I am always taking photos. I take photos to document our every day lives, to capture significant events such as birthdays and Christmas, and as part of my job as a travel writer. The majority of these digital photos sit in the cloud and on my camera phone although I do try and create a photo book every year to remember everything that we’ve seen and done.
The kids are so used to being in front of the camera but recently they’ve started to show an interest in taking photos too, particularly when we are travelling.
With the half-term coming up I decided it was a great opportunity to encourage the kids to take some more photos. We started by taking a new Instax Photo Camera out and about with us in London. We live in the capital but we made the most of the school holidays to get out and see some of the city’s best sights, including places that we had not visited in a long time, and to take part in some fun photography projects with kids along the way.
We quickly discovered that setting various photo tasks throughout the day was a really fun way to explore London. Not only did it teach the kids some photography skills but it encouraged them to look at things and places in a new way. The process of thinking what might make a good photo was a great way for them to engage their creative thinking.
We spent a great couple of days snapping photos of some of London’s most iconic attractions and created a photo collage at the end of the week. Of course, digital cameras and smart phones are a fun way to take photos but we really enjoyed using the Instax Photo Camera. I loved the retro vibe of the polaroids and the kids loved the immediacy of snapping a photo and receiving a print. There’s something quite special about having a tangible photo.
If you’re looking for some fun photo activities for kids on your next trip then here are some ideas for you to try:
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Document your holiday
We spent one afternoon on a guided tour of the Tower of London, which is always a great destination for curious kids. One of London’s most important – and popular – attractions, the Tower is bursting with history. It’s also an incredibly photogenic destination and the perfect place for take some photos. Of course the White Tower was the main subject for most photos but we also captured one of the ravens that live at the Tower.
On another day we headed into Covent Garden and a trip to see Frozen the Musical. Although the kids couldn’t take photos inside the theatre, they had great fun with the point and shoot camera outside.
As an aside, if you feel like actually being in the photos then consider hiring a London family photographer for you next trip.
Try a photo scavenger hunt
If you really want to get fire up your child’s creativity then set them a photography scavenger hunt activity. Pick a theme and challenge your kids to capture a certain number of photos that correspond to that theme. This could be anything from different colors or a particular letter of the alphabet to shapes or even (if you were going to be in London) a royal-themed scavenger hunt. This simple idea is a great way to not only keep kids occupied but to help them to be more observant.
Keep a travel diary or journal
I’m not great at getting the kids to regularly write a travel journal when we go away even though I think a diary is a wonderful way to remember and document a trip. If you also find it hard to encourage kids to sit down and write after a day of sightseeing then why not try a photo-focused journal instead.
Kids can find creative ways to photograph the various things they do when travelling and then stick the pictures in their journal. That’s the other great thing about having an Instant Phone Camera, the photos are printed immediately and ready to be put in a book!
When we weren’t out and about in central London we were hanging out in our local neighbourhood. The funny thing is that trips to the nearby park proved just as fun for taking photos. Sam had a great time with his camera finding new ways of telling stories in a place where we spend a lot of time!
Make a photo wall
Unlike those 1000s of digital photos that I have sitting on my phone the mini polaroid pictures are perfect for putting on display. Creating a photo wall from the kids’ holiday snaps, family photos and pictures of friends is a fun way to remember time spent together. My eldest is already planning to use the Instant Photo Camera to take photos of all his friends and then display them on his bedroom wall before school breaks up for the summer holidays.
Challenge older kids to get creative when taking photos. They can find new angles, different perspectives or subject matters that they hadn’t previously considered when taking photos. They may know that you should always take photos with the light behind them but they might want to experiment and see what happens to their photos if they bend the rules.