Wear a smile during National Photo Month!


We well remember Nat King Cole’s song, “When You’re Smiling, The Whole World Smiles with You!” During the month of May, we usually have graduation ceremonies, piano recitals, dance recitals and other end-of-year ceremonies which bring on smiles and many happy pictures among family members and friends! This May, celebrations are being done differently at home, with individuals, families and friends practicing social distancing and maintaining small gatherings.

Cameras have come a long way over time.

In the fifth and sixth centuries, the foundation of optics were developed by the Greeks and Chinese. I know the Greater Generation remembers the first 35mm camera, which was equipped with a modern flash bulb.

 We can remember the “camera bugs” in our families who took pictures of every moment of their children’s lives! We would see and chase spots from the bright flash bulbs for hours. Black and white film was used first, then I remember in 1963 colored film brightly colored our family and friends’ photographs!

Digital cameras came along in 1984, but now, we use our phones to capture special moments! Pictures speak a thousand words of family and friend’s celebrations as well as history! I lead would like to share some simple family projects you can do to celebrate National Photo Month. I hope these make you smile and say “cheese!”

During this time of being at home, you can take pictures of everything! This month offers some beautiful nature pictures that can be taken in your own backyard.

Let your children take pictures on a nature walk or of fun family activities. Be sure you have someone take a picture of the family together during this time.

Our pets, whether it be dogs, cats, rabbits, goldfish, etc., brings such joy when we look at pictures of animals. Children love to play and do different poses with their pets which can offer a perfect photograph opportunity.

You will want to save some of your pictures along the way. As a family project, many of us may have stored pictures in envelopes and boxes because we are so busy and don’t have enough time to organize them. This is a great time to organize them into a photo album or scrapbook. Creativity of each family member with child drawn pictures, stickers, shapes, forms, etc. can be contributed to these projects.

As families start to collect family photos from, those can be turned into a focused family tree. Children love to learn about their families. They can see how things are similar and different among generations.

We can find many photos online to cover any subject that we are teaching our children. How about taking a virtual field trip to picture galleries and museums in our area, as well as around the world? Your children will love to learn about the art of photography.

This month is also National Smile Month, so put on your biggest smile! In your family, play the game of smiling the biggest! I do this in the early childhood classroom when we are having sort of a dreary day. I will ask my students to put on a great big smile and surprise as I close my eyes then turn around and open my eyes to big outstretched smiles showing happy eyes and snaggle teeth! I love it and your children will too.

Take a picture of that surprise smile too! This is a special time that your children can use to make smile treats with cupcakes or cookies using frosting. Smiles can be made with frosting, raisins, M&M’s or whatever is your child’s favorite snack.

You know when you smile at folks they cannot help but smile back. All of us need to both give and receive during this time.


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