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Children took home a small box and brought it back filled with some of their favourite objects. In front of small groups they took turns opening their boxes and talking about the objects - toys they had had since babies, a medal given by a grandfather, shells brought back from holidays, a snake-skin that choked a cat, their first watch or mobile phone, all sorts of bits and pieces that had personal importance to them. The video camera was fixed to just show their hands picking up and toying with the objects while recording their voices.
Not having to look into the camera, and knowing that their faces would not be shown made the children talk in a more relaxed and natural way than would have been possible otherwise, it also seems to let other children watching the videos concentrate more on what is being said about the objects. Just watching the different ways that children hold and manipulate the objects is fascinating.
Since much of the talk was personal, we have removed the sound from these video clips. We have also 'cartoonised' the videos on this page to emphasise the way that the objects are picked up and handled. Scroll through the pictures on the left of the video to select from 30 different boxes. Some still pictures are available here.
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