Give your Kid a Camera to get Closer to Nature

wildlife tour

Next time you’re in a wildlife rich environment (a duck park, a zoo or in the bush), don’t be afraid to give your child a camera.  When a child has control of their own camera, they focus on details of the animal you wouldn’t expect. It’s not only a great learning experience for your child, but also for you.

Before giving your child a camera:

  • Show them the camera and discuss what it does
  •  Remind your child to be careful with the camera or it will break. The Fujifilm camera has a little bar so that we could tie a ribbon to it. To keep the camera safe, I secured the camera around Miss Possum’s neck.
  • Point out some of the simple features that they will need to take photos. If they’ve grasped the simple points encourage them to try the zoom.
  • Turn the flash off. Animals don’t generally like the flash and without the flash on, your child has more opportunity to get close without worrying about flashing animals in the eyes.

 While they have the camera:

  • Let your child have complete control of the camera’s use. Let them take photos of whatever they fancy, rather than trying to guide them towards particular objects.
  • Ask them questions – why did you take that photo? What animal are you taking a photo of now?
  • You can make suggestions based on your child’s interest.  ‘If you like its fur maybe you could try and get a closer shot’.
  • Be mindful about the behaviour of animals while your child is taking photos. If the animal is getting agitated, you will need to step in immediately.

zoo activities

give your kid a camera

It took Miss Possum a little bit to get use to the camera but it didn’t take long for her to become snap happy. She loves that it’s her very own.

All the photos on this post (except the picture of her taking photos) are hers. By looking at the photos she took, I could see the animals from her level and talk about the animals from her point of view.

swamp wallby

Nature photos for kids

 

As a parent, I loved looking back at her photos because I saw the animals she was really interested in. Just knowing that information led me to a heap of activities we could pursue at home like:

  • Creating a poster with all the photos she took
  • Looking at each photo together and discussing what was in it, what the animals were doing  in the photo and why she took it
  • Learning about professional wildlife photographers and looking at and discussing their photos of wildlife and nature.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    What a wonderful post. I’m not sure I would ever have thought that animals don’t like a flash.
    I look forward to teaching my daughter about these considerations too.

  2. Jacqui Snelgar says

    My 5yr old daughter always asks for my phone to take photos while we’re out and about. She got some gorgeous pics of the wildflowers up at Kings Park recently. Her own little camera would just be the bees knees for her.

  3. Salz says

    My 3 year old daughter would love this. She actually picked up the same camera at the shops and said she wanted it but I couldn’t get it for her. She is a budding photographer already using my Ipone to take photos of herself.

  4. Catherine Rodie Blagg (Cup of Tea and a Blog) says

    If G had her own camera I wouldn’t run the risk of her dropping my iphone! she is quite the photographer!

  5. christine small (boettger) says

    I would love to win as all of my pictures are taken on my phone. Having a high quality camera would allow us to capture more family memories.

  6. Merryl says

    This is the perfect camera for teaching kids how to take photos. It is easy to use, so they can focus on taking pictures without having to worry about any technical stuff. We’d use it everywhere.

  7. Michelle V says

    This would make a fabulous Christmas gift for my eldest daughter, who is 8.
    She has a huge love of photo’s (she takes after me), but because my camera is very expensive, I hardly ever let her use it as I am afraid she might damage it, even though I know she is careful. I feel awful always refusing her, as I would love for her to be able to indulge in her interest, so this would be a wonderful surprise for her under the Christmas tree! We are also going on a summer holiday shortly after Christmas, so she would be able to capture some wonderful family memories! Thankyou for the opportunity!

  8. says

    I love letting my child take her own pictures. She gets a different perspective and the memory is totally hers. I remember wanting to use mom’s camera when I was a kid, but film was expensive and hard to wait to be developed. Digital cameras give instant feedback and only waste batteries.

  9. Bonnie says

    I let my son take photos on my camera all the time right now, but he can’t really hold it very well. it’s to bulky and heavy for him right now. he would love this!

  10. Katrina says

    I am always having to try and get my camera back from my 2.5 year old. Great way to see how they see the world and also what is importnat to them.

