small beginnings with a kids’ camera
There’s nothing like your first, real kids’ camera. Photography is a wonderful activity for all ages. A terrific boredom buster, the ideas for taking pictures are endless – and can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors all year! Photography also builds STEM skills (see Why Photography)
These days, there is so much marketing on the “need” to have the best. But it’s not about the camera equipment, especially kids’ cameras. It’s about the experience.
Have you ever heard of “Cheap Camera Challenges“? Professional photographers are challenged to use “cheap” cameras, even a kids’ camera, to capture pretty beautiful shots! The clips on YouTube highlight that the most expensive equipment does not equal good photos.
There are some good, inexpensive cameras for kids.
- Digital or instant print
- Is this just a temporary distraction or a potential hobby?
- Durability (shockproof)
Some kids’ CAMERA options
- Simplistic, brightly colored, and shockproof
- Chargeable by USB (included); no batteries required
- LCD and viewfinder
- One of the least expensive available but still decent
- Easy for kids to learn to use
- Dual camera (easy to take selfies)
- 1-2 hour battery life once charged
- It comes with an SD card
- It comes with a USB for file transfer for printing
- Video capable
- Time-lapse setting
- Face filters built in for fun
- Available in four colors
KidiZoom Ages 3-8 – less expensive than the upgrade below, 2.0 megapixels, the rear camera only, but has a selfie mode.
KidiZoom Upgrade – 5.0 megapixels, front 0.3 rear camera with dual view finders, MP3 player with headset included
- Digital zoom
- Selfie mode
- Big buttons
- LCD screen and viewfinder
- Works in cold temperatures (0-40°C/104°F)
- Video recorder
- Durable design (rubberized)
- Built-in memory with mirco SD card slot for memory expansion (sold separately)
- Wrist strap included
- USB included
- Face filters built in for creativity
- Built-in flash
- Self-timer setting
- Needs 4AAA batteries
- Available in blue or pink
WATERPROOF: OurLife Ages 3-9
- Waterproof to 100 feet
- 8-megapixel camera
- 8GB memory card included
- LCD screen
- Video capable
- Self-timer function
- 12 different built-in frame photo effects and 7 video filters
- Reversible lens
- Battery lasts about 2 hours of continuous use when charged
- Fill lights illuminate the dark
- Light suppression mode (creates more balanced images, even in very bright conditions)
- It comes with a waterproof case and a silicone case
- USB cable included
- Wrist lanyard included
- Tripod bracket included
- Available in blue or pink
INSTANT PRINT: Fujifilm instax Mini 9 Instant Camera Bundle (Reviews from parents Ages 5+ older)
- Auto setting but with manual switch option
- Built-in flash
- 60mm f/12.7 Lens, Optical 0.37x Real Image Viewfinder
- Macro Lens for close-ups from 35-50cm away
- Adjustable brightness and selfie mirror
- Case and strap included
- Instant film twin pack (20×2) included
- Removable strap included
- Mini Photo Album 64 Pockets included
- Four colorful filters (Blue, Green, Red, and Orange)
- 10+ different style photo frames included
- 60 stickers included
- 2AA batteries included
- FUJIFILM AUTHORIZED DEALER: Includes USA Manufacturer Guarantee
- Come in several colors
Over Age 10+
This list is a little more comprehensive. Selecting a good fit depends on your kids’ interest and capability level and whether you want an entry-level start or an investment that will grow a little with them. A future article will discuss selections for this age group.
AWESOME GEEK ALERT: You can actually BUILD your own camera!! It’s photography mixed with STEM for future engineers – see this article.
ideas for displaying photos
Whether you print them at home with a photo printer, use an instant camera, or upload to a photo print shop for inexpensive prints, the key is printing them.
In this digital age, too many photos are taken at once and then forgotten. Personally, I print my favorites and hang them. I have an entire wall of memories. Why not do that for your kids? It’s an inexpensive way for them to be reminded of their accomplishments and also to be surrounded by photos that make them happy. That’s how I feel every day when I see my framed memories.
We both have walls of our own photos that make us smile every morning.
Dollar store photo frames (lots of options and inexpensive) or buy plain ones and decorate themselves with paint, markers, or stickers.
Make a collage (just cut out photos and glue them to a piece of cardboard or wood)
Eight openings with a changeable letter board with 144 letters so you can customize the message. There are different color options, but note it contains glass.
We still have ours. Something about turning the pages of a photo album is so special.
Creativity galore! It’s a great option for designing it your way. It can come as a kit with stickers, glue, and other items to get started, a hardcover 40 thick pages design your own, or this similar but different style kit. You could even encourage your kids to write a little creative story to glue in next to the photo (see Write Creative Stories below in activities)
Slip in Photo Style
- Flower 200 pockets, two photos per page, space for writing, 4×6 photo sizes
- Butterfly 200 pockets, two photos per page, space for writing, 4×6 photo sizes
- Or plain but in many colors with an opening on the front cover for own photo, 200 pockets, two photos per page, space for writing, 4×6 photo sizes
Larger, five photos per page, 4×6, 800 photos, cool astronomy cover with a sleeve to keep the album in
If you want to go this way, there are more creative options, such as a private blog. Maybe print some and have a digital platform, also.
Blog: Set up a private website where your kid can upload their photos and write captions or stories
Digital photo frame compatible with Alexa. Several sizes are available, and photos can be sent and shared with other family members (or kept private for the non-social media inclined). Upload photos via WiFi (not USB) by email or app, connect to Google Photos, Android, and iOS, and it can also be wall-mounted with a motion sensor. The number of photos being shown can be adjusted. Based on the reviews, it has very good tech support and is easy to set up and use.
USB or SD card style upload, less expensive, but can’t upload photos via Wifi
Fun Kid Photography Projects & Activities
Photography Scavenger Hunt
Check off the items as you capture their photos.
Build Your Own Nature Field Guide
Search out all the creatures you can see in your area and take their photo.
Research what species it is, and write a paragraph about what that creature likes to eat, where it lives, and how it behaves.
Take Photos of Your Crafts
For every item you try from this website, take a photo! Even better, send it to us, and we can post it to share with others!
The Big Sis