Target Age class: Ages 9-12
Area of improvement: Creativity and Encouraging Exploration
Children love to be behind a camera. They will capture images of everything they see around them. There is something about capturing a moment or object’s attributes as they see it through their own eyes. Why not take their passion for photography and turn it into an opportunity for some open ended play? This do you see what I see activity will encourage your child to activate their prior knowledge, use higher level thinking skills such as evaluation, application, analysis, and synthesis; and think outside of the box when it comes to objects that they see around them on an everyday basis to help them understand that things aren’t always what they seem!
In order to inspire your child, take a few extremely close up images of common items that they would see daily in your home or in your yard. For example, you might zoom in and capture the texture of your kitchen countertop, a portion of your stained outdoor fence, or even an image of a section of your family pet’s fur! Print out each color image and see if your child is able to analyze and evaluate the image’s attributes in order to make a reasoned and practical guess about the deconstructed object image that they have in front of them.
Encourage them to think outside the box by leading a discussion about texture, lines, color, shape, and size. Begin categorizing objects around your home that could possible fit within each of these categories, based on the image your child has in front of them. For example, if you present your child with a close up image of black, furry hair from your cat, lead them in a discussion about how the image looks. Words like soft, black, and smooth should arise. Then, begin thinking out loud; categorizing other soft, black, and smooth objects you have in your home. Items like a pillow, blanket, placemat, sweater, or a pair of gloves could be some items that match this description. Finally, begin discussing each item, one by one to determine together if its texture, shape, color, and lines match the close up image. Repeat this process with every image.
Next, hand your child the camera (after teaching them how to focus and zoom) and allow them to explore the inside and outside of your home, looking for everyday items to capture. At first, have them capture 5 images and then build on the amount they capture over time. Now, it’s your turn to be the guesser and try to guess the object photographed through the eyes of your child. Encourage your child to use their creativity and verbal skills to describe and categorize each image to help you make a reasoned and informed decision regarding the mystery image.
This activity is valuable to an older child’s creative and curious side. This form of exploratory play helps them access higher level thinking strategies and skills and applies them in a creative and artistic way.