A Kid Digital Camera from Lego and Fisher-Price. Kids See the World Afresh through the Lens
It's only natural in today's world of wall-to-wall entertainment to worry about what effect it can have on your child to be completely besieged by amusement. It's easy of course to place limits on how much time children get with their videogame consoles or on the Internet; but what does one do about the minicomputers that cell phones have become today - and the time children spend on the computer at their friends' homes? How long can it be before they turn into one of those children who incessantly fiddle with something or the other on Facebook or Twitter? I however, seem to have found one item of technology that I actively encourage my five-year-old daughters to knock themselves out on - photography. Children's toy makers and other manufacturers really seem to see an opportunity here and everyone has a kid digital camera out - everyone from Fisher-Price to Lego, and more.
And this isn't any "wholesome" outlet that they need to be schooled in the ways of. My daughters are so taken with their imaging toys that on our last trip to Africa, when one of them accidentally dropped and broke the lens on her camera, she just wouldn't continue with the trip if she didn't get a new one. As far as she was concerned, if there were to be no pictures, where was the point in traveling? You could try this on your next trip - cut down on the portable DVD player, the smartphones, the new Nintendo console or anything else if you have to - but make sure you pack a great kid digital camera - even if there is a full-featured family camera you have already. When they have one that they have full control over, that's when their minds really begin to work on the possibilities.
So are these going to be expensive? Will you have to bust your budget to include a couple of these in your trip? That's the beauty of it - in a world of electronics that just keep getting more and more affordable every year, even a basic entry-level camera will be pretty complete; and to a kid, most models that are available at this time should give them everything they look forward to. So should you pick for your kid, a digital camera aimed at children, or should you get a standard--issue model? The children's models can be pretty fun - the Lego model for instance, looks like a tiny Lego castle, and costs just about $60. It has digital zoom, a 3 megapixel sensor, and it can display pictures on a 1.5-inch screen. The Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera does what it is supposed to - it survives the all the maltreatment a five-year-old can throw at it for about the same price.
But of course, your child will possibly really know the colorful purple and blue camera isn't as serious a deal as your own sleek Nikon SLR. If your child seems to mind, it wouldn't be a bad idea to hand to her a real camera - perhaps an old one of yours. And this can be an invaluable aid in keeping the little ones occupied during a long trip seeing new places and experiencing new things. My daughter is perfectly happy taking pictures of strangers, her own feet when she's walking, and in general experiencing the trip through her camera. Basically, it gives her a sense of empowerment - to her, a device that seems to react with the environment is a special window into the world. That's powerful stuff to help her imagination along, and I believe it's a great way to get her to take in new places in the world.