In an unboxing video, a omnipresent voice is heard as a pair of nicely manicured hands opens toys. That's it. And my kids love it.
"When are you going to start the camera?" my daughter asked while sticking a finger up her nose.
"It's already rolling," I said. "Are we doing a video on you picking your nose?"
Her eyes got wide, and she looked right into the camera and smiled. She slowly put her finger away. "I wasn't picking, just scratching an itch," she said.
"An itch on your brain?" I asked.
Can you imagine an infomercial so good that you want to recreate it in your home? We do it all of the time.
We watch TV through the internet and streaming services. And my kids love YouTube, specifically "unboxing" videos.
In an unboxing video, a omnipresent voice is heard as a pair of nicely manicured hands opens toys. That's it. These are most often mystery toys, called "blind bags," where you don't know which character you are going to get until you open it. It's like opening a pack of baseball cards.
The woman with the colorful nails opens the bag, shows off the toy, cracks some jokes, and seven minutes later my daughters wake me up.
Initially, I hated these shows, seeing them as a long commercial for an overpriced toy that once opened is not nearly as interesting as the buildup. But then one day, my 5-year-old decided she was going to make her own videos. And I like anything that gets my kids thinking creatively.
She filled a colorful box with knick knacks. When I started filming, she opened it and acted surprised as she pulled out each item and explained all about them. Of course, she couldn't remember too much about them, so she made up backstories. One pony, for instance, didn't have a name because a magical wizard had stolen it.
She signs off each video with "don't forget to subscribe to my channel" because that's what the woman on the video does.
My favorite part of her videos, which really sets it a part from the others, is when her little sister wanders in and steals a handful of toys from the box and runs off. She did it enough times that we gave her a show as a compromise. Our 2-year-old's videos are great, mostly because they last about 20 seconds. She pulls out one toy, shows it off, and then reminds everyone to " 'scribe my channel."
Making these videos is rainy day gold. They probably aren't going to be internet stars though, mostly because we don't post the videos for public consumption. But we hold on to them. I like the idea that years from now we can look back and see themselves and their personalities.
Also, watching your kids grow up is heartbreaking. And being able to hold on to little moments here and there is something worth subscribing.
David Manley is a husband, father and an editor at The Canton Repository. Share your stories with him at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter: @DaveManley.