lady C made a sign for the event and sounded out all the words to create the sign.

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Lady C and Lady H even marched through the house to rehearse. And… We made sure everyone had an empty bladder before we left the house… Very very important.

When we arrived, Lady C was amazed by the crowd and we asked her how it felt to see so many people gathered to express how they feel. Her response: “happy”.

She joined the chants, held her sign with pride, asked questions and generally was a great sport.

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We left the march early and on the way home she continued to chant.

We hope this experience teaches Lady C about social action, using your voice and opens her eyes to the power people have when they come together for a united purpose.

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