Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photo Safari

One of my favorite activities to do on an almost-sunny day like today is to go for a photo safari.  In the age of digital cameras it is great to take an older one, empty the memory card, load the batteries, and hand it to a child.  The pictures are often not exactly what we would embrace as artistic, but sometimes seeing the world through the eyes of a child can only be done through photos.  To keep your camera as safe as possible, be sure to go over a few of the rules for using a camera.  This should include using an arm strap that can be tightened around your child's wrist.  Also, show the child where it is okay to touch and where to not touch showing them how to wrap their hands around the camera.  I have found they often find it difficult to find the button to push while looking through the camera so practicing this would be great.

We often give the kids a purpose to their photos.  One day we went out looking for items that looked like letters.  When we were done we created an inexpensive photo book with their picture on one page any my middle child wrote the letter on the other page while my oldest wrote a word that started with that letter.  Another day we went geocaching and found landmarks to take photos of as we travelled.  Flowers can make great subjects along with insects, words, and pets.

Take some great props with you, too.  Maybe a scarf could add a pop of color or play a game of hide-and-go-seek.  Bubbles are really fun to use to capture a moment.  When I was younger I heard of a goose statue being "goose-napped" from someone's front yard then slowly the family received pictures of the goose from different areas of the world.  You could use this idea in a slightly more legal way and take an action figure or Barbie doll our for an adventure around your every day world.

A child's confidence will soar when you step back and allow them to take the pictures.  Even if the pictures are blurry or miss the shot it is not hard to see how much fun this can be for your child and how much they can grow from a photo safari!