The following post is by contributor Mariah Bruehl of Playful Learning.
With summer quickly approaching it is nice for parents to have a repertoire of engaging activities in the backs of their minds that encourage children to keep reading, writing, and being creative.
This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced soon. Thank you!
Photography offers children a wonderful outlet for expressing themselves and taking in the world around them. Not only does it channel their natural tendency to be attracted to technology in a positive direction, but photography can also inspire writing and other forms of self-expression.
Create a Juggling Photo
One fun and easy activity to start with is an exploration of your child’s favorite things, hobbies, and talents.
- It is nice to get the juices flowing by starting out with a story. We read the book What I Do Best by Allia Nolan and Miki Sakamoto.
- Next, invite your child to think about and choose five items that represent what he does best or his favorite hobbies and pastimes. Spend some time talking about his choices and which items best represent his ideas. Our youngest daughter loves art, so she decided to include colored pens and pencils.
- Explain that you are going to create a photo that will look like she is juggling all of her favorite things. It might help to show your child the photo in this post. Spread out a white sheet or light-colored blanket on the floor and arrange the items in an arch. Then have you child lay on her back and put her hands in “juggling” position. It is also fun to incorporate facial expressions, such as looking up. Have an “assistant” (see below for an explanation) take a photo.
- After printing out the photos, invite your child to cut himself and the objects out and glue them to a blank piece of paper or in a journal.
- Encourage your child to label the items in her collage. If she is not yet writing independently, have her dictate to you while you write her words.
- When he is finished with the labels ask if he would like to add more details about any of the items. My oldest daughter decided to write a brief story about her beloved teddy bear, while my youngest daughter wrote short poems about each of the objects she chose. Keep the writing component light and fun.
It is important to remember that there are a lot of different roles that children can play while engaged in creative photography projects. First and foremost, they should be the director of all the photos that they are in. Although they may need an “assistant” to take the actual photo, they can decide on and create the background, props, concepts, costumes, and poses.
Once you and your children get started thinking creatively about photography, the ideas continue to flow. Each member of the family can start his or her own photo journal and add to it throughout the summer and beyond.
Through the Lens ecourse Giveaway
For more fun photography ideas, be sure to check out Mariah’s new e-course, Through the Lens: Explorations in Photo Journaling. She is offering Simple Kids’ readers the chance to win a spot in the summer session.
Simply leave a comment below.
This giveaway will end at Midnight EST Monday, May 30, 2011. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 31. Good Luck! This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced soon. Thank you!