It is school holidays in Victoria at the moment. We finished the term quite tired and the young ones in particular where looking for some rest and low key play. We will head out and do a few special activities over the holidays, but we will spending most of our days at home, pottering, playing and doing simple activities like these!
The lovely prior owners of our house loved gardening (unlike me) and each spring we have an amazing assortment of bulbs pop up and add gorgeous colour to our garden. These are perfect for the kids to practice some flower arranging.
I let the kids use small scissors to cut the flowers from the garden and then again inside the house as they trim them and arrange them.
The arrangement above was the work of master 3.5 last week. I think he did a pretty good job!
I used to love paper weaving as a kid! To do paper weaving you need one thicker piece of paper and then standard paper cut into strips. I used a stanley knife to cut lines in the thicker paper (on a chopping board) and cut lines across the paper keeping a margin of about 2 cms at each end, so the paper would still be stable.
There is a lot for kids to think about when doing this. Which way do I start? Do I go over or under? It is also great for kids to self correct by looking at their pattern and seeing where they may have skipped a line.
Chalk Drawing and Games
Sidewalk chalk is a great drawcard to get the kids outside. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon recently we went to the foot path out the front of our house and played games of giant noughts and crosses (tic tac toe).
The kids then chose to draw and write as well, keeping them happily entertained in the sunshine.
Water painting is a perennial favourite at our place. It usually starts with the youngest doing it and the older kids always join in. It is an activity that works well after chalk drawing as they can paint away some of their drawings!
The younger three are very much into making their own books at the moment. The kids fold up sheets of paper and staple them together to create the blank canvas for their story.
This activity is a great one for the kids to stop and start and pick up on as they feel like it. It also works well as an activity you can take out of the home too, if there is going to be wait time for the kids.
iPhone Photography Tips
All of the photos above were taken using my iPhone 4s. Usually for posts I use the DSLR which I am still very much learning how to use. But I find if the kids are doing something I would like to take a photo of, if I run off and get the big camera out, it changes things.
I like being able to use the iPhone as it is most often the only camera I have on me and it is also much easier just to take a few quick snaps without distracting them in their play as much.
However, I also want the photos to look clear and bright if I am going to post them on the blog. Over the last few weeks I have been practising my photography skills on the iPhone using tips from iPhone Photography E-book (aff) I was given from Digital Photography School.
You can see the contents page and more info about the e-book here. But here are my favourite tips I have picked up from the e-book:
- There are great camera replacement apps out there, that can make taking great photos easier. I now use one of the recommend apps, that makes the whole iPhone screen trigger sensitive, so to take a photo, I only have to touch the screen not look for the tiny button to take the photo. Very handy when photographing kids who move so quickly.
- The importance of being close up to take great photos.
- Using the grid function to help with composition. The grid helps me work with the rule of thirds to add better balance to the photos I am taking.
- What that little blue square does! If you touch your iPhone screen when taking a photo, a blue square will appear. Where the blue square is on the screen, is where the focus for the photo will be.
- And there are great tools you can use to edit your photos on your iPhone. I am really enjoying experimenting with filters, adjustments to enhance the photos and spotlight the area of the photo I want to shine.
Here a few I have edited from the photos of the kids activities:
Th e-book cover specific types of photography, eg street, family, nature and at night. I love street photography so am looking forward to trying out the tips from the book when we are out and about over the school holidays.
I would have liked a little more info on using the iPhone grid and the rule of thirds in composition in the e-book, as this is something that is not my strong suit. The e-book does give references as to where I can learn more, so I have bookmarked those for future reading.
My photos on the iPhone have definitely improved since reading the e-book and the exercises included have inspired me to be more creative about the photos that I take. And as the iPhone is the camera I have with me everywhere I go, I am keen to make sure I can take the best photos I can with it.
As part of the launch celebrations you can purchase the iPhone Photography eBook for 25% off – $14.99 USD (normally $19.99 USD). And if you buy before midnight on 2 October 2012 (US Eastern Time) you have a chance to win a brand new 16GB iPhone 5!
Do you find you take more photos with the your phone camera, than any other?