15 Best Toddler Cameras [Pretend Toy To Digital Cameras That Take Real Pictures]

Looking for the best toddler cameras? Look no further! Preschool kids will love these pretend play toys AND digital cameras that takes real pictures!

In this complete guide to finding the best camera for your toddler, you'll learn how to choose the best preschool camera – including sorting through features like rechargeable waterproof, polaroid or instant print functionality, toy cameras with slides, and so much more!

Then discover our top picks for children's digital cameras that take real pictures, toy cameras for pretend play, and wooden cameras for montessori families.

Table Of Contents
  1. Best Toddler Cameras
  2. Best Toddler Digital Camera That Takes Real Pictures
  3. Best Toy Camera For Toddlers
  4. Best Toddler Toy Wooden Cameras:
  5. How To Choose The Best Camera For Toddlers: 
  6. FAQS About Toddler Cameras
  7. Final Thoughts:
  8. Quick Shop Best Cameras For Toddlersbes

Best Toddler Cameras


Best Overall Toddler Digital Camera:while

While the OZMI is certainly not the best camera, it is the best overall toddler digital camera given the price and durability.

It comes with a 32 gigabyte SD card and is available in five vibrant colors. This little camera captures still images with 20 megapixels, but also shoots videos in 1080P which is HD standard.

There’s a selfie function as well as a time-lapse option. Along with USB charging it’s also preloaded with games. 

Specs
  • 20 MP still photos
  • 1080P video resolution
  • Built in microphone
  • 2/5/10 second timers
  • Dual camera for selfie mode
  • Supports timed shots
  • Comes with 32GB SD card
  • 2” display screen
  • USB 2.0 rechargeable
Good To Know
  • Not a touchscreen
  • Games cannot be turned off/hidden
  • Comes with stickers
  • Cartoon photo frames can be overlaid on photos

Runner Up: Seckton Upgrade Kids Selfie Camera

The Seckton Upgrade Kids Selfie Camera is basically the exact same as the OZMI with the only difference being less megapixels (but both are pretty low so it's kind of negligible) and a higher price point (but we are including it just in case it goes on sale for less!).

Most Versatile [+ Easiest Grip]: SHOWCAM Kids Camera for Children

Who wouldn’t love an easy to use camera that goes underwater and doubles as an mp3 player?

The SHOWCAM Kids Camera is fantastic because it comes with both a waterproof hard case and shock absorbing easy to hold silicone case that’s ideal for younger kids. 

This camera offers 8 megapixels but also shoots 1080P video. Children will appreciate the larger 2.4-inch screen and the fact that this pick features a 180-degree rotating lens to support selfie mode. You’ll also like that it comes with a wide array of accessories for mounting.

Specs
  • 2.4” screen
  • 1080P/30fps video capture
  • 180-degree rotating lens for selfie mode
  • IP68 waterproof case
  • 16GB SD card
Good To Know
  • Built in mp3 player
  • Comes with 2 cases: underwater and silicone with large handles
  • Games cannot be disabled/hidden
  • Comes with stickers
  • Cartoon photo frames can be overlaid on photos
  • Comes with adaptor and mount for helmets/handlebars

Runner Up: VTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0 Deluxe Digital Selfie Camera with MP3 Player and Headphones

For parents that like the KidiZoom, but want it upgraded, the VTech KidiZoom Duo 5.0 Deluxe Digital Selfie Camera is the way to go. This camera has an mp3 player and also comes with headphones. You’ll also appreciate the dual grip which makes this ideal for younger tots. 

You’ll get a five megapixel front camera and a VGA rear camera. There’s also built-in flash, 4x digital zoom and a 256 megabyte built-in memory which can support up to 1,500 photos or nine minutes of video. That can be expended with a microSD of up to 32 gigabytes. 

We chose it as the runner up to the SHOWCAM Kids Camera due to the fact it runs on batteries (SHOWCAM is rechargeable), and the SHOWCAM comes with more accessories.

