Nature Photography: A Fun and Free Outdoor Summer Activity for Kids

Snail on a leaf
Snail on a leaf. Photo by Hannah Grove. Youth division. 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest.

Attention, Parents!

Summer officially started a week ago and if your kids aren’t already out of school and hanging around the house, they soon will be. Now, we all know that getting the kids outside is better for your sanity.

But did you also know that studies show that kids who spend more time outdoors show improved attention spans, better overall fitness, less anxiety and higher overall test scores? All that from playing outside!

If you’re looking for fun activities to keep your kids entertained, active and outdoors, nature photography is a great way to pry them away from the computer. Whether they’re exploring their own backyard, going to a local park or capturing photos while on vacation, viewing the world through a camera lens gives your kids a whole new way to connect with and appreciate nature.

In our article, 11 Simple Tips for Kids: Nature Photography, you’ll find ideas for everything from getting your kids started taking photos, including what sort of camera is best (hint: “kids” cameras aren’t always the way to go), to explaining how to focus, helping them find subjects – not every nature photo has to be of a bear – to how to turn photography into a fun and educational game.

Sunset over California valley
Sunset in California. Photo by Kara Wiggans. Youth division. 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest.
Dragonfly. Photo by Hila Ghersin. Youth division. 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest.

Snap and Share Photos!

Find more tips to help kids take better photos here, and then get outside and have fun shooting some photos!

Younger kids (13 and under) are invited to enter their photos in Ranger Rick’s Photo Contest

Older kids (ages 13 to 17) are invited to enter their photos in the Youth division of our annual National Wildlife Photo Contest.