A Little Life as Seen Through the Lens

Amy Rees
May 22, 2008

When we think of photographs and our kids, we grin at their adorable smiles (real, fake, experimental lips pursed, all kinds).  We cringe at the mostly lame ways we attempt to get them to turn their best face to the camera.  We tell ourselves that nobody knows about all the times we watch slideshows of their baby pictures on repeat in a sentimental swoon.  We refuse to delete even the blurry pictures of their little mugs (while ruthlessly editing the ones of ourselves -- get that double chin out of here!). 

But we don't often think of photographs by our kids.  Or, we think, not often enough.

It was a savvy set of preschool teachers who showed us how big it is to let these little ones photograph their world.  It is perhaps our best way to adopt their point of view, to see life literally from their perspective.  We struggle to think of things the way they do, to respect their outlook.  Perhaps seeing the view from that outlook is an easy first step.

So, let 'em loose.  Hand over your camera to your preschooler.  No, not in the sandbox perhaps, nor anywhere near puddles or pools.  But give it a whirl.  Let them click.  See what they see -- and then listen to what they say about it.  It's a fantastic way to pass the interminable waiting room visits with little ones (Point and Shoot for the Preschool Set).

Our favorite live-action capturer is the I-coulda-had-a-V8 simple Flip video camera .  (Even just the basic model shown there makes us swoon; the Ultra is also, well, ultra cool.)  The world's simplest and best camera.  Several of us at the Savvy Source went from almost no videos after first steps were taken to having a library chock full of 40 little snippets in our first month of Flip ownership. 

And the best choice we know for a camera absolutely just for kids is the fantastic VTech Kidizoom digital camera.  It's probably just as easy to operate as the Flip, but we can't get it out of our little ones' hands to double-check!  They love these cameras dearly.

So put one in your bag, hand it to your preschooler and start rolling! 

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    I also purchased the Fisher Price digital camera for my son. He is a bit old for his (8 years old) but it has taught him how one operates and to be careful with it. I love the pictures he captures of our Golden Retriever! Nothing like seeing in film the relationship between a boy and his dog!

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 2

    At one point I researched all sorts of digital cameras for kids, which included obsessively reading through amazon reviews from other parents, but ultimately, I simply wound up giving my son our old digital camera after we got a new one. Given how fickle he's been with virtually every toy my husband and I have ever gotten him, this seemed like the best option. We get a major camera upgrade and he gets to take pictures "like a big boy." So far, he's enjoying it, but if he decides he's no longer interested, at least it won't feel like a waste of money.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 3

    Since we bougt te Flip Ultra last Christmas, my 8 Year Old as used it more than I have! It is so much fun to see things from his perspective. I can't wait to use the waterproof case at the pool this summer!

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 4

    My son got the Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera for Christmas. It comes in lots of cool designs and colors and makes fun sounds when you push the buttons. It is encased in rubber so even the littlest photog can't hurt it! I love all the spontaneous shots. The unposed ones are always the best!

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 5

    Two years ago at Christmas, we recieved a new digital camera. We gladlky handed over our old clunker camera to our then 4-year-old and she happily snapped away all night. We were amazed to find that she had captured the evenings festivities much more elegantly than we ever could! She had close ups of each guest (there's nothing like a smile elicited from a sweet 4yo photographer) and an assortment of still life photos of lights, treasured ornaments and gifts. Needless to say, she now has her own kid camera and we love seeing the world through her eyes.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 6

    Don't forget the cell phone camera. That one is almost always at hand.

    over a year ago

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