It doesn’t matter how old your child is; whether they’re a boy or a girl; most, if not all are fascinated with digital cameras. But like most parents, you want to find the perfect “kid friendly” camera that you aren’t going to freak out when they drop it on the floor, or misplace it for a day. So to make this a little easier on you, let’s break this up into age groups and give you a few tips on how to choose a digital camera for your child.
Choosing a digital camera for a young toddler or elementary age child (3-6 years old)
Yes, even toddlers love to take pictures, and more specifically they love to look that the pictures they take. They get a kick out of seeing themselves and others on the camera screen. They like to push the on and off button, and see what happens when they do it. They also love seeing someone on the LCD screen and perhaps the biggest thing about them using a digital camera is that it makes them feel “big”; like mom and dad. Your expectations of toddlers and early elementary students taking pictures with a digital camera should be fairly low. You will see pictures of the floor and partial shots of people and objects. Here’s what to look for in buying for such a young age:
•Look for a sturdy camera that small hands can handle easily.
•Make sure in your search that you find a camera that has all automated features (including flash and focus).
•A large storage space that holds a lot of pictures.
•Simple controls that are easy for small hands to use and control
•Fairly inexpensive as it will probably be dropped a lot. I wouldn’t worry too much about it being stolen as toddlers don’t go that many places without you.
Choosing a digital camera for an older elementary age child (7-12 years)
Seven to twelve year olds probably have more experience with digital technology than we as parents do and love to capture moments on camera. They love taking pictures of parties, vacations, etc. They will carry that camera with them everywhere they go; seriously. They love the fact that you have given them some responsibility with a camera and maybe the coolest thing for them is that they can print the pictures they have taken and keep them in journals or scrapbooks. Those are their very own memories that they have taken. Digital cameras give them a sense of ownership. You can expect them to take a ton of pictures of family members doing silly poses (especially with girls); and probably many photos of you and their friends. Here’s what to look for in buying for this age:
•A camera that has an easy to read and understand instructional manual. If the instruction manual is bigger than the camera, keep shopping. No one let alone a child wanting to go thumbing through something outrageously huge just to get it to work.
•Something that is sturdy but inexpensive. Since you’re not with your child all the time, there is the possibility of it being stolen or lost and it could get dropped here and there.
•Automated features are still nice at this age, but they also like to have some control of what it will do and not do. The flash and zoom are easy enough to figure out and don’t need to be automated at this age.
•This age loves special effects so you can look for cameras that have some special effects, or captions to put under or on the pictures.
•Customizing any part of the camera to make it their own is important when deciding how to choose a digital camera for this age.
•And lastly, get a little bit higher resolution than you would for a younger child; nothing too fancy, but it needs to look like an actual picture (if you know what I mean?)
Kids are different, and they will like different things. Understanding how to choose a digital camera for your child will be up to them and yourself. Hopefully these suggestions will help you in your search for the right digital camera.