We are approaching the end of summer. Parents might be getting a little anxious about their kids. Questions arise in their heads:
- Will they easily handle the upcoming school year?
- What if they forgot what they learned last year?
Surely many of us have bought summer activity books. I’ve tried them for my son in the past. I carried them with me wherever we traveled. Were they helpful? Not really, at least not to my kid who loved to spend time outside. Then I found a very particularly useful way to practice skills that would prepare him for school. I found a way which was way better than workbooks and made the learning process much more memorable: Photography!
Photography is a very strong communication tool for every age level. I can’t stress the importance of a picture, especially for younger children, since they are just learning to socialize, communicate with others, and express themselves. As we all know, communication is not just speech, but anything that allows us to make our point to the world! It could be crying, it could be painting, capturing a picture, or sometimes just eye contact!
In photography, while we freeze a moment, frame a subject that matters to us or record sequence of events, just think about how many skills we use.
When we talk about photography for younger children, you don’t have to provide big, expensive cameras. An old phone will do the job perfectly. Actually, it will help them to better understand basic concepts of photography.
There are many activities you can do, but I would like to mention some of my favorite ones for you to help reinforce your child’s social and academic skills. The secret to enjoying these activities as an adult is to be a part of it, so get a camera for yourself and enjoy!
1.) Make a simple book of your special summer trips, play dates, days at the beach, by using photographs taken by kids.
If your child is too little, use your own pictures, but help them put the pictures in order. This is a great way to practice sequencing skills. Discuss the pictures and let them use their own words to retell the story. Isn’t this a great way to practice the language skills while they boost their self esteem? They may dictate the story for you to write if they don’t know how to do so yet. They can also simply caption the pictures with your help. As a side note, no matter what language you speak with your kids while doing this activity, it will definitely promote the language development and communication skills.
2.) Another great activity is the nature or beach scavenger hunt.
Prepare a list with the objects of your choice or just Google a list. The idea is not only to find the objects, but to photograph them. This is also a great play date activity to work with a group kids. Teamwork is always great for the social skills! You may print the photographs later and make a nice collage for your kid’s room as a nice memory from the summer.
3.) Practice the alphabet by photographing the objects with the beginning letters.
The key is to focus only on a couple of letters per day! You make a poster and use it to review the letters.
You can stretch your imagination and make color books, number books, and so much more…
If you make one, don’t forget to share with me!
Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!