Top 5 Photography Activities to do with your Kid

In today’s world where children are tech savvy and are adept at typing before they can write, even toddlers find it pretty easy to use a camera. Photography is one of the best ways to bond and connect with your child.

In addition to that, your kid will have an advantage of becoming famous as people love to have their photographs clicked. We have compiled a list of Top 5 photography activities that you can do with your kid, and they can do with other kids. These exercises along with being fun are also great tools and opportunities to learn and interact with others.

Here is our list:

  1. Create a photo story: Kids have a fantastic sense of imagination. When it comes to story time, kids love to hear them. Use this as an opportunity to improve their sense of creativity and sequential thinking skills. Kids can spin great yarns. You can channel this into using photos to tell stories. You can team up with your kids and click ten random images. Then you can arrange the pictures in various sequences. Then let them enact or write a story such that each picture is connected to the other sequentially.

Once you have got their creative minds into story writing mode, you can keep improving and improvise on the story. You can also give them photos of the family and get them to write a story about what had happened and when.

You can also start a Family Journal. This will help you bond well with your child, and it will be an absolute treasure for your child when they grow up. You can add photographs taken on special occasions by your kid, of the whole family. You can use an opportunity of relatives coming over or festivities like Christmas and New Year to have your kid take photographs for the family journal. You can also encourage your kids to take family photos and use them on Festival cards which you can send to friends and family.

  1. Learn Numbers, Colors and other elementary things: A visual medium like photography is a great way to teach children. No one likes to be sat down and explained, but tell them that it’s a game and they will readily play it. You can do the same with photography. You can teach them shades and nuances and subtle differences in color. Every time your kid clicks a snap, you can check it along with them and then ask which the colors in the photograph are.

This way they will learn to identify colors and shades, and the best thing is that they will remember it. You can also do the same with counting the number of photographs taken or the number of items in each photo. You can also teach them easy stuff like reading alphabets captured in the picture or even basic maths.

The best way a kid can learn is when it doesn’t seem like learning and seems more like a game they are playing. In addition to them learning new things and improving their photography skills, you also get to spend quality time with them.

  1. Teach them to use photo editing software: In today’s world, editing and improving on things are the norm. With technology giving you editing software for free both on your Mac or PC and on your smart phone, your kid can have a fantastic time learning how to create and edit great photos. There are many sites like Canva and Pic Monkey which are excellent and are free. Instagram and Snapchat too give you entertaining editing features for kids. You can use these tools to work with your kid in editing photographs and improving their editing skills.
  2. Teach your Kid to identify interesting objects to photograph: One of the most important things that your kid needs to learn while they are learning photography is how to click photographs of items of their interest. Each person has a different set of things they like. While some children may get scared of spiders, others may love to click the intricate web made by the spider and its balance on the web. Similarly, some kids may love to click photographs of nature, others may like to click pictures of architecture, and yet others may love to click pictures of people. Understand what your kid wants to take photographs of and then teach them the basics of photography for that type of photography.
  3. Photo Competitions: Another great activity that you and your spouse can do with your kid or kids is organizing a Photo Scavenger Hunt. You can make teams and then as a group embark on an adventure to take a photograph of as many things as you possibly can, beginning with a particular letter. For example, how many individual things can you find that start with ‘P’ ?.

You can give a list of things to them that they can go and find. You can then compare which team has clicked the most and then declare the winner. You could also try a game such that the first person who can photograph something beginning with a particular vowel would win. In this way, you can envision and create many scenarios where you challenge the kids to think and identify objects along with clicking them.

Another great way of teaching them is to set up a challenge or if you have more than one kid, make it as a game. The game could be to stroll around the house and click photographs of various objects that are of a similar color, and they can compete with each other. Or they can click photographs of objects which start with a particular type of phonetic. Or they can search for objects that begin with the letters which are there in their name.

I hope you liked our article on the top photography activities you can do with your kids. Do mention in the comments below the ones you liked best and if you have any suggestions or have tried any other activity.

Bio:

Dan Barr is a photographer, a parent to two girls, and the founder of KidsCameraGuide.com, a blog that is all about teaching photography to kids and kids cameras. You can visit Dan at his website www.kidscameraguide.com or connect with him on Facebook or Pinterest.

Child Development Components – Understanding Your Unique Child

Children grow at different rates in many different areas. When trying to understand your children and their behavior, you can think of them as being the sum of all the parts that make them unique.

Developmental Ages and Stages
Children’s behavior follows a course in which smooth, calm, easy behavior alternates with unsettled, more challenging behavior. It is almost as if kids need to take two steps back before taking a huge leap forward. So if your children’s behavior takes a turn for the worse, it may that they have entered into a phase of “disequilibrium.”

Developmental Tasks
At each age, there are certain tasks that children need to master to prepare them for the next stage of development. While children are working to accomplish these jobs of childhood, parents may find their children’s behavior challenging. Yet, learning these skills at the appropriate age is important for children’s emotional growth and increasing maturity.

Temperament
All children are born with their own way of reacting to the world which can be described by ten temperament traits. These traits stay the same throughout a person’s life. Temperament explains why some children are very easy-going while others tend to be more challenging to raise.

Maturity
Maturity is made up of how willing a child is to do a certain task and how able he is to do that task. Children acquire maturity slowly over time and in each of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, intellectual and moral. A child can be mature in one of these areas and not in others.

