Oh, to be barefoot at the beach right now! This photo takes me back to our summer vacation last year. It was late in the day, and we were heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
It was a HOT summer last year, so I guess it's fitting that it's been an extremely cold and snowy winter so far. I'm sure a lot of people are dreaming of a day on the beach these days. Hopefully, this photo will warm you up. If not, here's one that might!
Well, if you've been reading this blog for a long time, you know that I love to take photos. With digital cameras these days, even amateurs like me can take some pretty extraordinary ones once in a while.
Photographs have the power to take us into the past, present, or future, and into real and/or imaginary worlds. That's why they're an amazing learning and teaching tool.
We take some of the best photos on family vacations, but let's face it: most of us don't get to visit nearly as many places as we'd like to in our lifetimes.
That's where the one and only National Geographic comes in. Their stunning photographs, and research-based resources, bring a world of learning into our own homes and classrooms. History, culture, geography, art, music, and science come to life with each and every one of the resources they create and share.
Here are just a few of the messages I've taken away from their highly educational resources over the years:
- Global Awareness: We all are connected, no matter who we are, or where we come from.
- Cultural Understanding: We all can learn from each other, at any and every age.
- Environmental Awareness: We are only hurting ourselves if we don't come together to protect our planet, our animals, and our people.
- Lifelong Learning: There are many ways to learn, and many opportunities to do so every single day of our lives. We just have to have an open mind, an open book, and an open heart.
Can you tell I love National Geographic?! I've written about their children's literature many times in the past, and for good reason. The quality of their materials never fails to exceed my expectations. And that's not such an easy task.
If you subscribe to National Geographic Kids magazine, you probably already know that the results of the 2010 International Photo Contest for Kids were released last week. It really is amazing what these children were able to do! Check out the stunning photographs here.
If anything comes through loud and clear from that photo contest, it's that children are capable of so much more than many of us give them credit for. With a little time, imagination, and focus, anything is possible.
Who knows, these photos might just unleash the inner artist, or even the creative writer, in your child! Even if s/he has no interest in entering the next contest, there's also a moderated photo community where your child can upload, share, and comment on photos. Or, s/he can just share them with friends and family members.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, children might enjoy making a photo collage (or photo cards) for friends or relatives. Last year, The Huffington Post put together some related National Geographic animal photos in honor of the occasion. You can even take a Valentine's Day quiz about holiday traditions from around the world. Plus, the current issue of National Geographic Kids magazine has other related articles and activities for children. To find out more details about the issue, here's a PDF summary: Download Ngkids_feb2011_highlights.
Is it as cold where you are as where I am? Some beach photographs which might warm you up. Or, just close your eyes and imagine being on a tropical island with the sun streaming down and the warm sand against your feet. Take a moment to relax and take a deep breath. You deserve it!
You can find more photographs in my Friday Photo Fun category. And here are some related posts:
I hope you're having a great week!