Family Photo Projects

Photo craft projects are great activities to take part in with your family and kids.

It is important that parents take time out of their busy schedules to bond with their children as a family. Craft activities are a great way to interact with your kids and get their imaginations and creativity flowing"¦ and yours too! Here are five fun and easy family photo craft projects to take on with your kids:

1. PHOTO CALENDAR

If you have a digital camera or a scanner and a photo printer, you can make your very own photo calendar from the comfort of your home. This is a great family photo project because you will enjoy your finished project for an entire calendar year! Look through family pictures with your children, and try to match up pictures with the month on your calendar that you would like them to represent. For example, maybe you have a picture of your family gathered around the Christmas tree that you think would be perfect for December. Maybe there is a shot of you and your kids playing at the beach on your summer vacation, and you would like that to represent July or August. If your daughter's birthday is in May, you could use a photo from one of her birthday parties to represent that month. You will have a blast looking through pictures to find the perfect fits - it is likely to lead to several trips down memory lane. Once you have chosen a picture for every month of the year, it's time to get started on constructing your calendar. If the pictures are already stored on your computer, then all you have to do is format them to the size that you would like your calendar to be, and then print them out. If they aren't on your computer yet, then you can scan them onto your computer, and then format the size and print them out. Once you have printed out the photos, your next step is making the actual calendar pages. You can either use your computer to create and print out calendar pages, or you and your kids can design them yourself with markers and stencils. To put the calendar together, use a hole-puncher to make holes at the top of your calendar, and then thread the holes with some thin wire (which you can find at a hardware store or a crafts store). Make sure to bend in the ends of the wire so that there aren't any jagged edges exposed.

2. PHOTO STORIES

Think about it: when you look through a photo album, you are reliving the stories behind the pictures that you look at. Photo stories are great fun because they give you and your kids the opportunity to revisit happy memories. As an example, you could create a photo story from the pictures you have of bringing home a new family dog. To start the photo story, put pictures in chronological order. First, there is a picture of your family at the animal shelter. Next, there is a shot of your son with the new puppy. Next, there is a shot of the puppy exploring his home. You decide how "long" you want your story to be (try to keep it under ten pictures though or this will be a very time-consuming undertaking. Once you have put the pictures in order, come up with captions to go along with each picture. For example, on the shot of your son with the new puppy, your caption could say, "Billy and Scooter"¦ best friends at first sight." Since you probably don't want to write on your photos, write the captions on construction paper that is cut to the same size as each photo. To finish the project, mount your photos on a wall in your home (maybe in one of your kids' rooms, depending on the story that you chose), and hang each caption below its respective photo.



3. ABRIDGED FAMILY TREE

You don't need to trace your entire genealogical history down to have some fun with a family tree photo project (in fact, that doesn't really sound like fun at all, especially for kids). However, it is fun to tackle an abridged family tree photo project - only three generations long. To start, get together with your family to pick out photos - you need one of each of your children, one of mom, one of dad, one of both grandmas, and one of both grandpas. Next, use construction paper to make a tree. Let your kids go wild with creativity here - it doesn't have to be perfect; it just has to have enough branches to accommodate each person who will be featured in your abridged family tree. Once they have finished, start adding the photos. The kids are on the lowest branches, then mom and dad are the next level, and the grandmothers and grandfathers are at the top. If you have a group photo of everyone who is represented on the family tree, it is a nice touch to mount that photo on the base of the tree trunk.

4. PHOTO GREETING CARDS

Instead of sending out photo greeting cards with the typical scene - everyone poised to perfection for the photo, decked out in front of a faux fireplace that they had as the backdrop at the mall's photography center, each person decked out in their Sunday best - have fun with photo greeting cards. Tell your kids to think of some funny themes that you could use for your greeting cards. For example, maybe all of your should dress up like clowns or animals. Feel free to make several different greeting card motifs - after all, if you have more than one kid, and they have more than one idea for the photo, how are you going to pick just one? The recipients of these cards will really get a laugh out of the creative lengths that you family has gone to, and these cards will be much more memorable than the run-of-the-mill photo greeting cards.

5. COLLAGE

Collages are fun to make and they are really fun to look at too. You can cram tons of memories all into one spectacular display. To make a photo collage, you will need as many photos as you can find. If there are originals that you don't want to cut up for the collage, scan them onto your computer and then print them out. If you have a digital photo album stored on you computer, you should just print out the pictures that you want to use in the collage. When trimming your photos to get them collage-ready, trim around the focal point of the photo. For example, if there is a picture of your family pet, cut out the pet only, not the background of the picture. The number of pictures that you cut out is up to you, depending on how large you would like your collage to be. You can mount the photos on a piece of sturdy cardboard or a thin sheet of wood. Basically, any flat surface will work. Lie whatever you are using as your base on a flat surface, and arrange the pictures as you want them to appear on the collage - don't glue anything yet! Once you are satisfied with the layout of the collage, you can glue the photos into place. If there are small gaps between some of the photos, you can fill them in with rhinestones, glitter, or cutouts from magazines - be creative! Photo collages are not only fun to make, but they also make great (and affordable) gifts for other family members and friends.

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