At what age do you give your child a camera? Or perhaps you wait for the child to show an interest? I've found that a child as young as three is capable of using basic camera functions including the skills to point and click with some thought and accuracy.
We gave Otto a camera for his third birthday. While he loves to use it there are many educational benefits to using a camera at this age. When using a camera the child learns how to capture and document events, places, people, their work and what is going on around them. We use the child's photographs in nature journals, record keeping, as drawing and story prompts, and simply for memory keeping.
Using a camera teaches the child lots of practical skills such as how to handle and look after a camera, how to turn the camera on and off, how to take photographs and later how to download and print photographs, potentially how to use a memory card or how to change batteries/recharge the camera.
Looking through the child's photographs we are able to see things from the child's perspective, we get to see what has captured their attention and interest. After going on an excursion I can't wait to see what Otto has photographed. Today at the park, it was all about the birds!
Let's take some pictures of the swans. Above you can see how his photograph turned out. It's not straight but he has captured the swans nicely!
Then some ducks.
Otto's cute photograph.
About 70% of Otto's photographs are unusable and blurry. Many are of the ground or of the sky. But it's worth it as he stills takes lots of usable pictures and it's easy to delete the photographs we don't want on a digital camera. This is how we learn, in a hands-on way and through practice.
A little nature journaling. It's Spring and today's theme of Bush School was swans including baby swans, nests and eggs. All of the photographs I've used in his journal today were photographs that he had taken. It's nice to document it while the memories are still fresh.
I also printed one of Otto's self photographs to put in his journal. One of the wonderful surprises I've discovered is the cute selfies Otto has taken!!
Otto uses the VTech KiddiZoom Camera (similar here and here). We've found this camera durable and easy to use, however I recommend looking around your home and starting with a simple hand-me-down if possible.
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