ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cameras for Kids

Updated on February 13, 2018
Source

How to Choose and Use The Right Device

Why are cameras for kids a good idea?

Whether you're struggling to find something to keep a child busy, wish to spark a life long love of an exciting hobby, or hope to stimulate learning through a less traditional approach; photography, especially with a digital camera may be at least a partial answer.

Learn more about the opportunities and the advantages of putting cameras in the hands of kids. Find out how to choose the best cameras for kids and discover some great activities to keep them learning and having fun.


Source

Using Cameras To Promote Learning


There are a number of reasons why cameras for kids are a good idea. Involving children in learning basic photography and giving them the opportunity to experiment with it can stimulate learning in a variety of ways.

1. Observation and concentration skills can be enhanced

2. Creativity and imagination can be stimulated

3. Specific academic skills can be targeted as children mature via the activities chosen such as:

  • science and nature
  • history,
  • geography
  • language skills including story telling and many others (See activity ideas lower on this page)

The possibilities are endless, and the lessons more engaging, when kids use a camera.

Source

Finding the Best Cameras for Kids

Obviously, getting the tools is the first step in the process of introducing kids to photography. How much equipment is involved depends in part upon the age of the child. For children as young as 3, a basic kids camera will be about it; along with some batteries.

Aside from an appropriate camera, tweens and teens may need an appropriate camera bag, a tripod, lens attachments, photo editing tools, and a computer and printer depending upon interest and skill.

What’s the best kids camera? Generally a digital camera is preferred over a film camera, especially as children mature, because:

  • the child can see what they capture without the delay of printing, allowing immediate learning of the process as photos are reviewed immediately,
  • the cost of printing unacceptable images is held in check
  • there are more options to share photos and create projects beyond a photo album; slide shows, online photo sharing, e-mail, websites, etc.
  • the child can also learn photo editing skills and have more control over their creations.

Some other factors to consider when choosing cameras for kids include:

  • age,
  • skill
  • interest

For the youngest kids (preschool) cost is of particular concern. You don't want to lose a big investment if it breaks or if your child loses interest.. They won't yet need a lot of features like manual controls. They can be pretty rough on a camera. If their skills grow and interest evolves, you can then upgrade. Important features for the youngest kids include

  • large buttons/easy to use,
  • good grip,
  • built-in flash for indoor photos,
  • tough build or durability (can handle being dropped),
  • enough memory for at least 50-60 images, (perhaps a memory card slot)
  • connections to download to computer ideally

Cameras for kids who are slightly older (school age) should probably include more features. If holding down costs is important then hand me downs or refurbished cameras can be acceptable alternatives. For some kids, disposable cameras are also an option. Waterproof cameras can be great if your child is more adventuresome. Basic point and shoots suffice for many school age kids. They run the gamut from very basic to having all kinds of manual controls, high resolution, and outstanding video. Determining how much to spend can be based at least partially on skill and safety in handling cameras as well as interest level.

To allow skills to flourish with school age children, things like:

  • higher image resolution (8-10 megapixels minmum),
  • good image stabilization (optical image stabilization),
  • zoom (at least 3x)
  • special modes allowing night shots, macro shots (up close), and so forth

Teens on the other hand would also likely want:

  • tools for getting good selfies
  • good video (1080p) with audio
  • wi-fi for easy sharing,
  • if they are really enjoying photography plenty of manual controls to allow them to vary shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc.
  • editing tools
  • special lenses (perhaps a camera with interchangeable lenses)

Camera bags and tripods can also become necessary of course. DSLR models are certainly appropriate for older kids who want and can handle a great deal of manual controls.

For a tween or teen not really needing a full featured camera, I would recommend the Canon Powershot Elph 360. It is one example of a pocket sized point and shoot with a macro mode, Wi-Fi for easy sharing, great image quality, and video.


Finding the Right Device for the Youngest Kids

VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix, Pink
VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix, Pink

This Vtech Kidizoom is one that works well with children 3 and over. It has an easy grip and stands up to being dropped. My niece had one of these and it held her attention for much longer than I believed possible. She photographed family members at get-togethers, her pets, illustrated a story, and captured memories of family vacations.

 

Teaching Kids to Use a Camera

Once you have the perfect device, a few skills need to be mastered. Certainly, learning the basics on how to handle the camera is a starting point. Important beginning points for young kids include:

  • how to hold it,
  • how to keep it steady,
  • how to frame a shot,
  • learning at what distance they should shoot/how close their camera will allow them to get,
  • how and when to use flash
  • using the control buttons, screen, viewfinder on their particular camera

The age of the child and the abilities of the camera will dictate some of the teaching and can determine what types of activities are appropriate.

