Spaghetti Box Kids

Strategies, Tips and Activities for Learning

learning through play

Give Your Child the Camera

April 21st, 2009 · 7 Comments

kids taking picturesNext time you go to a museum, the beach, the circus—anyplace “special”—bring a camera for your child. Let her take pictures of whatever she finds interesting (within reason). Try not to tell her what pictures to take. Let her make her own decisions. If she knows how to push the button to snap the photo, there’s nothing more to say. Giving your child complete independence will increase her determination to use the camera with purpose. This will make reviewing the pictures that much more meaningful.

kids photographsLater, when you review the photos, allow your child to tell you about the pictures. She probably won’t want to discuss every single photo, but she’ll have some favorites. Ask her why she chose certain pictures for favorites and not others. Now is also a good time for your child to tell you why she doesn’t like some pictures. If they are too blurry or too dark, for example, discuss some techniques to take better photos. Your child will not pick up on these techniques immediately. But through trial and error (rather than a volley of reminders) the quality will improve.

A great way to follow up the review process is to go on a practice shoot. It doesn’t have to be right after, but make a date and stick to it (or put it on your schedule). This can be a turning point. How? –Because in the beginning, you went somewhere and brought the camera along. Now, the camera is the activity—you’re going on a photo shoot. What’s so great about that? Well, for starters, it’s a new activity. Secondly, your child is motivated, and kids learn best when they’re motivated. Lastly, the activity builds your child’s confidence in her own ability to make creative decisions.

Keep in mind–a wonderful way to show enthusiasm for your child’s use of the camera is to frame a favorite photo or two. It doesn’t have to be over the top. Anyplace that has a one hour photo can make a 5″ x 7″ reproduction, or there’s usually a do it yourself station you can use. The same store should also carry frames, which are pretty inexpensive. The point is you’re showing that you value your child’s creativity. And besides, it’s fun to hear your child tell the story when someone asks—who took this photo?

Tags: Kids’ Activities

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 LunchHourBytes // Apr 24, 2009 at 11:14 am

    What a great idea! You may even be surprised at which things your child found most important about an outing and took the most pictures of. My kids always liked taking pictures of their pets around the house too. I have many close-ups of our cats faces that my youngest took. :-)

  • 2 Spaghetti Box Kids // Apr 25, 2009 at 2:12 pm

  • 3 Linda // Apr 28, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I like how you turn the camera into a real activity that can be taken seriously. Good information in this article. Nice job-I’m going to try it.

  • 4 floormodel // Apr 29, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    this is a wonderful idea. Both of my sons have albums full of photos they took when we went places. They remember taking almost every one and even though some are a bit out of focus, the memories are their’s and that makes them extra special.

  • 5 Spaghetti Box Kids // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Linda- I’m glad the activity caught your attention. Good luck with it!

    floormodel- Wow- sounds like you really made use of the camera. I’m glad to hear you kept all the photos together in albums. Your kids are really going to appreciate that as they get older.


  • 6 Melissa // Aug 4, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I love the idea of going on a photo shoot with my kids. My love of photography began in my 30’s, and I would love for my kids to discover this art form in childhood. I like this idea of printing up a photo as well.

  • 7 Spaghetti Box Kids // Aug 5, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Why not? Right? I know several young children who are very adept photographers. They didn’t start out that way, but like anything else it takes time.

Leave a Comment