Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and take your grandchild on a photo expedition! Here in Texas, we really have to take advantage of the cool spring weather to do such activities. So get going!
I realize I am so richly blessed to live in the same town as three of my grandchildren. So when they were toddlers, I could spend a great deal of time with them. Of course they came to my house, and we just played the usual grandparent-grandchild games around the house. But to mix things up, I like to take them out into the community--going to the park, the children's museum, the mall, and the library. All very fun, but sometimes you just have to mix it up a bit. I've written about this before. My sweet daughter-in-law suggested I get my grandson a Fisher-Price camera--easily managed by a young child. So I had to plan a day around that! I came up with a photo safari. Alas, no animals to be photographed, but plenty of other things to photo-snap!
Now I don't even think you would need to buy a special kid-friendly camera--most kids under five can manage a cell phone very well. So if you've got one, you're set to go. Just pick up your grandchild for a day of fun!
I've previously written about my granddaughters and their photography books. One used her pictures from her photo safari to create the book, "Goodnight My Town," for her little sister. It was patterned after Margaret Wise Brown's book, "Goodnight Moon." My other granddaughter used her pictures to create her book, "The ABC's of Our Town." You can see with these two books, we had to take Stephen Covey's advice and begin with the end in mind. That is to say before we started out picture taking, we had to have in mind WHAT we would be photographing. With my first grandchild, it was more random and free-flowing. He just snapped what pleased him.
After we completed a day of snapping pictures, I wanted to create something tangible for him that he could relive the day and his photography skills. I decided we really needed to publish his pictures. And add more to it! So we did another day of taking photos of community sights around our town. I remember we stopped once on our quest, and discussed what we should photograph next. One of us proposed taking pictures of people. I thought that was a great idea. I knew he and his mother often visited the firehouse in their neighborhood--he loved visiting with the firefighters. We could stop by there and get their pictures. As we went about this new challenge, my grandson said to me, "You know, Gigi, we're taking pictures of nouns." That statement thrilled this old teacher's heart, and that became the name of his book, "The People, Places, Things of My Town."
I was fascinated by the way my grandson saw rhythms and patterns in nature. The above photos have not been edited by me. He would zoom in and refocus again and again until he got the shot just like he wanted it in his viewfinder. I learned a lot about him that day--who knew!?
If you decide to be a little more focused than we were when we first started out, you can brainstorm all the PLACES you want to photograph: the grocery store, the library, tall buildings downtown, bridges and overpasses. Yep, we even took a picture of an overpass--those columns that hold them up are quite impressive. For PEOPLE you can include people your child sees on a daily/weekly basis--their teacher, the librarian, firefighters, policemen, bus drivers, etc. And then for THINGS, the sky's the limit--we mostly included pretty plants that were blooming in the spring in our area.
All three of my grandchildren who live here in town have published books of their photographs. I made sure I printed one for them to keep, and one we donated to their school's library. We made an appointment with the librarian to deliver the books, and she barcoded them and everything!
If you have older grands, I'm thinking this would count as a photography badge in Scouts.
And if your grands don't live in town? Have them text you pictures that they take, and print them out in a photography book.
That's it! Take advantage of this beautiful spring weather (okay, okay.......spring is late this year....but when we do have spring.....) and go out with your grandchild on a photo safari! The rewards are endless. Have fun!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!