Additional education tips can be found at the following sites:

Source

Great Activities

The activities a parent can engage kids in with a camera to develop and expand interests, foster learning, and provide a sense of achievement for their youngsters is limitless. With a little imagination, the camera can open up a whole world to the curious mind and eye of a child, but for those who need a jump start here are some suggestions...

Source

Creating Something for a Younger Brother or Sister

Kids can be motivated when creating things for a younger brother or sister. One possible project is to make a list of items that begin with each of the letters in the alphabet, seek out and photograph those items, and fabricate an alphabet book.

A somewhat more advanced project would be the development of a story book. For instance, a child could follow a sibling or even a pet for a day, taking pictures and then using those images to create a short story for a younger child to enjoy. Story telling and imagination are just two of the skills that can be enhanced by such activities.

Source

A Journal of Adventures

Of course kids can also use a camera to keep their own photo journal of vacations and trips, large or small. A record of such events may well become a keepsake which would be further enhanced when accompanied by written entries.

A more advanced journal activity can help to broaden a child's interest in travel and geography. For example, a cardboard character could be made to go far beyond where the child may go. The character can be supplied to friends and relatives who may be traveling. The character can then be captured in pictures at the various destinations. The character's human travel companion can then provide a picture, with a brief written description of the location to the child to place in the character's travel book.

A contest between family members is another possibility. Each person making their own collection of images from a day out.

Source

Discovering and Appreciating Nature

Raising an awareness of science and nature comes quite naturally with a digital camera in hand. Collecting insects, leaves, rocks, or flowers via photographs is more simple and lasting than capturing live specimens. The camera also allows children to capture what would otherwise be unobtainable: animals, sunsets, waterfalls, footprints, and so forth.

With photography, children can also study many of the processes of nature. As an example, a child can follow the development of a new born kitten over time, a flower as it grows, opens and closes in the morning and evening, and so forth. Activities such as this encourage good attention and fosters an interest in sciences.

Source

Biographies, Family Trees, News Stories, and Documentaries

School age kids have even more options. One possibility is to ask them to put together a family history book complete with photos and the inclusion of a short biography of each family member.

Some kids, with experience, can even take on the role as the primary recorder of family events.

Publishing a monthly newspaper complete with pictures can be a great summer time project for older kids as well. Cues can be taken from local publications as to what sections and articles should be included but they can be scaled down to a more personal level: from reports on a family trip, new neighbors, the escapades of a family pet, or recent events such as the purchase of a new car are examples of stories that could be enhanced with a picture and included in the publication.

Source

Story Telling

Telling stories with pictures can stimulate learning. A basic digital camera can be used to create a sequence of pictures to tell a story. The fun begins when others try to tell the story without the presence of words.

An adaptation of this project can help to develop the critical skill of reading comprehension. In this activity the child is provided a short story and asked to illustrate it with a handful of photographs using family members, pets, props, costumes, drawings, and so forth if needed.

Source

Add a Camera to Any Favorite Activity or Hobby

Cameras for kids can turn a hobby into a study of a favorite topic. For instance, a child who enjoys racing can photograph cars, events, drivers, and so forth developing their interest beyond it's original focus. The camera guides the child to study things in more depth and perhaps discover new, adjacent interests. In this instance, automotive history, engine design, geography, or travel are just a few of the possible areas of new interest related to racing.

Another possibility is to encourage a child to develop a how-to or instructional guide to share their love of a hobby with others. How to build a rocket, grow a vegetable garden, or how to raise a ferret are examples that would allow a child to put together an illustrated, step-by-step guide; encouraging good verbal expression and organizational skills.

Source

HP Tips on Activies for Kids with a Camera - More ideas

What to Do with a Camera When You're Done

Taking an old digital camera and providing it to a child is a great way of making use of your camera and an inexpensive way of promoting their interest in a hobby or learning activity.

If you don't have a child to pass your camera down to, there are other options. One example is 100Cameras. The donation of equipment helps the organization work with kids in traumatic circumstances around the world.

Cameras for Kids: Was This Page Helpful? Let Us Know!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      very helpful lens.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 6 years ago

      Very Useful Lens.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      I was a little discouraged because I couldn't find a lens with what I needed to know. Then, I discovered this lens and now I am happy. It doesn't have all the info I need but what a great job of steering me in the right direction. Angel blessed. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Spikey64 6 years ago

      Brilliant work. Thanks for sharing it.

    • smithlights profile image

      smithlights 6 years ago

      Awesome lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • Joyfulmusic90 profile image

      Joyfulmusic90 7 years ago

      Yes, very helpful - thanks! It's funny, I ask my teen daughter what features she was hoping to have if I got her a camera of her own. Of course the first thing on her list was - "It has to be pink!!"

