Updated on September 4, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Children are endlessly amazed by the world around them. Giving them the opportunity to capture that world with a camera is a great way for them to flex their creative muscles and give them a chance to learn about artistic concepts like composition and contrast. Handing over your own digital camera might not be on the top of your list though, so here are 7 options that are a bit safer for you and your camera!
The Best Toddler Digital Cameras That Take Real Photos!
(Best Value – $)
Why it’s great: This toddler camera is the perfect size for small hands and has a soft plastic covering that makes it easy to grip. It’s rechargeable, so no need to hunt down batteries every few days, and each charge provides 1-2 hours of picture-taking time. Seckton has made it super easy to take selfies with this camera’s dual-lens configuration. It has a 32 GB micro SD card for storing A LOT of pictures, which is handy because it also takes HD video.
This camera comes with a lanyard to keep it secure and is available in several different colors. It also has a built in game to keep kids interested in learning about their new camera.
Keep in mind: This camera is pretty tiny, so if you have an older toddler it might be a bit small for them.
Good for: Young toddlers interested in exploring the backyard.
(Most Effects – $$)
Why it’s great: VTech has been creating educational electronic products for years and is a trusted brand in most homes. The selfie mode has an auto detect feature for faces making it that much easier for your little one’s self portraits. Add that to 35 different fun photo effects and the ability to create collages, the Kidizoom camera is perfect for your little creative genius.
This camera also comes with 4 built-in games for kids to play and can record video and voice – giving kids many options to choose from when playing.
Keep in mind: At only 2 megapixels, the images from this camera aren’t going to be breathtaking, and it does require batteries, so make sure you have plenty of AAs on hand.
Good for: Older toddlers that will enjoy toggling between camera time and game time.
(Most Durable – $$)
Why it’s great: This camera is equipped with a waterproof case that makes it possible for it to be immersed up to 98 ft. It’s also lightweight, rechargeable, and can be mounted to a flat surface like a skateboard. It comes with a large 32 GB SD card and takes 5 megapixel pictures and HD video.
While this camera is built for adventure, it also still has plenty of fun photo effects and filters to apply to the pictures. Children can also entertain themselves with built-in games that are available in this model.
Keep in mind: It takes 3.5 hours for this camera to be fully charged, so plan ahead if you’re taking it away from the house.
Good for: Families that spend a lot of time outside and can benefit from having this at the pool, at the beach, on the lake, etc.
(Most High-Tech – $$)
Why it’s great: The updated VTech Kidizoom has slightly better quality photos at 5 megapixels, a built-in auto flash and an MP3 player with headphones. It has dual viewfinders and features photo optimization, meaning that it will take burst shots of the same image and automatically detect the best quality one to save.
Like some other models it comes with video games, but they can be disabled if the parent prefers. If you want your child to focus on taking pictures without the distraction of video games, this might be the one for you!
Keep in mind: Only comes with 256 mb built in memory, but you can upgrade by purchasing a separate microSD card. Also needs 4 AA batteries.
Good for: Older toddlers who are good with electronics and would enjoy listening to their own music while playing.
(Super Quality – $$$)
Why it’s great: This camera has interchangeable cases; a waterproof one and a silcone one. It also has fill lights to help illuminate dark places and make it easier to take pictures in low light situations. It’s mountable and on the bigger side, so it’s easy for little hands to hold. It boasts an 8 megapixel image along with 1080p hd video capability.
All of the fun filters, effects, and frames that we’ve seen in other models are available with this one too, and the lens actually rotates up for easy selfies. It’s rechargeable and has an MP3 player built-in.
Keep in mind: It has quite a few pieces that come with it, so you’ll want to help your child figure out a way to keep everything together.
Good for: Older toddlers that will enjoy using all of the fun accessories it comes with.
(Most User-Friendly – $$$)
Why it’s great: Another great camera with a waterproof case, this one also has a self timer option, a functional fill light for low light situations, and is mountable. The menu on this camera is very simple and the buttons are intuitive and easy to push. It can record continuously for up to 2 hours on a full charge, so it’s great to take to a game, the park, or the beach.
It comes with plenty of room to save on an 8 GB memory card, offers 8-megapixel images, and records in HD video. Unlike some other cameras, this one does not come preloaded with games for children to play when they aren’t using the camera.
Keep in mind: The battery life on this camera runs out pretty fast, so you’ll want to be able to charge it nightly for fun the next day.
Good for: Toddlers who are learning about photography and parents who don’t want the distractions of games or apps.
(Best First Camera – $)
Why it’s great: This camera makes it easy to take pictures with it’s anti-shake feature and side grips. It takes photos at a surprising 12mp resolution and also records HD video. It has a burst shot option, a self timer, and can create time lapse videos. Battery life clocks in at 4-5 hours per charge, so this camera can provide hours of entertainment.
Aside from taking great pictures, this camera has 5 built-in mini video games and offers several fun frames to decorate your pictures with.
Keep in mind: There is no waterproof case available for this model, and it is pretty economically priced, meaning, it is not built for strenuous adventure.
Good for: Introducing toddlers to the concept of photography.
FAQs about toddler cameras
1. Will giving my toddler a camera now make them a better photographer?
Cameras and children are practically made for each other. Everything a child learns starts from them trying to imitate what they see happening around them, which makes photography an activity that not only promotes learning but has the added benefit of increasing motor skills. While giving a toddler a camera doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the next Ansel Adams or Dorthea Lange, it gives them a way to practice creativity and to think outside the box – both very important skills for a photographer to have.
2. What size memory card will I need for my toddler’s camera?
That depends on what your toddler will be taking pictures of and if they’ll be recording video as well. Luckily, today memory cards are easy to come by and are much less expensive than they need to be, so it doesn’t hurt to go big here. The more room you give your child to explore, the more they will learn. That also translates to memory for their cameras; no one wants to have to stop to delete a bunch of stuff before they can get back to having fun. Having at least a 16 GB card will ensure your child can take over 2,500 photos or about 200 minutes of HD video before having to delete anything.
3. How good will the pictures be?
A 5 megapixel shot of a tree in your backyard will look pretty decent, but understand that most camera phones start at 12 megapixels and increase from there. Professional digital cameras clock in at 30 or more. While your child is learning, give them plenty of room and lots of light, and everyone should be pretty happy with the results.
4. When is the best time to give my toddler a camera?
As soon as your little one starts to show an interest in swiping your phone to take 300 selfies, it’s time to get a camera in their hands instead! The only word of caution would be if they are still putting a lot of things in their mouths, you might want to wait – but otherwise, the sooner the better. As soon as you give them a camera and ask them to take a picture of something, they start becoming little problem solvers to think up the best way to take it!
Introducing your toddler to the art of photography can be a really rewarding experience for both of you. It allows them to think creatively and experiment with something new safely, and it gives you a glimpse into how they see the world.
Just like drawing, singing, sports, or playing an instrument can help a child develop an identity or find their inner voice, photography can also help awaken an otherwise untapped source of joy and inspiration for your child. It’s also perfect to do together as a family. A short walk through the park with a camera can become an all-day adventure with a camera!
Once you decide to get a camera into your toddler’s hands, you’ll both be rewarded with amazing memories for years to come. Better still – they’ll even be documented.