Outdoor Photography Activities for Kids in Santa Monica

You will usually find most children these days busy on a computer or phones and tablets. Or you will find them watching television. All these activities cause them to sit in one place for a prolonged duration. This increases the risk of obesity in children. They don’t go out much; therefore, their social interactions are limited. This increases the chances of children feeling lonely and getting depressed as they grow up. Their creativity and overall mental development are negatively impacted.
The best solution to this is to get your child in the outdoors. Ensure they are involved in an activity that involves a lot of physical movement and social interactions.
Photography is an activity that your child will find interesting. Learning photography will pique your child’s curiosity and help them become more creative. You will also find a remarkable difference in your child’s social interactions as they meet and interact with more people when outdoors.

You can start by buying a camera that is most relevant for your child. If your child is small, it would make more sense to purchase a kid’s camera for them as those are light in weight yet they are sturdy. The buttons are small. And a kid’s camera will fit perfectly in your child’s hands. Also, the functions on a kid’s camera are a lot less complex. If your child is older, you can consider giving them your old camera instead of purchasing a new one. You can even give them a kids tablet if you want so that they can click photos and also, entertain themselves with the games and other educational activities on it.

In any case, ensure that your child has a camera which is exclusively used by them. Having their own camera will give them a feeling of ownership. This will make your child more careful and responsible for their belongings. Taking into account that your child will be using the camera outdoors, it would be ideal to invest in a camera case so as to avoid damage to the camera. A camera strap is also recommended. Explain the functions of every button on the camera. Teach them how to hold the camera in order to get a good grip as well as keep it steady. While outdoors, your child may not always find a flat surface to stand on. The surface may be rugged, uneven or slippery. Teach your child some good postures and stances on how to balance themselves while on such surfaces.
It would be ideal to first get some hands-on experience at home or close to home. If you have indoor plants or shrubs and trees in your backyard, it would be a great idea to get your child started with capturing photographs of these. The macro setting on the mode dial will be an excellent option to capture the leaves in a size, larger than life.
If you spot any bugs on the leaves of these plants, your child will be enthralled to capture the fine details of their color, shape, and size. If you have watered the plants, and there are residual water droplets on the leaves, you can teach your child to capture this. Your child will find it interesting to see the reflection of the camera on the water droplets, as macro setting magnifies these details.

Listed below are a few places in Santa Monica, where your child will find it ideal to hone their photography skills.
• Santa Monica Pier
• Palisades Park
• Tongva Park
• Museum of Flying
• Santa Monica Beach
I: Santa Monica Pier
Being an admission-free amusement park, this place is ideal as it is light on the pocket. There are many rides in the amusement park. It will be an interesting opportunity for your child to learn you capture photographs of various rides, while they are in motion. You can teach your child how to adjust the shutter speed so as to get a sharp shot. If the mode dial on your camera offers a sports setting, you may want to teach your child to experiment with this setting as it increases the shutter speed automatically, thereby freezing the action captured in the frame.
II: Palisades Park
Palisades Park is another admission free location where your child can learn photography. Surrounded by scenic beauty and a large variety of trees, your child will not only learn photography but also learn to appreciate the beauty of nature.
III: Tongva Park
Tongva Park is another green space in Santa Monica. There are many metal sculptures and local flora in the premise. It is a nicely designed place and offers an excellent view of the Santa Monica Pier. Your child will enjoy clicking photographs of the fountain, uniquely shapes arches and enclosures.
IV: Museum of Flying
This museum’s collection boasts of aviation art, exhibits and artifacts. Children are always fascinated by airplanes and aircraft. Your child will thoroughly enjoy the experience of clicking photographs here. It would be a great idea to purchase tickets online, rather than in person as this way you are not only sure about securing a ticket but purchasing the ticket online is cheaper than purchasing it in person.
V: Santa Monica Beach
This beach runs the entire length of the city of Santa Monica. Your child will enjoy clicking photographs of the ocean waves, the sunset and the people on the beach. Though it is likely that your child would feel enthusiastic about going closer to the waves in order to capture a better shot, it is advisable to ask them to refrain from doing so as a sudden big wave may damage the camera.
Learning photography at a young age will help them document their life. As they grow old, they will have fond memories to look on and cherish. Learning a creative skill boosts a child’s confidence. If your child is through with the basics of photography at a young age, with the right guidance they can even take it up as a fulfilling career option. Spending time with your child teaching them photography, will make it an interactive activity and will improve your bond with your child.
About the Author:
 Dan Barr is a photographer, a parent to two girls, and the founder of KidsCameraGuide.com, a blog which is all about teaching photography to kids and kids cameras. You can visit Dan at his website www.kidscameraguide.com
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