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      Great lens, I agree that cameras are a great gift and learning tool for kids.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Fab lens 5 stars and added to my favourites.

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 8 years ago from Earth

      This is a great lens! With prices dropping, it is possible to get cameras for kids and you have great advice here. Well worth reading for any parent (or relative) thinking about a camera for kids.

    • Barkely profile image

      Barkely 8 years ago

      I'm thinking about a camera for my son for Christmas, loved the info you have here.

    • only1bub profile image

      Debbie Hawkins 8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Wow - in depth page! Good work. We're looking into buying a camera for our turning-4-yr-old son.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Great info

      Thanks for sharing.

      Lizzy

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 8 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Thanks for these great recommendations on cameras for kids. You are so right, the camera can open up a whole new world to the curious mind and eye of a child. A camera would make the perfect gift for a child of any age. Really great lens. Five stars.

    • Czarque profile image

      Czarque 9 years ago

      My 2yr old soon to be 3 yr old loves taking photos - so we are considering buying her a camera for her birthday. Will definitely come back to this lens for further research! Thanks for sharing.

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 9 years ago

      I think that this is a most fantastic lens! Maybe my kid could teach me how to use my camera!!! haha...I never knew that so many cameras geared toward kids existed. 5 stars and a favorite!

    • only1bub profile image

      Debbie Hawkins 9 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a great page - I'm a huge fan of promoting arts in children - especially with children! (My husband does filming & advertising so we have a creative household). I just got the Flip Video HD and it's so easy to use, older kids could totally use it - lensrolling you to my page. Thanks. :)

    • profile image

      Tarra99 9 years ago

      Great & informative 5* lens...I think this is a great idea...we recently upgraded cameras and gave our lads our old one...they love being creative and taking their own pics!

      p.s your avatar always makes me smile...thanks for popping into my Christmas lens and saying "hi"!...I appreciate it!

    • profile image

      moneyforpictures 9 years ago

      Great info!

      With 5 kids you can imagine how many pictures we take.

      I hadn't thought about the boys scouts. I have 2 boys in cub scouts and I am going to volunteer to hold a class for them. FUN!!! :-)

      5 stars for the idea!!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Great ideas here! Our children are much more motivated by video, pictures and sound than print these days.

    • Rich-H profile image

      Rich 9 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Great ideas! Excellent lens-- 5 stars!

    • VBright profile image

      VBright 9 years ago

      Fantastic information! I just wrote an article on cameras for kids! What a coincidence. Shining your stars...

    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 9 years ago from PA

      This is a great idea for Christmas.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 9 years ago

      This is a great idea to spark something in your child. Loved how you presented this lens.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 9 years ago

      A very interesting lens. My little one is so interested in my camera that it might be a good idea if Santa would decide to give her one for Christmas. I really should check if there is something proper for her age.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I think that Santa might give my 7 year-old a digital camera for Christmas, if he can find one that's not too expensive.

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 9 years ago

      I forgot to mention, I am added this lens to my lensroll for my timeless toys kids love lens. I think cameras are a good one to add.

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 9 years ago

      fun lens!!! My son loves to take pictures and videos with my digital camera...It is always fun for me to discover what he has added to my camera. Thanks for the tips. 5 *'s BTW, I found you on Squidom.com

    • profile image

      Jesi 9 years ago

      Mulberry you really made great and uniqe lense, i like to be informed much about kids nature things

      Thanks a bunch

      I hav this site about Kids Health http://www.topkidshealthcarebank.com

      I will feel pleasure if you visit it...

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 9 years ago

      Excellent lens! 5* My seven-year-old son loves my camera and I'm amazed at how well he already does with it.

    • A RovingReporter profile image

      A RovingReporter 9 years ago

      Great information! Thanks for this five-star lens.

    • BackPorchView profile image

      BackPorchView 9 years ago

      I'm glad I stumbled upon this lens. My wife and I were just talking about getting our son a digital camera fit for kids. Nice job!

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 9 years ago from Vancouver

      Thank you mulberry, for the link! I have featured this lens on my recycle camera lens as I think they compliment each other nicely. I'm a big fan of your work.

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      This is such a great lens! All 4 of my kiddos LOVE taking pictures. Fortunately, their Grandpa is a very gifted photographer and is teaching them well.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 9 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      I love this lens. What a great idea. I bought my niece a cheapy digital camera and she uses like crazy.

