My six grandchildren all love this activity, which uses a digital camera to turn a television into a doodle board. Here's how easy it is to do:


How To Turn Any TV Into A Digital Doodling Pad:

Mount a digital camera on a tripod and aim it to look down on a 20 x 30 inch piece of black foamboardor posterboard. Adjust the camera's zoom so that the black surface completely fills the field of view. Set the exposure to the highest f-stop and lowest ISO, typically f22 and ISO 100. Then adjust the shutter for 10 seconds. Connect the camera's output to the TV and you're almost ready!

The high f-stop and low ISO renders the camera almost blind to anything but light shining directly into the lens. This provides the black background needed to show the doodles off to their best advantage. A darkened room helps, but isn't necessary.

The only other equipment needed are some colored finger flashlights. These are available at toy and novelty stores. Amazon carries many. To find them search for "finger flashlights," "laser fingers" or "lazer fingers" in the toy department.


Take one and use the elastic strap to attach it to a child's fingers as shown. Using two or even three fingers will help it stay in place better. Then have the child position his or her hand on the black foamboard. trigger the camera's shutter and have them move their hand around anywhere they want, keeping the flashlight pointed upward. The shutter will close, the camera will take a few seconds to process the image and after you can activate the "image display" function on the camera to send it to the TV.

The large size and brightness never fails to thrill children. What's nice is that because the displayed images are so big, a large group can easily see what was made. They take turns, each using a color of their choice. Here are a few my grandchildren made:


In the next image one of them tried doodling a flower:

Not bad considering he couldn't see what he was drawing!


It's possible to strap several lights on at once to create amazingly colorful doodles.

Once they're done, the images can even be printed, though the black background may use up a lot of ink.

I sincerely hope this activity helps you provide something different for your children to do. Thank you for visiting!






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