We make extensive use of photographs in daily life at our Treasured Tots childcare centres.
Over the years, we’ve learnt the value of using photographs as teaching and learning aids. They’re an incredibly powerful resource, supporting a child’s holistic development in many surprising ways.
Photos freeze a moment in time, but it’s the child’s response to the image that really counts. When a child sees a photograph of their family, or an excursion they went on, or a favourite animal or a picture of themselves - their sensory connection to the image can have a strong influence on the way they feel, how they learn and how they develop.
A camera is a powerful tool for educators to deepen their understanding of children and their development. There are so many different opportunities for teachers to capture moments of wonder, discovery, laughter, fun and joy when they’ve got a camera in hand. Many of these images serve as ‘teachable moments’, helping children to develop, discover, explore and expand their horizons.
At Treasured Tots, we use our cameras to:
- document children’s experiences at school
- measure a child’s milestones
- provide positive reinforcement
- encourage reflection
- motivate learning and involvement
- identify areas of interest
Of course, privacy is imperative and we take every precaution to ensure we get written consent from a child’s parents or caregiver to take and display any images.
Let’s look in more depth at some of the key reasons why we use photographs - and photography - at our child care centres.
Photographs encourage a love of learning
Visual aids, such as photographs, stimulate visual literacy. An experienced teacher will know what questions to ask a child when they are presented with a photograph, they’ll know how to open up new pathways for discussion and discovery and they’ll encourage critical thinking and interpretation.
Photographs support language development and literacy
There’s plenty of truth in the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. Children can be encouraged to articulate what they see in the image and how it makes them feel. They can be encouraged to feel pride and enthusiasm about the learning experience and they can also learn to recognise simple words when labels are displayed with photos.
Photographs support a child’s intellectual development
A photograph can be used in many different ways to support a child’s intellectual development. For example, a picture of a recent activity at the childcare centre such as an incursion with animals or a tree-planting day can be used to extend that experience and further their journey of discovery.
Photographs support a child’s emotional development
Imagine a child who experiences separation issues and who finds it really difficult to start their day at childcare without a tearful and often traumatic parting. A family photograph can give them some comfort, helping them connect to family and thereby helping them to develop and mature. Better still, if a teacher is on hand with a camera to capture the moment when the child manages a tear-free parting, they can then show the child (and the parents) the photograph to reassure them and build up their confidence, their self-esteem and their motivation.
Photographs can help a child with social skills
Children just love seeing themselves in photos. Photos of happenings in the child-care environment, eg in the playground or around the art table can be valuable opportunities to discuss positive concepts like caring, sharing, inclusivity, kindness and co-operation.
Photographs build a bond between the childcare centre and the family
It is family first at Treasured Tots - we strive to be a ‘Home away from Home'. We encourage our families to share photographs with our team and we encourage families to borrow our centres’ albums so that we can strengthen the bonds between us.
If you’re thinking about child care centres in Perth and would like a glimpse of life at Treasured Tots, have a look at the pics on our Facebook pages or visit our website, www.treasuredtots.com.au. You can also book a tour of one of our quality childcare centres in Fremantle, Bibra Lake and Mandurah through the website - and we hope to meet you very soon!