It’s time to catch you up on the happenings of our Character Stories for Children kids YouTube channel.
i see that my first post about the channel happened the day after April Fool’s Day. But this was no joke.
We had just gone into Lockdown and it felt like this might be a particularly tough time for parents of young children. So first up i gathered together a whole list of different activities and websites and ideas for parents so they could have some options.
Then, on the off chance that all of those ideas and links and things were not enough i put together this second list.
An Idea is Hatched
Then – and i have written about this before – a group of mostly improv friends and i got together and started making videos for a brand new channel we decided to call ‘Character Stories for Children’.
And before long i was writing this post about the fact that we had just hit 40 stories in three different languages with links to some of the best ones.
Character Stories for Children has been popping out six stories a week from the time we started back in April, which, with a few bonus stories [which were the isiXhosa and Afrikaans ones we were able to get] means that we have close to 80 different stories sitting on our channel. Well, we do have 3 different versions of ‘The Princess and the Pea’ and both an English and Afrikaans rendition of The Three Little Pigs/Die Drie Klein Varkies but i think those are our only repeats [which is kind of impressive given how little co-ordinating we did between story-tellers!]
The Cliff Hanger
All the stories have been pretty amazing, but there are a few which stand out as my personal favourites. Our youngest story-teller, 12-year-old Morgan Faught who wrote, directed, filmed, starred in and edited her very own story, ‘The Blue Ninja’ about the daring rescue of a missing stuffed puppy holds one of those for sure.
But for me the absolute favourite, and story that i looked forward to the most, was our completely Improvised serial story, The Sage of Clyff Hanga which was started by Megan Furniss aka Nota Thingrimes Weethorinj over here. We got some suggestions from some of our children viewers and then incorporated them into a story which grew each week. A new character would take over the story from a point of anxious cliff hanger and make up the next part of it leaving it once again at a precarious point for the following story-teller to take up. A relay of story-telling of sorts.
It continued for eleven weeks before appropriately being brought to a close by Nota once more. By this time we had seen half-dragons and sad clowns and Hitsquitos [angry little bitey bugs like Miss-quitoes but a lot more accurate!] and Murmer-maids [strange lake creatures that made strange sounds beneath the surface] and mazes made out of maizes and so much more!
So one story ended, but the process of seeing it created from scratch was so exciting that we decided to do it again!
Meet Crrrrazy Dave
So we compiled ten questions and sent them out to the parents of some of the children we know have been watching and loving the stories:
 What is the name of the main character?
 What is this person’s favourite toy/possession?
 What is an obstacle/barrier/challenge that has to be overcome at some stage?
 What is the name of a made-up monster or villain?
 What is a significant colour for something in this story?
 What is the name of a made-up thing? Absolutely anything. Sillier the name the better. It’s a gadget of some type and we just need the name, not what it does or anything.
 What is the name of a made-up creature/animal that will be encountered?
 What is a word or short phrase that someone or something in this story loves to exclaim?
 What is one interesting thing about our main character that makes them different to most people?
 What is the most horrible food you can think of?
And then this past Friday we were introduced to a brand new character called Crrrrazy Dave who started us off on a whole new serial story called ‘The Tale of Snowfall Frost’ [Snowfall Frost was one of the suggestions we received] with a brand new character called Jake Parkour [Jake and Parker had been suggestions for our main character and so i combined the two] and if you didn’t get a chance to watch with your children yet [or without, if you don’t have!] then you can do so right here:
A Bit of a New Pace
Since Character Stories for Children started, a small group of us have been rushing around trying to make sure there is a new story every day. It has been great, we have had a lot of fun – and we hope you have – but we decided that it was time to slow things down a little.
So from week 13 we are now going to be releasing one new story per week in addition to the next episode of ”The Tale of Snowfall Frost’ making it two brand new channel stories every week.
In addition to this, we are going to be uploading the previous stories we have made to the Character Stories for Children Facebook page one per day. That will be like a second run of the stories for anyone who missed them and another place for people to discover and watch them.
We have also made separate playlists for most of the more regular story-tellers and so if your children were fans of Hairyett, Mrs Blurry and Flimple, Erik [with a K] and the growing story Rosea Dreams, Sally Thimball, The Silly and Billy Show, or The Saga of Clyff Hanga you can find those all grouped together, simply by clicking on any of the names here.
Big Thank you
It has been quite a journey and i feel good about the little channel we created that at the very least gave my nieces something to enjoy. But also hopefully a lot more than that. We made it on to tv and radio and were named Lockdown Legends and interviewed. More than 300 people subscribed to our channel [so far!] and over 600 liked our Facebook page!
If i start mentioning names, i will likely leave someone out and that will be sad so just really a huge SHOUTOUT to all the story-tellers and the story-writers and poets who let us use their stuff and tell their stories. To my Improguise crew who provided the bulk of the stories and the creativity [Thanks Nova Buchan!] THANK YOU!
And to all of you who sat down with your children and showed them a video or videos, who tagged your friends and shared the links, we hope that this channel has been and will continue to be a treat for you. That it helped in some small way to make the Lockdown Homepocalypse that little bit better.
AND WE ARE NOT DONE!
So subscribe if you have not subscribed. Like if you have not liked, follow us on the Twitterer if you have not done that. And keep watching and tagging and sharing and telling your friends with children about us and let’s see if we can hit 100 stories in the not too distant future.
We are still looking for new characters who will add videos to our channel or story writers who will offer our characters stories to read and perform and we would love to have some more stories in Afrikaans and isiXhosa and other of our countries languages and so if you are interested drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Otherwise, hope to see you this Friday for the next episode of ‘The Tale of Snowfall Frost’ and of course for that to make any sense you will need to have watched the first one.
If your children have been part of our audience we would love to hear which stories or characters were their favourites so please let us know.