A truly simple kids camera for a 4 year old?
December 13, 2020 6:18 AM   Subscribe

I am thinking a kiddie camera for a four year old. I am looking for something with really simple design that just lets him point and shoot. The fewer functions, the better. Preferably with no built-in games. Ideally, it would be just a box with a single large button but I am OK with something more complicated as long as it won't frustrate a 4 year old. Does a thing like that exist?

I found a lot of options for slightly older children with mostly just too many small buttons. My main criterion is simplicity - a big obvious button to press, no built-in games, no touch screen if possible. A pleasing design would be a plus. I have searched Amazon and googled "toddler cameras" to no avail - they do advertise models for 3-10 year olds but they just do not seem simple enough to me (maybe I'm wrong?). Do you have ideas?
posted by M. to Shopping (8 answers total)
I think the best option is a used Canon Powershot. You can find them online for less than $50 and I've always found them to take decent pics while being indestructible. Not too many features on some, set it and forget it.
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:32 AM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

My son is turning 4 in February. We have an older sports camera, the olympus tough tg-5. Initially when he wanted to take pictures we had to turn it on for him. But he now knows how to turn the camera on himself and is capable of taking all the photos of lego sets he wants. There are lots of small buttons, but he knows which ones are the ones he needs.

This is fairly expensive point and shoot, but my husband is into photography and this is the camera we take to the beach. The camera is pretty rugged. Our son has dropped it a few times. You might be able to get a used or refurbished one.
posted by ice-cream forever at 6:35 AM on December 13, 2020

Response by poster: I did not think it necessary to mention but one reason I was thinking of a kid camera was that I have to buy the same cool thing for two siblings (almost four and almost six). I was thinking of getting them a similar kid camera in two different colors. I think the younger one is too small for an adult camera and if the gifts are not (almost) identical or 100% the same level of fun and cool there will be tears.

In the past, I had given them a handheld kiddie microscope from the National Museum and it was a huge hit.
This year, I was thinking of something they could actually use rather that one more toy so this is what I've come up with.
posted by M. at 6:47 AM on December 13, 2020

One of the ones you are probably seeing is and discounting due to touchscreen and lots of buttons is the V-Tech Kiddizoom camera (this one)? If so, I would just point out that it's very simple and that you can disable the games function. I gave it to my kid for her fourth birthday and she was able to figure it out very quickly. Six months later, she has figured out how to use some more of the "features" but those are all completely optional; it's great as a basic point-and-shoot.

I chose it after many, many other people I knew online and IRL were getting it for their 4- or 5-year olds. I would think it would be a great choice for age 4 and age 6, not too frustrating for either.
posted by cpatterson at 6:54 AM on December 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Canon Ivy REC, Polaroid waterproof are two of the simplest (I was looking for a senior:)).
posted by warriorqueen at 7:07 AM on December 13, 2020

We had found a Fisher-Price one at a garage sale that fit this description very closely. It looks like it's called "Kid-Tough" and has been discontinued, but there are plenty on the various resale sites for not huge amounts if you don't mind gently used.
posted by teremala at 7:35 AM on December 13, 2020

Best answer: My brother got our 4yo one of these dime-a-dozen kids cameras and he figured it out within five minutes. Picture quality is surprisingly good, non-touch screen. It does have built-in games, but they're, like, snake and tetris, and unlikely to hold their interest for too long. SD card for storing/transferring pictures, USB charging, super simple.
posted by phooky at 8:23 AM on December 13, 2020

I got my 3-year-old a used waterproof camera from the online goodwill site. They often come in bundled lots so you can get 2 or 3. It was 8 dollars and much better than anything marketed towards kids. He can use it well and knows the basic features.
posted by melodykramer at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2020

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