    • profile image

      Joan4 9 years ago

      What Great information! My preschool grands got cameras for Christmas last year! My daughter-in-law will love this lens, too! 5*FAV and lensrolled

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 9 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Our family had a reunion and all the children were given Kodac Funsaver cameras to record for themselves what they wanted. They had fun!! Some good shots too!! Thank you for following the progress of some of my lenses. I have noticed! 5 stars, favorite, lensrolled and I am already a big fan of yours.

    • JonitasKalimpo profile image

      JonitasKalimpo 9 years ago

      woooow, this is a great job, mulbery. Writing about anything related to children it's not easy, but you did an absolutly spectacular job. Congratulations

    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 9 years ago

      Great ideas! Excellent lens-- 5 stars!

    • profile image

      Dad-The-Lad 9 years ago

      Great lens. My 20 month old daughter has an old digital camera of mine. OK so not the best shots, but she absolutley loves it and likes pretending to take snaps.

    • rebeccahiatt profile image

      rebeccahiatt 9 years ago

      Great lens, my grandson loves his camera

    • profile image

      cherangelry lm 9 years ago

      I wish these were available when I was a kid! I saw a really cute spiderman camera that I would have absolutely loved to have! Great lens!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      Cameras are great for illustrating books and reports that children write when learning. When I started allowing the children to use a digital camera it was amazing the amount of writing they produced.

      5 Stars and Favored!

      Some virtual unschoolers came over to check out your lens. They are so excited about the ideas that you present that they are sending you a virtual trip back in time where Garner Rix will help you explore the 1780's.

    • profile image

      JAV010 9 years ago

      dude you rock your lenses is cool :) 5 stars i think your good at creating lenses :)

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 9 years ago from Vancouver

      Thanks for the lensroll! ditto for you :) Yesterday I went for a walk with my 10 yr old grandson and gave him my camera to take pictures for me. We had a great time working as a 'team'!

    • TriviaChamp profile image

      TriviaChamp 9 years ago

      Great lens. I loved your ideas about the Journal of Adventures. What a creative way to educate children. 5*

      ~Jane

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 9 years ago from Detroit

      Kids LOVE to take pictures. Great lens for shoppers, parents, aunts, uncles.. everyone!

    • profile image

      ThomasC 9 years ago

      Hi Mulberry! Thanks for the comment on one of my lenses. I am sending you an email about the comment you made! Nice lens by the way! I am rating it a 5er!

      ThomasC

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 9 years ago

      Above and beyond with this lens! Lovin' all your expertise and knowledge about this subject. When our son got his first camera I thought I would go nuts with the surprise shots from 'round the corner, etc. What I realize now is he loved his mom!

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 9 years ago

      great idea!

    • profile image

      Ambrosian 10 years ago

      I remember playing when young that I was Lois Lane and Jimmy was alway taking by picture. Even without a camera a child has a creative mind, but I agree that a child with a camera could be inspiring. Great Lens 5*

    • profile image

      chloecavanaugh 10 years ago

      As you have pointed out, a child can learn so much. And have a very enjoyable time as well. I love the detail you have taken not only with this lens, but with all of them you have created.

      *****You are an outstanding Lensmaster!

    • DogWhisperWoman1 profile image

      DogWhisperWoman1 10 years ago

      5* I remember my first camera. I took pictures of all my books, toys, and all the animals we had.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 10 years ago from Vancouver

      My 7 yr old granddaughter has her own digital camera. She takes it everywhere and takes care of it so well. Her creativity is helping us all think outside the box!

    • profile image

      Home-healthcare 10 years ago

      What a great lens! Wish they had these cameras when my son was young. He loved to take pictures, and was really quite good. Imagine what he could have done with one of these! Thanks. 5*

    • profile image

      tdove 10 years ago

      What a great idea. I had a camera when I was a kid, of course they are nothing like they are today. 5*

    • billnihill profile image

      billnihill 10 years ago

      Great content. I agree, photography is something kids can enjoy. You have some excellent photos as well.

    • profile image

      ShortSaleRealtor 10 years ago

      thank you for the 5 stars hi 5 back at you

    • profile image

      gods_grace_notes 10 years ago

      OOoo...great lens! Nice of you and Paul to visit my kitties! This is a fabulous lens for kids; I'd love to have you join our homeschool unit studies group! Great ideas here for moms, public & homeschool! Consider yourself invited!

      www.squidoo.com/groups/unit-studies

      5 stars & 2 thumbs up

      Connie

      : )

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 10 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Terrific lens. Both of my sons have won awards with their photography in the past. So glad to see you promoting this great hobby for children.

    • profile image

      robinz 10 years ago

      Nicely done, mulberry! Love the photo in the introduction. Lots of valuable info here.

    • netventurer profile image

      netventurer 10 years ago

      Fantastic lens.

    working