In today’s world, our kids are preoccupied with television and video games, finding things that can hold their interest may be a challenge. Something as complicated as the art of photography seems like a daunting task to begin teaching them, but there are ways to make it fun and entertaining. Forget explaining the technical aspects otherwise they will get bored and not pursue it further. It must be fun for them, so here are a few ideas to get started with it.
Break out some of their toys and work with some forced perspective ideas. This will show them how to use angles and focusing to achieve various effects and illusions. It will make them slow down and think more in depth about each shot they take in addition to showing them what the aperture part of exposure is for.
A photo scavenger hunt is a great way to teach creative thinking and seeing things more like a camera does. Pick a color or a letter of the alphabet for them, then send them out to find items that match the color or letter you chose for them. There are a lot of possibilities with this and it can be done in a park or in your own home.
A trip to the zoo could be the perfect foundation to start teaching how to hold the camera, composition, and subject matter. Ask them to write a short article about their trip to the zoo and add the images they took to it. Kids will be more observant of more details if it is for a purpose they can understand and enjoy.
Open a dictionary and pick out several words for them to build a visual. This can be fun as well as educational, teaching creative thinking and to use their imagination to see things in different ways. Kids will learn to look at things around them in ways they never have before.
While doing all of the above, you can use different settings on the camera and give them a simplified explanation on what they do. No kid cares or wants to listen to a bunch of technical jargon, so keep it simple for now. There is plenty of time for that once they have a good foundation to build on.
If you know of more ideas, please share them in the comments.