It's Spring Break for most elementary-aged kids in my neck of the woods. For those who didn't enroll their kidlets into a spring break camp and have them at home, it can be a challenge to find activities to keep them engaged all day long. Although my daughter is going to a performing arts camp during the day, we still did #3 tonight!
Photography is a great way to lead into an activity, and gives you the bonus of making amazing memories. They will grow up before you know it, and the barbie-messes, marker piles and toy cars underfoot will be a thing of the past.
Here are 5 great activities that you can do this week. Since I'm a day late (hey, first day of Spring Break was hectic!), you can do one on the weekend! Have your camera at the ready!
1. Summer in Winter
We're all impatient for warmer weather. Unpack those summer things, and let them make fun combinations! Bathing suits, shorts, flip flops, sun hats. Challenge them to make a few unique looks and then have them model their choices for the camera. Not only is this fun, but they'll want to be photographed because they feel like runway models. Bonus tip: get out the beach blow-up toys, towels and sand pails to make a mini-beach right inside the house! Play some Beach Boys, and get everyone in the mood! Then when they're playing, take some candid shots.
2. Use items NOT as they're intended
Put a bunch of stuff out on the table. Then, ask your kids to find creative ways to use those items. You can even get specific and ask them to find 3 different ways of using each item, or make a little competition where each has to come up with a use for the same item, and then you vote on the most creative - in the nicest spirit of course! Examples: goggles as sunglasses, baskets as hats, pipe cleaners as moustaches. Pants as shirts, or inside out. The list goes on! Then they're ready for fun photos! Bonus tip: Have them make up characters to go along with how they use their things and it might just make for playtime even when the camera is put away. That can equal some parental down time, and even the Ipad can take a break!
3. Dance Party
Have the kids dress in their party best, and throw a dance party! Create a fun music playlist that has their favourite songs, and some awesome dance beats, and you're set! Bonus tip: Choreograph some steps for them, or call out moves as they dance - hands up in the air, down on the floor, twirls, jumps! Action shots are a ton of fun and the best way to capture is to anticipate the shot. For example, before you call out for them to jump, make sure you've pre-focused on the spot where they'll be (in the air) so you can click as soon as they're in the frame!
4. Meet their favourite friends
I mean the furry ones, as in, their army of stuffed toys. If your kids are anything like my girl, they'll have a name for, and know the personality of each one. The personalities they project onto their stuffies are a reflection of their own, so that family of fur is an extension of your little ones! You want to make sure to get photos of these guys, because they represent a little bit of who your children are. I still have some of my childhood stuffies, that have been passed on to my daughter. Have your kids set them up in poses - they can get creative here! Bonus tip: Get your kids to do those same poses. When they see how cooperative their stuffies were, they'll be happy to smile for the camera!
5. Before and after
This one has an extra bonus of tidiness! Take a before picture of a cluttered or messy space - their bedroom, a playroom. Ask them to clean it all up, and take an after picture. Tell them about the activity beforehand so they're motivated to clean up. In the after photo, challenge them to find the differences; where things were put away; what has disappeared. Bonus tip: It can also be a source of pride, when they see how their efforts paid off!