  11. Jennifer Dalgleish says

    I would love to win this for my students to use . Our camera broke so I’ve had to use my own camera which has meant restrictins re: the children using it ……

  12. says

    This is such a great giveaway. My son borrows my camera all the time and absolutely loves taking photos with it. And it is kind of amazing looking through his eyes at the world through his photos :-)

  13. says

    My boys have both had cameras over the last few years, but they always produce inferior quality pics, because we bought cameras that won’t break when they’re dropped. Our gorgeous little men are now older, much more interested in ‘proper’ photography and are careful! We were thinking about upgrading their cameras for Christmas. Winning the Fujifilm finepix XP30 camera would be just perfect. Great idea and great giveaway ♥

  14. Mary Preston says

    I love the idea of photographs from a child’s perspective. My children would gain a lot by using a a Fugifilm Finepix X30 Camera,

  15. Brandie Boudreaux says

    Wow. What a wonderful site I have just stumbled upon. We have always tried to expose our LoveBug (now 5) to the natural world, but I am THRILLED to happen upon your site and see all of these new ideas to try with her and our new baby bug. I would love to win the camera, and so would my little bug…we always let her take control of our cameras to get her own action shots, but she would be so excited to have her OWN! :)

  16. says

    I love the image of the back of the emu- for a second I actually thought it was the back of a witch! Which lead me to think that your cherub could make books/stories out of these images, turning them into even more wild and wonderful creatures.

  17. says

    Cameras are so much fun for kids. My daughter is cazy about them, I often find random photos on my memory stick. I did buy her a kids camera but it was quickly broken, this one looks really good.

  18. says

    My daughter is 3 and she LOVES taking photos. It’s interesting to see what she actually takes pictures of! When we’re at home, she takes heaps of photos of her blanket (because she loves her blanket). The perspective is interesting too.

  19. Leah says

    My kids love taking photos and making videos of nature. The latest favourite is the pair of Rosellas that have taken up residence in the front of our house. They will sit in the bush in front of my bedroom for simply ages and we sit and avidly watch. Fantastic discussion can ensue. Awesome!

  20. says

    I love that you let her have control to photograph her favourite animals…as i have been scrolling through your post my twins have been loving looking at the animals too!!!I’m always wrestling the camera back from them but perhaps i shall let them have a try instead next time!

  21. says

    What a wonderful post and Possum looked like she loved it!! Last time we went to the zoo I took the photos and used them to make a book, it would have meant so much more if my girls took their own photos. We are planning a holiday for next year where we going to go to the zoo again, I will keep this in mind as it is such a great idea! Love it!!

  22. says

    My 3 year old is a budding photographer! He loves cameras and we are planning on getting him one for christmas. I love how he sees everything in a different and interesting way.

  23. Tina says

    My oldest son was 14 last time we visited Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa. I was driving and battling with the camera and the gears of the bakkie (ute) to get some shots. He took my camera from me, and we have never looked back. His shots are clearer, have the heads of the animals in them and he was so much more engage on the trip, looking for things to photograph. We stopped for almost every bird, every bug and the usual game, but it was almost like alight went off in his head and he was really seeing things.

    The love for his camera has continued, and recently when he was in NZ on a school ski trip he had to take my little digital – not his nice bigger Fujifilm one – and he was not so impressed as he couldn’t do half of what he wanted to do with the camera – careful the bug of photography is addictive!

    I can only agree with you – give the kids the camera and watch art happen!

    As always a great post – thanks for a wonderful blog.

    Bye 4 now
    Tina

  24. Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions says

    I was cleaning out our spare room the other day and I found my old Kodak digi camera, my very first digi one that I got in 2007 (I was a film stalwart for a long time, refused to go digital) and it still works. So rather than throw it out I have put it away with the hopes that in a few years time when my little munchkin is old enough, it will still work and she will be able to use it to take pictures. I am really hoping that she inherits my love and passion for photography so we can go on photo-taking outings together.

  25. kirri says

    Amazing post as usual Pen. Miss Possum is one of WF4Ks greatest assets!! My 8yo took approximately 127 photos on my iphone on a recent trip to the zoo and lets just say that 80percent of them were duds!

  26. says

    We have a pink one of these from a few years ago, love it. It’s rugged enough to just live in my handbag and it takes good pictures even though it’s a few years old. I give it to Mr Almost 3 to take pictures with, we have an awful lot of his eyes, the sky and the inside of his backpack but he loves it.

    • says

      I would love to win this for my almost 4 year old daughter. My eldest daughter has my old point and shoot, but her sister is much more interested in taking photos at the moment, which causes issues as sharing is not that big here right now. I would just love to encourage her passion and allow her complete free reign to learn, discover and explore through the lens.

  27. says

    My kids LOVE taking pictures- though I’ve started using my iphone for all photography (and won’t let them take many pictures with it). They would be absolutely thrilled to have a camera of their own. Thanks for the chance to win!

  28. Eva Lewis says

    I think this is a wonderful post and good on you for approaching fujifilm. This is exactly what children need to do, get out and take photographs and capture wonderful images, what a great learning experience. Thank you for the opportunity.

