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Top Summer Activity for Kids and Teens

July 6, 2017

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Top Summer Activity for Kids and Teens

July 6, 2017


What..even the teens?  Yup--especially the teens.  This simple but magical activity will have all the kids Snapchatting and Instagramming about their evening (they might even mention their cool mom/aunt/friend).  I know, because all the teens shouted, "this is SO cool!" and begged me to send the finished product to them.


Sparklers aren't just for the 4th of July anymore.  For your next back yard bonfire, party or camping trip, gear up for a brilliant night of creativity, laughter and memory making.  So let's get to it!


I will give you the quick, down and dirty settings and instructions without explanation of how/why it works so you can get right to the magic.  It's time to let your inner photographer loose and have some fun!


Materials needed:

  • DSLR camera, camera with manual settings, or a smart phone

  • Tripod or stable surface (table or railing)

  • Family & Friends

  • Sparklers

  • Darkness!

Camera Settings:  How?


ISO: 100-400

f/stop (aperture): f8  

Shutter speed: 3-6 seconds

flash: OFF

White Balance WB: auto

Timer:  ON



  1. Enter the camera settings. 

  2. Place camera on tripod (place far enough away to allow for arm movement when making the letters)

  3. Gather your sparkler artists, decide on a word or symbol to make.

  4. Practice "air-writing" backwards (since they will be facing the camera, you must do this!)

  5. Light the sparklers.

  6. Press the button to activate the timer.

  7. "Write" with your sparklers.

  8.  Admire your work

Smart Phone


Try this with a smart phone with an app to adjust your shutter speed.  And follow the directions above.


LongExpo-slow shutter speed

Slow Camera Shutter Plus


Final thoughts


You will want to experiment with the settings.  My photo was actually done at 1000 ISO, but I use a Canon 7D and photos still look pretty good at a higher ISO, but next time I'll try a lower one.  Experiment with making single stroke letters and repeated stroke ones.  We used the repeated strokes, but I have seen beautiful single stroke examples.  Try cursive with your artists' back to the camera.  The artist must write above their head in order to see the light from the sparklers.





Heart, star, names, love, hope, peace, crown








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