Let me start by adding a little honesty to this post! Whilst most of the time, I set up activities with the kids, so that we can have a little creative fun together… sometimes, they are more a way of getting a few minutes to myself so I can get a little work done… this is probably one of those moments!
I set up a creative table prompt for my daughter:
- natural materials such as rocks, shells, feathers, pinecones, birch bark
- camera on tripod (with macro lens)
I masked off the area on top of her little bookcase that was within the camera frame and suggested she could set up little scenes and take photos with the camera.
Lily loves taking photos, especially if she gets a chance to take photos with my camera! Because it is Winter and the lighting pretty much sucks, we used the camera on the tripod and we used a timer shot.
Naturally the first thing she did, was pile EVERYTHING into the frame! It took a little explaining to get the idea in her head about making different shots, taking things away and adding new elements, moving things around.
Then I added a new prompt. I asked Lily to think up a story that she would like to tell with the dinosaurs and then we could take lots of photos of everything that happened and print the photos out to make a book. I’m not sure the idea really sank in, as I went back to check on her and she told me she had finished making her story… but when asked, she said she hadn’t taken any photos. So I was a little hands on and asked a few more questions
- “How does your story start?”
- “What happens at the beginning?”
- “What happens next?”
- “How do you think they could do that?”
Suffice to say, she decided the dinosaurs were superheros, so we fashioned some capes out of organic fabric swatches and some holographic tape.
Lily wanted to take photos of the dinosaurs jumping…
but as you can see, it was really blurry. So next we took a sequence of jumping shots and when we were viewing them back, Lily really liked the animation effect of viewing the photos one after another!
After, Lily decided that she had finished taking photos, I printed/cut them out and gave her some folded A4 paper to make her own story! She chose the name of the story and the order to put the photos and wrote the page numbers. She had a go at writing some of the story too. I cleaned it up a little for the photobook, and only included some of the more legible words!
Giving opportunities for creating stories is a great way to get a little creative and practice, pre-reading/pre-writing skills, reading and writing! You could use photos or drawings.
You don’t need a fancy camera, you could just take photos using a phone or a kid’s camera. I wouldn’t have worried about using the tripod either if it was summer, but as it happens, Lily quite likes using the tripod too!
She like her book so much that she decided to take it into school this morning, to show her teachers and friends!