Handing your smart phone to your toddler or preschooler is certainly not a new concept these days. At the ripe old age of 3, M knows how to unlock my phone, swipe to navigate through the pages of apps, find the icon for the game she wants to play, avoid any in-game ads, exit out of any pop-ups, play videos, and more. She loves looking at pictures and videos of herself on my phone, but for some reason I never thought to show her how to take pictures by herself.
We bought M her own digital camera before she even turned two (this VTech Kidizoom Camera). She loves that she has her own camera, and takes it with her a lot to take "pictures." Typically her pictures consist of shots of the floor, her fingers, the back of the seat in the car, etc. The resolution of the pictures is also so low that there isn't much you can do to actually use them for anything. I don't regret the purchase - she still plays with this camera to this day, but it's more of a toy than an actual camera.
So, when we were sitting around at a fall festival with my parents and my mom handed over her iPhone to M and showed her how to take pictures, you can imagine that I wasn't expecting much. Within minutes M was able to figure out how to angle the phone to get a better shot of her subject, and actually took some decent photos!
Even cooler - in my opinion - was what happened next. She started looking at EVERYTHING through the phone's camera. Everything was new and interesting through this new lens. She examined and took pictures of her reflection in the side of cars, paint lines on the road, cars zooming at an intersection, people's shoes. It was so interesting to me to see some of what she was thinking through the pictures that she took.
I definitely plan to continue to hand over my camera more often, and maybe we'll even put together a book to show the progression of her photography skills over time.
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