Homemade Show-and-Tell Theater for Summer Photos
Now Showing on a Very Small Screen: Your Summer Vacation Photos
By Brenda Ponnay
You’ve done scrapbooking and you’ve done the homemade movie…what other way can you share your summer vacation with the class without everyone drifting off to snoresville? How about a little mini theater with real sliding-action pictures? It’s like slide show 1.0!
Whatever you call it, your kids will have a blast creating their own mini theaters that they can decorate however they choose. As a bonus, when they’ve finished you’ve got a place to store all those summer “treasures” like seashells and rocks and that cheap souvenir from what-was-that-place-again?
First you’ll need a small box. A shoe box will do fine as long as it’s bigger than your average photograph. Next you’ll need to cut two 5-inch vertical slits about six inches apart (responsible adults to do this step). This is where your paper “film strip” will thread through. If you want, you can create a false front to make your theater extra-fancy.
Then paint and decorate! (Water-based children’s paint is the safest.)
You can decorate your mini theater any way you like! Gluing on some seashells from a trip to the beach, or sticks and rocks from a camping trip might be fun. We didn’t have anything like that on hand so we just decorated with some glow-in-the-dark star stickers and paint.
Now it’s time to create your movie, or moving storyboard if you will. I just printed out a bunch of our favorite photos and my daughter and I arranged them on a long strip of paper in the order we thought would work best for a “movie.” The dimensions of our paper were five inches tall by three feet wide, which is a good size for laminating machines. If you want to break out the roll of clear contact paper, you could probably make your movie longer than three feet. Personally, I hate laminating things by hand. I saved myself a giant headache with a quick trip to Kinkos which cost less than six bucks. I’m sure some scrapbooking laminators might work well for this too.
Then we threaded our laminated-paper “filmstrip” through the slits by way of a trap door that I cut in the back of the theater box. It’s pretty simple. The rest is up to you!
Pop some popcorn and have some fun!