  29. says

    Izzy loves and is very good at taking photos with our phone cameras. I never thought to give her the phone to take photos when we went to the zoo last, I really don’t like to let her heave our good camera. A smaller one like this would be perfect for her, for anytime.

  30. says

    Love, love this post. My eldest has an old camera from his grandma and he takes some of the most interesting pictures- lots of feet and sidewalks. We haven’t taken it to the park or wildlife viewing area, but will do it now that I read your post. As always- love your site!!

  31. Melanie says

    What a fabulous giveaway. i have been trying to save for a camera for my almost 7 year old. I am a photographer and he seems to really enjoy it too.

  32. Narelle Rock says

    I have a 5yr old who loves taking pictures and videos…and a 3yr old who loves being the centre of attention, this would be great, the 2 of them could go crazy!

  33. says

    What a great idea. We frequently lend the camera to our 6YO to take photos in the garden and park. It’s a great way to build confidence in his creativity… He’s also enjoying the visual diary of his little world.

  34. Anna K says

    Yay! Go Fuji! I had no idea they were wroking towards sustainability in these ways. I remember the first photos we took as kids of fish swimming in the lake….we have lots of photos of muddy water to look over now…and it makes us laugh every time.

  35. Amelia Parker says

    They wiggle, they squirm!
    They stick out a tongue!
    Am I asking too much
    Of these children so young,
    To sit still for a minute
    With a most beautiful smile,
    I would love Fujifilm finepix XP30 camera to snap those moments of my kids

  36. Belinda Ban says

    Something so simple, so old school…the brilliant idea of camera for my son as a way for HIM to capture his childhood, his friends, that crazy bug or whatever he chooses…his life, his memories!

  37. Rosemarie says

    My little girl is obsessed by photo’s, she sees me using our SLR and wants to see herself on the screen all the time.

  38. Rachel K says

    I’d love to win this camera. I would give it to my mum who has never had a digital camera and is the world’s worst photographer! She used to cut peoples heads off and things were never centred! Perhaps with this camera she could find some confidence to take photos. She has always wanted to be able to sing in tune and take a decent photo. Well, I couldn’t help her with the singing, she is never going to sing in tune, but perhaps I can help her with the photography!

  39. Laura C says

    My young daughter is a budding photographer who also loves visits to the zoo, so she would love this! What a great camera.

  40. Nerys Lewis says

    Such a lovely idea for kids to become independant and creative in their own way, seeing their creations in photos then working with them on memory scrapbooks. My kids love my camera and animals at the moment so for them to have thier own would be great, just incase they do break mine.
    Hadn’t even thought about them taking pictures of animals at a wildlife park or a zoo :)

  41. says

    Miss Possum looks like a real budding photographer!
    My boys have just started figuring out that little button in the middle of Mama’s iPhone. It won’t be long until they’ll start getting snap happy, I’m sure of it!

  42. Lynne lillington says

    My 7 year old UK grandaughter is coming to stay for 4 weeks and I have bought her a scrapbook to diary her trip all she needs is a camera to take photos for it.

  43. Joanne Emery says

    I would love to win this for my grandson. He lives in the remote NT in an Aboriginal community, I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like and it would be amazing to see the world through his eyes.

  44. Tracy Boulter says

    A camera is a must to share all our precious moments together, the fun times and important occasions in our lives.

  45. Melissa Jones says

    Love to win it to teach my little one how to take photos. He’s always curious of camera, every time when I take photos for him, he tries to grab it

  46. Elesha Nazzari says

    Fantastic prize for somebody’s little one!!! What a great way for my children to capture their own precious moments…

  47. Fatima Shah says

    It would stop my daughter from stealing my phone out of my bag to take photos (and draining my battery in the process without me realising!) :)

  48. says

    We’ve been talking about getting Miss E (she’s almost 4) a camera for Christmas. She’s taken many photos on my iPhone and is getting really good, and after moving to a semi-rural block we have lots of wildlife ready for snapping. She’d love a camera of her own, so she can snap photos of our local frogs, wallabies, possums and birds (as well as the neighboring sheep and horses). I’ve just come across your site from Divine Finds, and am really excited about bringing your ideas to our family to teach them about our local wildlife :)

  49. TBassula says

    My boys *love* to take photos – and sometimes they take the most extraordinary pictures! However my camera – admittedly only a cheapie – really isn’t up to the abuse dished out by the kids! This camera with it’s shock proof – water proof – dust proof features would though!! It seems like an ideal camera for kids and would be great to take to the beach, camping, and exploring in the backyard!

