Here at Consumer-Rankings.com we recently discovered that letting kids loose with digital cameras is a great way to keep them busy on days when it’s just too hot to go outside and parents need to get some work done. At least, we thought we had made this discovery but were surprised to find that the market is full of digital cameras designed specifically for dirty little hands that are likely to drop electronics off of tricycles. That’s the last time we let the kids play with our grown-up cameras!
The most common versions come from familiar companies like Leapfrog, Fisher-Price, Lego and Crayola. These are colorful, sturdy models that come with chunky, easy-to-grip handles for sticky and slippery hands. Prices fall out in the $30-$70 range, so you probably want to save this as a special birthday or Christmas gift.
Kids are usually not too picky about the technical specs but there are a few things to look out for. Make sure to pick one with a good clear view screen at the back, since the camera won’t hold kids’ attentions for long if they have to wait a week before they get to see the results of their photography. If you will be letting your child take this camera everywhere with them, check for extra durability features like waterproofing but keep in mind that these things can often add to the weight of the camera. If you still can’t choose, check for added perks like special effects tools and video abilities, especially if your kids are older and can handle a little more complication to their gadgets.
There are a number of eye-spy type games that you can play with your kids using digital cameras that can help hone observational skills. Send them running around the house or park taking pictures of “something blue” or “something round” or if they are a little older, try more abstract concepts like “something that makes you happy” or “something that comes in pairs.” You can even just send them off with instructions to take 10 pictures and see what they come up with. Not only will this keep them busy for a little longer but it gives you a great opportunity to see what interests your child and what the world looks like through his or her eyes.