Give Kids the Camera – Take a Look Through a Child’s Eye
The next time you go to the Blank Park Zoo, the Science Center of Iowa, or to one of the awesome parks in the Des Moines area, try something new; hand the camera over to your kids. Tell them you want to see their perspective during the visit and to take pictures of whatever they want. It will be tempting to follow that up with a bunch of rules. Try to avoid the strict guidelines, and give them the freedom to see and capture the trip from their point of view.
Now, after their initial excitement of having such a big job, they’ll settle in and start taking pictures of all the random things that catch their eye. You’ll notice quickly that a child’s perspective is so much different from their parents; they’re lower to the ground for one, but they also find interest in people and objects that adults often miss. They aren’t scared to get close up, on the ground, and in the middle of all the action.
When my kids get the camera, they come home with pictures of nice strangers waving at them, super close-ups of food, and cute sibling model poses that they never would have done for me. Sure, there are also 57 photos of the back of someone’s head and 92 photos of shoes and feet, but it’s all worth it.
Before you start:
To help make this whole process more successful you will want to give a quick lesson in camera safety beforehand. Show them how the camera works, and if they’re using a phone, make sure the camera feature is all that’s available to them. When they’re not using it give them a place to put it: around their neck, in a pocket, etc. You’ll also want to explain that taking pictures of other kids may make them nervous so just stick to pictures of people you know.
While a fancy camera isn’t necessary, here are a few items to consider:
- This Vtech KidiZoom camera is pretty cool and kid-friendly. It’s a point-and-shoot but has some fun extra features for kids to try out.
- We bought a fairly inexpensive old-school Apple iPod Touch on ebay for the kids to listen to audiobooks and play games on, but it’s also worked as their camera. We bought a case and screen protector for it too but the whole thing was affordable and runs on our Wi-Fi so there are no extra data charges.
- An iPhone also works well, we have one that serves as our “home phone” that we let the kids use for photos. We just make sure that they are locked in “Guided Access” before handing it over.
If you get excited about this new venture your kids will also be pumped for it. Consider carrying the experience out too by going through the photos with the kids. Then ask them to pick out a few of their favorites to get those printed and put in easy-to-use photo albums. They’ll love reliving that day with family and friends!
About the Author
Deciding what you want to be when you grow up is a tough question, just ask Stephanie Lovelace, because she still hasn’t decided. First, she got a degree in journalism and was a newspaper reporter and public relations specialist, then went to college again and became an elementary teacher, now she stays home, homeschools three kids, and is a freelance writer. What’s stayed steady: her supportive husband, love of pets (current counts at three dogs and four cats), and being an Iowa girl.
Follow along with her current gig, on Instagram at @stephs_at_home.