5 creative projects and games that will encourage your children to fall in love with photography
Kirsty Prankerd, from photography gifting and keepsake business Write From The Heart, shares some ideas that will help your children fall in love with photography.
If you're anything like me, you probably absolutely love sitting down to look through old family photos. Looking back at photographs of people, places and things that we love is always a great mood-booster, and it reminds of all the things we've got to be thankful for when we're feeling low. But, photography — the art of taking those pictures — can have even more benefits besides just creating a record of our most treasured memories.
For one thing, the act of taking photographs can be a very therapeutic activity. When you're composing a shot, it encourages you to really focus on the world around you, taking in all the little details. That means it's a surprisingly mindful hobby which can really elevate your mood. So, if you’re looking for a new artistic activity that will help boost your child's mental health and wellbeing, photography is the perfect choice! Learning a new skill can help to improve your child's self-esteem, too, and it also helps to develop countless other traits, such as creative thinking, patience, and engaging with technology.
To help get the ball rolling, I've shared a few fun and educational activities you can use to encourage your little ones to start exploring the wonderful world of photography
Many of the best shots are found outdoors, where the light is better and there are plenty of fascinating subjects to shoot. Plus, fresh air, natural light, and exercise all stimulate the production of mood-boosting endorphins. So, if you’re also looking for a new activity that will help get your child away from their video games and devices and out into the fresh air, outdoor photography is a fantastic way to kill two birds with one stone!
There are so many things to photograph outside, so grab your camera and head out on a "wildlife safari" together. You could challenge your child to take photos of birds, insects, or even certain flowers or plants — there are countless things to photograph in the great outdoors, so you'll never run out of inspiration. To make the experience even more educational, take the time to look up a few facts about the creatures and specimens in your photographs when you get home.
Create a happiness journal
For this activity, you'll want to encourage your child to take one photo a day (or one a week, if you're a busy bunch) and then print it and place it in a journal or photo album, perhaps with a small caption explaining why they've chosen that image and what about it makes them happy. Keeping a happiness journal can be a fantastic activity for boosting mental health, because it helps us to focus on all the day-to-day things we're grateful for. Additionally, keeping a photo journal means your little ones will have a record of wonderful memories to look back on in years to come.
If you have a height chart somewhere in your home, you'll no doubt already have noticed that children can be fascinated with how quickly they're growing and changing. So, why not create a photo record of this, too? Snap one picture of them every day (or twice a week, if you’re busy), and in a year's time, you'll have a stunning photographic record that shows them growing up right before your eyes. Who knows — you could even keep this project going until they're all grown up!
When it comes to keeping the kids busy for an hour or two, nothing beats a scavenger hunt. And, you can add an extra dimension to it by turning it into a photographic version. Give your child a list of objects to find around your home and garden. When they find one, they can take a snap of it, and cross it off their list. Reward them with a treat when they've found every one.
If you’re keen to promote your child's reading and word recognition skills, you could also turn this into a word hunt while you're out and about together. Give them a list of words to look for on signs, adverts, or at the supermarket. When they spot a word that's on the list, they can take a snap of it. To keep the fun going, they could then try to create a story using the words as inspiration!
It's an oft-quoted saying that a picture says a thousand words — and that's because it’s true. Photography can be a fantastic medium for visual storytelling for people of any age. So, for an activity that will stimulate your child's creativity, challenge them to tell a complete story in 10 photographs. They can use toys or figures as characters, and household objects as props. If they need some inspiration to get started, it may help to give them a theme to work with, like "heroes and villains" or "facing your fears".
If you can print or develop your pictures, be sure to turn your child's snaps into a book or photo album. They can even write up a narrative to go alongside their finished photographs. They'll love being the author of their own real-life picture book!
Try the mood-boosting photography activities I've shared here and, before long, your little ones will be snapping away. Who knows: it could just be the start of a glittering photography career or lifelong hobby.