Make a Valentine for Mom: Digital Cameras Make it Easy for Kids to Preserve Memories

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(ARA) - Digital photography is fast emerging as a popular family-friendly hobby. A recent survey of 1,500 parents and children conducted by Harris Interactive found that almost nine in 10 kids are enthusiastic about engaging in projects with their parents that involve technology, such as using digital photos to create greeting cards.

Children are fascinated by photography. They won’t settle for simply having their pictures taken. They want to grab the camera and start snapping away themselves. But if you’re a parent with an expensive digital camera, you may hesitate to hand it over.

Those who question the wisdom of sharing their camera with young children may be reassured by a recent nursery school project in Scotland. A classroom of four-year-olds was given digital cameras for an entire semester. Although the purpose of the program was enabling the kids to produce a visual record of their activities and experiences while also developing their technology skills, it served another function.

Snapping photos made the afternoon challenge of energizing weary four-year-olds much easier. One teacher commented that when the kids looked a little droopy and their attention wandered, she brought out the cameras. The children enthusiastically started clicking away. They even learned how to upload photos to the computer and share them with friends. According to the teacher, there were benefits beyond providing an introduction to online technology. The children learned to take turns and cooperate and developed their aesthetic and artistic abilities.

Families using traditional film cameras can still take advantage of the benefits of digital photography by using an online photo service. One San Francisco mother armed her kids with disposable cameras and let them roam the house, snapping candid photos of whatever they fancied, whether it was mom at the computer, the cat’s nap in the sunshine or baby brother’s bath in the kitchen sink. At day’s end, the mother collected the cameras and mailed them to Shutterfly (shutterfly.com), a leading online photo service.

Once the photos were uploaded to her Shutterfly account, mom received an email and she and her children went online to select only their favorites. The days of processing all 24 prints to reveal the prized “good ones” are in the past. Using simple-to-use Shutterfly tools, together the mom and her children added creative borders and personal captions, and even transformed color photos into black-and-white. For less than ten dollars, the result was a Shutterfly “Snapbook,” a spiral bound photo album that’s delivered home, or can be mailed directly to doting grandparents as a gift.

Digital photography just might be the answer to preserve those precious family memories.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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Courtesy of ARA Content

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