Ideas for Using Your Instant Camera

I've always enjoyed taking pictures, so I was thrilled to receive a new Instax instant camera last December! I have lots of sweet childhood memories of eagerly waiting for the image to materialize on a Polaroid.  But, in the modern era of digital cameras, it takes a bit of a mentality shift in order to find the right occasions to break out your hip new instant camera and shake it like...well you know.
Check out these ideas that will get you using your real-film camera right away!

1. Fun photo display.

A quick Pinterest or Instagram search will yield tons of ideas for creating a beautiful photo display in your home or learning space using instant photos and other simple items.  Clip some photos onto a string of twinkle lights using small clothespins or arrange some photos on the wall in a grid using washi tape.  When the small photos are arranged neatly together, they will create a big visual impact and give you the opportunity to change out the images frequently for an ever-fresh look.
2. Party favors.
The next time you host a birthday party, you can use instant photos of guests with the birthday child as party favors.  Attendees will get to take home a memory of the party instead of a cheapy toy that will likely break almost immediately.  You can use special films like the pretty pastel Instax Macaron Film that match your party theme.  Another option is for party-goers to create their own frames as a party activity.  Offer a variety of stickers, washi tapes, or small objects like buttons or shells for guests to adhere around the edges of the photo.
3. Gift tags.
Make gifts extra special with instant photo gift tags using this idea from Polaroid.
4. Hostess gift.
When you are the guest at a party or other occasion, you can surprise your host by breaking out your instant camera to take a photo you can leave behind as a thank you.  Since tangible printed photos have become relatively scarce, a photo in hand has become a special treat.  My girls and I recently visited a new baby cousin in our family on her first day home from the hospital.  Before leaving, we took a photo of the new baby with her big sister and mommy.  This special memory took very little preparation on our part (just remember to bring the camera), but it was a unique momento for the newly expanded family.
5. Travel journal.
An instant camera can be a super fun journaling tool.  Adding instant shots of your vacation to a blank book can be fun way to remember the journey.  The opportunity to use the camera will motivate kids to get busy writing about their experiences and will keep little hands and minds busy during long road or plane trips.

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