Is photography an activity for young children? Well, has your smart phone disappeared numerous times, only to be found in the hands of a child, with a thousand new photos taking up your memory? Then see them glow with glee as they proudly show their efforts?
The interest is there to be nurtured.
How does photography helps develop life skills and healthy emotional connections?
What are suitable cameras for kids?
How to display photos?
And what are some fun photo project ideas and activities for kids?
Connecting with Nature
Have your eyes ever captured a moment in time? A peaceful setting, a striking animal, or a vibrant flower? Transfixed, sometimes it feels like a second lasts forever. You feel peace and a real connection with the natural world.
From a young age, children can connect with the natural world and personally capture some of those moments through the lens of a simple camera. Let nature whisper to them.
In this rushed, impatient world, photography teaches a surprising variety of skills.
You need to prepare your gear, where to go, and where to look. This is an invaluable life skill.
The natural world is a great teacher of patience. It has its own schedule, and it won’t be rushed. You may want a photo of a bird right now, but you may have to wait for it come into view or to perch. A sunset can take a while to show its perfect colors, or a butterfly to fold its wings just so. But patience is an invaluable skill to learn, and it often leads to perfect moments we can treasure.
Connections in the Real World
Photos show connections. They tell stories. A connection between you and a subject, a connection between two subjects…such as two sisters playing together 😊 We need to learn to connect with people, creatures, and things first before we can capture their true essence. This intimacy is the lifeblood of human life
Analysis and Observation
Learn to watch the flight of a bird or the movement of clouds so you can predict when to take the perfect photo. Analyze the best place to sit and wait, the best time of day, the best weather. Carefully observing people, things, animals allows us to capture them in their finest moments.
Young children are proud of their accomplishments: a drawing, a craft, a cartwheel perfectly performed. Seeing their own photographs displayed – especially ones they are really proud of – helps build pride and confidence. The better their skills develop, the more their confidence grows.
These skills are crucial for success in STEM and visual arts. For example, architects and artists, biologists, medical workers, engineers and geologists all benefit from strong spatial skills. Photography allows experimentation with different camera angles and senses of scale.
Appreciation of Small Things
Life is a delicate fabric woven together from many tiny moments. It’s not all about that splashy vacation or that one big moment of glory – pleasure and enjoyment can come from the little daily gifts that life offers – watching squirrels play, a butterfly drying it’s wings, or a giant bumblebee landing on a delicate flower.
Break from Social Media
Photographing nature or events is personal. It’s you connecting with a subject. In this social media obsessed world, the value of genuine personal connections has been lost and the obsession with oversharing and popularity has taken over. Photography can help kids learn that they are able to connect with nature in a personal way, and that it’s their private experience that not everyone needs to be invited to see. It can be their own secret world of wonder.
Slowing down to capture moments allows time to think, ponder, and wonder. Nature is healing. The tactile world of touch, sound, color – it calms our souls. Spending quiet time wandering to take photos allows for self discovery, and evokes emotional connections and feelings of peace, happiness, and self expression.
Spatial and Technical Skills
Taking good photographs has a technical side: we must learn how to frame them, how to use the proper lighting, and focus on the right point in the picture, all the while holding the camera steady. And for the truly adventurous: developing your own film is a fascinating skill to learn.
Choose your own subject, composition, lighting, mood…the options are endless and up to you!
Respect for People and Nature
Seeing the beauty of nature through the lens engenders appreciation for it and a desire to protect it. Trampling, destruction and trash make for ugly photos. Spending time with a subject in an effort to photograph it can bond you together – you get attached to a tree, a flower, or a little animal. It also promotes respect for how animals go about life – you can’t force, interfere, or encroach, otherwise damage can be done or they will just run away!
There is also nothing more wonderful than looking back on albums of old photographs. Each holds a memory. And the memory is even better when you remember the moment you captured it.