This past weekend we went camping with some friends. They also have two young girls, so I was really racking my brain for activities to keep them busy. Here is one that I came up with that was so much fun for both the girls and their parents.
I have always liked scavenger hunts but I thought one of the problems was when it comes to nature, collecting objects isn’t always the best or simplest thing to do, so I thought why not search for the objects and have the kids photograph them? Kids love cameras and photography. The fantastic thing about digital cameras is that you can see the pictures instantly and with high capacity memory cards, you can literally take hundreds of images.
First, I came up with a list of things to photograph. I created categories of various things that are not too difficult to find in nature. I also wanted to include a learning component in the activity, so I added facts and descriptions for the Biology, Colors, Shape and Texture categories.
Please feel free to download and print or use them as a guide to create your own:
We scavenged up 4 digital cameras. One to give to each child. Each child was able to choose a parent as a guide. Their was a small nature trail encircling the campground that allowed for a nice little hike and great chances for the photography of different items on their list. We found that the list of items helped to focus both the girls and parents on looking at objects around them. Giving the girls the task of finding these things kept them more engaged and helped create opportunities to look at things differently. When Emma found an interesting object, like a uniquely shaped rock or tree, we analyzed it more. We tried to find a category that it fit into that we hadn’t already filled.
Here are the girls and 5 of the photos they each took.
This was a really fun activity to get both kids and parents to look at the things around them with a new or different perspective. I created these collages for each of the girls as a fun way to document their scavenger hunt.
Who knows, maybe someday they will look back and be able to say “This was the day that my love affair with nature and photography began.”