Mirrors are a great resource to use in any childcare setting and can be used in all sorts of different ways. When little ones can see themselves and what they are doing, its a great way of encouraging play and exploration and help develop a sense of identity. Choose round-edged mirrors that are large, scratch and shatter-proof. Encourage the children to be gentle before play begins.
Some ideas for mirror-based activities:
Babies don't recognise that a mirror is reflecting their own image until they are between 12 and 18 months. The classic test to see if a baby recognises the reflection as themselves is to use lipstick to place a bold mark on their face. If they know that that are looking at themselves, they will reach up to touch the mark. Mirrors are still fun for babies, however, because they help babies to focus on objects and track moving objects with their eyes. They will also think they are looking at another baby and will try to interact with him or her.
It's so expensive to have professional photos taken of your baby, and with today's camera technology you can really create professional-looking and lovely photos with regular cameras.
Here are a few tips!
Keep it simple: try not to attempt catalogue style photos with a fussy background or certain tilt of the head required. Keep the shots easy and simple for you all.
Background: keep an eye on what's behind your baby and check there's no washing on the line, or dustbins in the background or a traffic sign coming out of their head! A leafy hedge, a grassy bank, a blank wall are all simple and effective backgrounds that will look good.
Lighting: light the picture naturally if possible so take pictures outside or in bright rooms. Flash is fine but can distort the colours in the picture or result in red eye or closed eyes!
Sunshine: it's lovely to take shots in the sun, but beware of sun shining in the children's eyes and causing them to squint or shut their eyes. Don't tell them to try and smile and look into the sun... it just won't happen!
Get up close: try to have the photo full of your baby so that about 3/4 of the photo will feature the baby and the rest is background or other things. You can always crop the image after if you don't want to hold the camers in your baby's face.
Practice: get to know what all the buttons on the camera actually do. You may find they enhace the shot with a bit of practice. Take plenty of shots too, don't spend ages lining up a shot and then just take one. You can delete any you don't like.
Tilting: try out some different angles and tilt the cemera, turn it portrait or landscape and play around with what you can do to get the right image.
Eyes right: don't always insist your child looks at the camera. Looking down, or into the sky or eleswhere can make gorgeous shots.
Make it fun!: encourage your children to laugh and enjoy their photo session by making it a game and fun!
Take pictures often: by taking pictures often the children will be familiar with the idea of a camera being used and will not find it intimidating or embarassing.
Taking good photos of children can seem impossible, but with the advent of the digital camera it should be easier than ever. Gone are the days when you take a few snaps, send the films away and six months later see your photos and realise you'd cut off heads and not had the sun behind you!
Here are a few tips to ensure you have a good selection to choose from.
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