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Helping children communicate through photography

by | Jul 18, 2023

Have you considered photography as a tool of communication?

Hi, I’m Lucy and I’m owner of Little Lens – Baby Photography. I have a small studio situated next to my home near Exeter and I specialise in newborn, older baby, children & family photography. I am passionate about my genre for many reasons, one of which is the way photographs remind us of people, places, feelings and gives us all a sense of identity and belonging in a family unit. A child that has family photographs up in their home gives them a connection to their story. It shows how they have grown and changed and helps boost self worth.

Did you know that photography also empowers children, by giving them a tool to express themselves, boost confidence and develop communication from a young age. Communication in children starts from a VERY early age. Lots happen before their verbal communication begins. Their understanding of the world around them begins from watching their adults, exploring their environment, turn taking, role play and playing games. Photography is a great way to expand their understanding. Using this as a tool allows them to communicate ideas, perspectives and emotions in a non verbal way.

I have three small children myself and when the pandemic hit, like a lot of us, I became ‘teacher’ as well as their mum. My eldest was in school, my middle one in preschool and my youngest toddling around. During this time all three of them missed our extended family. Playdates with cousins were on hold, adventures with their grandparents no more and I knew I had to do something to keep their memories of these times alive.

I used what I knew best to create a fun pack of photography based games, which in turn helped all those ages communicate how they were feeling and what they saw in their ‘bubble’ as well as sparking their imagination and creating fun memories for hem to look back on. My youngest daughter, especially loved the peekaboo game which is detailed below. She could find those special faces that she missed and see them whenever she liked. With phones now having cameras on them, I bet there is not a day that goes by where you aren’t taking a photo of your child. How many of us have children that know that the phone takes photos and some already wanting to be able to do it too? It’s the easiest bit of technology for a child to use from a young age. They simply press a button and hey presto, they can see their selfie or the object they have captured.

Here are 3 small games you can try with your little one.

1. I can see a Rainbow

When you are out and about on your adventures or even on a rainy day inside, ask your child to find objects that are the different colours of the rainbow. Let them use your phone to take photos of each object. Can they put them in colour order? What other objects are those colours? This is a great game to spark conversation, teach colour recognition and start seeing patterns in things.

2. Peekabo

You will need the plastic openings of wet wipe packets (five or more), a piece of cardboard and printed photographs (five or more) for this game. Let your child take some photos on your phone of different family members. Take your prints and stick them to the card. Then stick the plastic openings on top of the prints to make a door like opening. Your child can then play peekaboo with the different family members in the photos or you can turn it into a game of memory for the older ones.

3. Hide & Seek

Hide their toy in different places around the house. When they find their toy, let them take a picture of where they found it. After you have 5-10 pictures (depending on how long they want to play for), you can then look back at those photos to tell a story. You can tell the story of the adventures the toy has been on, ask questions to your child about what else they see in the picture or ask them to point to different things that make up the story.

If you like these ideas and want to have more, I have a school starter pack on Etsy that is ideal for prepping your little ones for school over the summer. You can find that here. If you would like to find out more about a family photoshoot with me, then please do get in touch.

I am currently offering ‘Starting School’ mini shoots. Prices starting from £15. Other milestone photoshoots also available.

I’d love to hear from you soon, Lucy.