Brayden’s kindergarten class is learning about art this month and his teachers asked me to come in and teach a photography lesson. I teach adults a lot. I’ve got that down. But, kids? 5 and 6 year olds? They scare me. I know these kids. I see them everyday. And they are a great group of kids. However, the thought of getting in front of them and trying to teach them about photography? That scared the crap out of me. And most of all, I was worried about Brayden. Would he be embarrassed? Would I traumatize him? Would I ruin his life with this one photography lesson?
Of course I couldn’t say no. I lost sleep over it and put off planning it until a couple of days before and then I came up with a game plan. I decided to use the Fuji Instax Mini as the camera for the lesson (I have one and a good friend lent me two more). I loved that the kids would have the instant gratification of getting their prints right then and there. I know my kids like to have something tangible right away.
But, I needed something for the kids to practice with and keep them busy while they weren’t taking pictures. I wanted them to be able to think about what they were going to take a picture of before they got their hands on the real camera. I searched and searched for something that was affordable (I needed 27 of them) and durable (because we know how careful 5 and 6 year olds are) and I came up empty handed.
Feeling defeated, I ran to the grocery store for avocados when I walked down the cereal aisle and spotted the little cereal boxes. The kind that come in a variety pack. They are affordable and just the right size. I rushed home and created the template and with a little bit of tweaking in Photoshop it worked. And as soon as I saw Brayden’s reaction I knew it would be a hit.
Want to make one for your little Kidtographers? Here’s what you’ll need:
- The template (you may not sell the template or duplicate it in any way, shape, or form).
- A mini cereal box. I used the variety pack from Kellogg’s. Other brands might vary in size so be careful if you opt to use a different kind.
- X-acto knife
- Glue (I found that Aleene’s Tacky Glue worked best. Elmer’s was too runny)
- Yarn and a stapler if you’d like to attach a strap
Step 1 – Print out the template. I tried a thicker stock paper, but it doesn’t fold as well. Regular, old paper works best. Fold it under the blue and cut a bit off the right side. You might have to cut a bit from the top too. It just depends on the way your printer is aligned.
Step 2 – Put glue on the box. I’ve found that less glue is more with this project. Dot, dot, not a lot as they say in my daughter’s preschool class
Step 3 – Put the print on a table with the camera face down and line the sign of the box that has glue on it with the camera (the fold that you did in step 1 will help you align it properly). Apply glue to the bottom and other side of the box and fold the paper around the box pulling it snug so there are no wrinkles.
Step 4 – Put glue on the top of the box and fold the side without the shutter over.
Step 5 – Add a little more glue and fold the other side over the top.
Step 6 – Fold the ends like you are wrapping a present. Add a little more glue and secure.
I then stood the box on the side and put my old iPhone on top (anything with a little weight will do) for a few minutes to make sure those ends didn’t pop back up.
Step 7 – When the box was dry I used an x-acto knife to cut the viewfinder (the grey boxes on the front and back of the camera).
Step 8 – The last thing I did was secure yarn with on the sides with a stapler for a little strap.
Did I mention that these kids were so excited that they each got one? It was like I was Santa Claus as I handed them out!
Want to know what I taught these kids? I’ll be posting what they learned on Wednesday!