Whether you're an avid photographer who wants to share your favorite pastime with your child or simply want to encourage her to explore the intersection of technology and art, putting a camera in her hands can open new avenues of self expression for her. When you tie that gift to special events or activities in your family or child's life, you can help her grow as an individual.
Family reunions often culminate in a posed group shot that may or may not feature everyone smiling in the same direction. As priceless as these pictures can be in documenting relatives and relationships, they lack spontaneity. If you give your child an age-appropriate point-and-shoot camera, you can appoint her an official family photographer and encourage her to capture any and all moments she finds interesting. For example, to help your child bond with a new brother or sister, give her a camera through which she can interact with the baby, building a library of pictures that will provide instant memories for all of you. The results may lack perfect technique, but their ability to see your family through a child's-eye view makes up for any lack of technical prowess.
Exploring the World
Helping your child learn about the world around her becomes even easier when she uses a camera to document what she sees. Even little ones can take pictures, perhaps with a guiding hand to keep the equipment safe. Whether she takes a close look at plants, bugs, flowers and squirrels, or documents falling snow on a windy winter day, your child can connect with nature all around her. If she seems frightened of spiders or startled by thunder, encourage her to photograph what bothers her and keep it from becoming fertile ground for phobias.
Prints & Framing
As you foster a love of photography in your child, help her learn to edit and print her pictures on the family computer and printer. Whether you provide her with a basic image-editing application or more advanced software can depend on her age and aptitude. As she prints her work, you can insert it into inexpensive picture frames and build an image gallery in a stairwell, on a family-room wall and -- in a time-honored tradition -- on the refrigerator door.
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