Situational Factors
These outside factors impact children and affect their behavior. These can be large things such as a divorce, a death of a parent or a re-location, or they can be seemingly small things such as a friend moving away or a new neighbor moving in. Being aware of these factors helps you better understand your children’s reactions and deal with their behavior.

Why is knowing about child development important?
Any part of the equation could explain what makes your child “tick.” Because each child is unique, how you parent one child will differ from how you parent another. What ‘works’ for Brad may not work for Samantha, and what works for Sean at one time may not be effective a month or even a day later. This fact is part of what makes parenting an art rather than a science.

Knowing what to expect as your children enter each new phase helps you to think in advance about parenting strategies that might be helpful.

Understanding your children better helps you to be a more effective, patient, and tolerant parent. This will allow you to ‘fine-tune’ your parenting approach to meet the needs of each child.

Some behaviors, although challenging, are quite “normal” for certain ages. Understanding this can eliminate you blaming yourself or your children. You didn’t create your children’s temperament, and they are not purposely trying to “drive you crazy.” Don’t take their behavior personally or as a challenge.
Children’s growth is not a smooth path, but rather includes many twists and turns and even some detours. Just as maps keep you heading in the “right” direction, the unique child equation keeps you on track in guiding your children toward their long-term destination of becoming successful adults who reach their full potential.

Daycare centers: Advantages

What are the advantages of daycare?

Many parents like daycare centers because they offer a formal, structured environment. Many daycare centers are inspected for licensing purposes, in some cases caregivers are supervised (many classrooms have more than one teacher), and a director oversees the entire operation.

“I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of hiring a nanny. I feel like I’d always want to check up,” says Noelle Haland, a copy editor in Minneapolis, Minnesota, whose 13-month-old son Max is in daycare. “I know taking care of a child can be frustrating and a nanny can also find it stressful.” Rather than worry about how a nanny might handle her son during particularly trying moments, Haland decided on daycare.

Another plus: Centers have clearcut rules for parents to follow (such as pickup and drop-off times) so you know exactly what is expected of you. A daycare center is usually more affordable than a nanny. Plus, parents have the opportunity to meet other parents who may be able to lend support and babysitting time.

Also, the arrangement is more stable (compared to, say, nanny or relative care) because the center agrees to watch over your child regardless whether a teacher is sick or tardy or even tired of working for you. Yvonne Matlosz, BabyCenter mom, agrees. “We chose a daycare center so we didn’t have to work around someone else’s sick days and vacation,” she says.

Staff members at good centers are usually trained in early childhood education so they know what to expect from your child developmentally and are able to nurture his growing skills accordingly. If the center you’re considering doesn’t hire knowledgeable staff, keep looking.

Good daycare centers include a nice mix of activities during the day to teach different skills, such as singing, dancing, and storytelling. Scott Huber, whose 3-year-old daughter Lindsay has attended daycare in Portland, Oregon, since she was 2 months old, says he likes the fact that his daughter spends her day doing projects and honing skills in a structured setting.

“They’re not just playing all day,” he says, “they’re learning new things.” Huber says he feels especially good about his decision to put Lindsay in a center when he sees the projects she does. “Many of the instructional projects are a good mix of left- and right-brain activities, usually made of simple objects like blocks or beans or vinyl letters for creativity, but presented in an organized, structured, and methodical way,” he says.

Ongoing research by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development suggests that children in quality daycare centers may even have an intellectual edge over those in other kinds of care. When researchers compared kids in quality daycare to those in other, equally high-quality childcare situations, children in centers performed a little better on tests.

Finally, toddlers can benefit from the chance to socialize with other children, which they may not get to do as often or at all when a nanny or a relative cares for them at home.

 

See full article on Baby Center!

6 ways daycare is healthy for kids—and parents too

Julie Revelant has a great article about how great daycare can be for your kids!

Good childcare is a must for any working parent, but if you’re worried about putting your child in daycare, take heed.  A well run, quality daycare program can give you the reliable childcare you need and also be good for your child’s health – and yours as well.

Read on for six health benefits of daycare.

1. Less emotional problems

Kids in daycare whose mothers are depressed are less likely to have their own emotional problems, separation anxiety and social withdrawal symptoms than those who are with their moms or an individual caregiver, according to a recent study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

2. An opportunity to grow

A quality daycare program can spell success in the future – especially places where the teachers know how to handle behavioral problems and where kids are given enough learning and socialization opportunities, stimulation, and affection. “If all those things are present, that bodes well for the children,” said Dr. Hayley Hirschmann, clinical psychologist with Morris Psychological Group, in Parsippany, N.J. Because kids are used to a schedule and routine, the transition will be easier when school starts, Hirschmann added.

3. Less colds later on

According to a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, children who were in large daycare groups before 2 and half years of age had more respiratory and ear infections but were sick less often during elementary school than children who were cared for at home.

4. A bigger brain

Studies show that children who are in daycare early on have higher intellectual abilities, especially because they have opportunities for observation, parallel play and socialization, according to Dr. Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, Calif.

5. Better behavior

One of the biggest benefits of daycare is socialization, because kids have to learn how to share, solve problems and be team players.  And at a well-run program with teachers who have a strong education background, kids learn to use their voices to solve conflicts, Lederer said.

6. Less stress for mom

Stay-at-home moms are more likely to be sad, angry and be diagnosed with depression than working moms, according to a Gallup poll. “A happy mama equals a happy baby,” Lederer said. For some moms, working isn’t an option, but if you think you will be a more calm, happy mom by returning to work, then daycare might be a good option.