As a former elementary school teacher turned professional photographer I ™m always on the lookout for photography projects kids can do. Especially with a 4 year old daughter at home, I ™m drawn to photography activities that are age appropriate and will be fun for our whole family. CIU_intro1My own quest to take better pictures has led me to take up a hobby that I can easily incorporate into my life as a mom, but as my daughter gets older I ™m finding that photography is an activity our whole family can enjoy. Want to explore this connection between families and photography? Why not get ALL the phone photos off your device and into print which you take pictures together as a family! We are super excited to be affiliates for Beryl Ayn Young l Photo Mom & Mentor and you can join her for a completely FREE mini-class ˜Embrace Your Phone ™ right here. (affiliate link) Right now, however, here are 11 projects that will get you behind the lens WITH your kids today.

KAB_feat 1. 100 Steps

A quick an easy adventure for the entire family! Grab a camera, pick a starting location. Together take 100 steps in any direction. When you get to 100 stop. You must compose and frame a photo from where you are standing. See where your steps take you and what you can create!

2. Toy stories

Take your child's favorite toys on an adventure! Allow your child to take the lead and come up with a fantastic plot, taking the toy around the house or out and about with you for the day. Add some text to the bottom of the images, print it out, and snuggle up with your child to re-read it together.

CIU_43. Cloning Magic

Your kids will get a kick out of this one! Set up your camera on a tripod. Take a few shots of your child doing different activities in one location.   Once the poses are captured, open one photo into the online photo editor PicMonkey. Layer the 2nd photo on top, using the custom ˜Overlay ™ feature. Erase away part of the overlay image to reveal the ˜clone ™. Repeat until all clones are in the image. Giggle, smile, save, and print.

4. Time Lapse

This is one I really love to do with my phone because it's so easy, and it can get the entire family in the shot! Some phones have an internal time lapse option, but there are also several apps out there too. Set up your camera phone on a tripod (or ask a willing partner to hold it), get a location framed out, and then play together with toys, stuffed animals, bikes, the dog, etc ¦

5. Stop Motion

Have your kids brainstorm a process that can take multiple steps (making a sandwich, packing a suitcase, setting the scene with action figures or little toys, etc..). Set up your camera on a tripod and choose a workspace to bring the process life. Snap a photo for each step. Use a program such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to stitch each photo together and animate your photos. Or if you're using a mobile device, there are apps that can do this for you.

CIU_66. Letter or Word Hunt

Create your own photo art by taking a scavenger hunt for objects that look like letters in your town or community. You could search for each letter of the alphabet or simply try to create a word of your choosing, such as your name or an inspirational message.

7. Photo Transformations

Give your kids the opportunity to dive into some creative editing by transforming a photo into something totally unique. I absolutely love the site ˜PicMonkey ™ to allow children to explore artistic expression using photos as a base.   They can use this site to make comic strips, edit their images into watercolor illustrations, or create their own greeting cards.

CIU_88. Day In The Life

Encourage your kids to help document a ho hum regular day. Set up a timer on your phone to ding every hour, for one day, and stop whatever it you are doing each time to snap a photo when it goes off. Your kids will love anticipation of waiting for that timer to go off.

9. Important People

There are some extended family I’m sure you’d love your kids to maintains strong connections with as they grow up. Why not interview those people and collect photos them. Once complete compile them into a memory book for an amazing family keepsake.

DSC_1215edit65010. Compare

Kids haven't developed a sense of perfectionism behind the lens, so it's compelling for us as adults to watch them compose and frame shots. Go on a photo walk with your child and both take photos of the same thing: the same flower, tree, dog, bird, sky, etc. When you get home, have a rich conversation comparing and contrasting your images.

11. Return to Happy

This is a simple gratitude challenge parents and kids can do together for those days where everyone is cranky, bored, moody and tired. Talk with your kids about what makes them happy and what is right in their world. Both you and the kids list out 5 ˜happy items ™ and then grab a camera and find ways to photograph them. Instant mood changer. With these ideas fresh in your mind,   don’t forget to sign up for the FREE 2-week ‘Embrace Your Phone’ mini class HERE. During the class, we’re   going to print and preserve your photos while exploring family connection behind the lens together too. The goal? Get the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love off your device and into your life before the holiday season officially begins. Happy snapping!

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