Children love to take pictures and love to see themselves on film and in print. With the advent of digital cameras, children now can have the instant gratification of having their picture taken, or taking a picture themselves, and then seeing it immediately. While this can be fun for all involved, it also has educational benefits. Many children are not artistically inclined, or are simply hesitant to explore their artistic abilities. Photography can be a way for them to explore their creativity in a new way. Other children may struggle with writing, story telling, or organization. Arranging their photos into book or story form can give them a means of saying what they want to say without struggling with the words; and often, the words will come.
Children will love using photography for creative writing. Let them take several digital photographs of themselves, their friends, their pets, their home, or whatever else interests them, print out the pictures on half-pieces of paper, and have the children put the pages in story form and write the story on the other half of each page. The pages can then be bound together, either by staples, rings, tape, or other form of binding material, and the children will have their very own published books.
Recording field trips is a good use of photography. Allow children to photograph important aspects of the field trip, such as the travel to and from, the lessons learned, any activities in which they participate, and of course candid shots of the teacher and other students. Print out the photos and encourage the children to cut around the photos in creative ways and make them into a field trip scrap book. This can be a fancy photo album or simply a spiral notebook. Photos can be glued on the pages with captions, explanations and dates recorded beneath each one.
Many children will benefit from the artistic aspect of photography. Often a child will have a very big imagination but is self-conscious or negative about his artistic abilities. While he may struggle over a drawing or piece of artwork which, to him, is never quite right, photography, especially digital photography is an easy way to make something beautiful and give him just the encouragement he needs. When the pictures are just the way the child likes them, they can be printed out and framed, pinned on the wall, or put into a book of artwork. Some children may even enjoy printing out black and white photos and adding their own special colors to the picture.
Lastly, photography is an excellent way for a child to record a family vacation. Made in much the same way as the field trip scrapbook, a scrapbook made by a child for a vacation can be bound together, captioned, and decorated in a special way. And it doesn't have to stop at photos; add any tickets, postcards, brochures, or anything else that made the vacation special. A photograph vacation scrapbook made by your child will be a treasured memento for the entire family for years to come.