Photography for kids Introduction and use of photography in kindergartens and information about media education

Today’s children are growing up surrounded by media. They use it intuitively and without fear. But in order to make their use safe, effective and constructive the handling with media should be learned just as other any other skill. Through media education in kindergartens children can learn about the use and creation of media and its content. The focus in kindergartens should be, in contrast with the usual use at home, not only on the proper handling of media but much more on using media as tools to realize one’s own ideas and goals. Through early media education kindergartens can help close the digital divide and help all children lay good foundations for later media literacy and skills.

Our project aims at creating opportunities for children to get to know, think about and experiment with the medium of photography. Today, pictures are the basis of media; they are a form of communication, but also a form of deception. Being able to critically evaluate pictures is becoming a necessity in the digital age, where most pictures are manipulated in one form or another. With simple activities children can learn how photography can stage reality (with the use of perspective, lighting or simply by choosing what to leave out of the picture), how it can change the past by cutting elements out, how it can “improve” reality (filters, Photoshop) etc. With playful activities with stop motion technique they can experiment with making moving pictures and build their understanding of videos. Photography also offers an excellent opportunity for children to actively use media. They can work on their own topics, learn about and create photography art and they can get to know the language of the media and understand its tricks. Using photography, teachers can involve a wide range of topics, from culture and creativity to science and social topics. All this is possible without major investment into pricy equipment.