  50. Michelle says

    My number 2 child would love a camera so she can take her own pictures. Big sis doesn’t like her borrowing her camera.

  51. Sacha Pech says

    Master 3yo has LOVED taking photos for about a year; he knows how to use our quite complicated one and can review pictures and change settings. However this becomes a problem when I want to upload what I think is 10 cute pics of him and his sister onto facebook and it turns out i’m downloading 250 pictures including pics of his feet, his sister, unflattering photos of myself cooking tea and our dogs.

  52. Natalie Stoute says

    My boys love looking through our photo albums. It would be great for them to have their own album of pictures they’ve taken themselves.

  53. MissT says

    My DD would adore this. She’s always wanting to use my phone to take photos and I’m petrified of her dropping it!

  54. Annie says

    With Finepix, the kids can “capture” some wild creatures,
    And study their unique features.
    I won’t be upset, because the house will not get,
    Over run with creepy crawlies or even leeches!

  55. tanya bowers says

    wow i would love my gorgeous daughter to own her own camera as there has been a few times shes dropped my camera and its an expensive one hehe

  56. karen says

    Growing up, my parents couldn’t afford a camera, so I didn’t get to play with one until I became independent myself. I feel my parents missed out on so many opportunities with 6 children and my siblings and I also missed many opportunities. I don’t have any photos of myself as a child. With a curious 3 year old it would be great to give him the opportunity to create his own memories.

  57. Sonja Holness says

    I think it’s great that they are making super tough camera’s now that you’re not afraid to let children use. Miss 4 is getting an iPod for xmas, she love’s taking photo’s but I’m not about to let her near my DSLR.

  58. Chantelle Cocks says

    My little girl is 16mths and is starting to be very interested in my camera. She also adores animals. If we won this I could expect many extreme close-ups of the cats.

  59. Anne C says

    Would be ideal for my grandson who loves taking photos. I always worry that my good camera won’t withstand rough treatment from excited little hands so the tough little FujiFilm Finepix XP30 would be perfect for him!

  60. Emily lehmann says

    What a wonderful giveaway and great gift for Christmas coming up! I have a beautiful goddaughter who absolutely loves her puppies and would be thrilled record all the special moments with her very own camera! (not our fragile iPhones :)

  61. Megan Olsen says

    I’d love to win this for my dughter so she could have her very own camera and stop using mine. mines very complicated and I worry she will break it but this ones tough and easy to use

  62. Lucie says

    Cameras are a wonderful educational tool it is super fun taking photos of amazing animals and flowers and develop a love and respect for nature. Photos are great for taking to preschool for news and talking about the special experience .

  63. Natasha McGrath says

    I would love to give one to my 9 year lod niece for christmas.She just loves taking photos but her parents won’t allow her to use theirs.I let her use mine when visiting once and she dropped it on the tiles and broke it!it was a great fuji camara and it would be priceless to see her face whilst receiving a gift like this.

  64. Cecilia Bell says

    My son loves to grab my camera and although I am a bit nervous of him dropping it, I am always fascinated by the way he sees the world!

  65. Faysie says

    Our 5 year old has asked Santa for a camera.. this information has arrived just in time. T.J. will have a Granny who can actually give her some advice! lol

  66. Renee @ adventuresathomewithmum says

    Great tips!
    I’d love to give my son a lesson in photography and get him closer to nature. It’s very educational

  67. ang says

    this would be perfect for my girls as they are little doras and love to explore all the wildlife and they play dora and bindi its funny and cute now the camera would help make it more special

  68. Stacy says

    I need a different camera because my little one always covers the lens with his hands. He can’t figure out how to move his fingers. :-)

    • Penny Whitehouse says

      That is so cute. I’m sure it won’t take him long to figure out how to use it correctly. In the mean time, you’ll watch those little fingers grow in the images he creates :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] in the backpack giveaway but if you visit Wildlife Fun 4 Kids and follow the prompts you could win a FujiFilm Finepix XP30 camera! [...]

  2. Guest Post – For Children: Eight Backpack Essentials for making Divine Wildlife Finds with Wildlife Fun 4 Kids | Divine Finds says:

    [...] 7. Camera. Little explorers can’t wait to get a hold of a camera, and letting them have their own is the perfect way for them to document their wildlife finds. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for you, as parents, to see what animals pique your child’s interest. This is the only item on the list that isn’t included in the backpack giveaway but if you visit Wildlife Fun 4 Kids and follow the prompts you could win a FujiFilm Finepix XP30 camera! [...]

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