Specs
  • Dual lens design
  • 5MP front, 0.3MP rear
  • 320 x 240 video resolution
  • Built-in flash
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Built-in mp3 player
Good To Know
  • Relies on 4 AA batteries
  • Doesn’t specify if headphones have limiter
  • Built in games that can have limits set or be disabled altogether in settings
  • Compatible with 1 to 32 GB SD cards (sold separately)
  • Automatically turns off after 3 minutes to save battery power
  • Comes in pink and blue

Best Toddler Camera For Instant Print: VTech KidiZoom PrintCam

If you’ve got a toddler who thrives on instant gratification, the VTech KidiZoom PrintCam is perfect. This cute point and shoot compact camera that prints photos as you take them gives us Polaroid i-Zone vibes from the early 2000s that we love, even though it It only prints in black and white on thermal paper.

The camera comes preloaded with more than 110 templates and frames to create a variety of unique picture effects which toddlers will love.

It also has preloaded games and parental controls to set printing and time limits so little ones don’t burn through the printer too quickly. This camera can support a microSD card up to 32 gigabytes.

Specs
  • 180-degree lens for selfie mode
  • Built-in games
  • Built-in filters, frames, and stamps to make unique pictures
  • 2.4” color screen
  • Built-in thermal printer
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Resolution is: 5 MP: 2560 x 1920 (extrapolated); 2 MP: 1600 x 1200; 0.3 MP: 640 x 480
Good To Know

Runner Up: MINIBEAR Instant Camera for Kids

If you like the VTech KidiZoom — but not the fact that it doesn’t come standard with the microSD card, then the MINIBEAR Instant Camera is a good alternative.

It offers many similar features to the VTech including instant thermal printing, a dual lens design and a 2.4-inch full color display screen.

But you’ll get 40 megapixels, 1080P video support, and an 8x digital zoom. This camera also comes preloaded with 20 fun photo frames. As is standard, it relies on a micro USB port for charging and to transfer images. You’ll also get three rolls of printer paper.

While both this camera and the VTech KidiZoom PrintCam thrive in bright light (no flashes!) to avoid super dark photos, the VTech KidiZoom does do better in that arena and offers more print templates as well as more gender neutral casing which is why it won.

Specs
  • 40MP
  • 30 fps
  • 1080P video resolution
  • 32GB microSD included
  • Dual lens for selfie mode
  • 20 photo frames
  • Built-in printer
Good To Know
  • Must shoot in bright light

Best Waterproof: Agoigo Kids Waterproof Camera Toys

If your little one is going to be taking pictures around the water, be ready to upgrade your toddler camera search to prioritize a waterproof model. The Agoigo Kids Waterproof Camera is a great option that takes pictures and video as well as comes with a waterproof case. 

The camera comes with a 32 gigabyte SD card along with frames and filters for photos.

There are also preloaded games, a camera timer, and loads of mounting accessories for helping your toddler learn to get the perfect shot.

Specs
  • Comes with 32GB SD card
  • 5MP image quality
  • IP68 waterproof rating
  • Capable of recording video
  • Dual lens
  • Comes with waterproof case + mounting accessories
  • Rechargeable battery
Good To Know
  • Kids can apply 6 filters or 28 frames to photos
  • No selfie mode
  • Comes in 5 colors: blue, pink, orange, purple, and yellow
  • Automatically turns off when not in use
  • No way to disable games

Best For Starter Cam For Digital Art + Games: VTech KidiZoom Camera Pix Plus

Especially for very young children, you’ll want to pick a camera that’s easy for them to handle and age appropriate. The VTech KidiZoom Camera Pix Plus features a built-in dual grip that’s easy for small hands to maneuver and comes with a wrist strap. 

Beyond that, it's one of the easiest to navigate toddler cameras on the market thanks to it's buttons with symbols for toddlers to easily learn.

This two megapixel camera offers 4x digital zoom and a 1.8-inch screen. Toddlers will love creating a talking create a Talking Photo with their own photo, voice and voice effects plus they have over 40 camera effects to spice up their photos.

There are four preloaded games on the camera and you have the option to stitch together two to five images for unique collages. Although not included, you can expand the storage by using a 32 gigabyte microSD card. However, this camera requires four AA batteries.

Specs
  • 4x digital zoom
  • 2MP image quality
  • 1.8” screen
  • Dual grip design
  • 40+ camera effects
  • Records video and audio
Good To Know
  • 40+ camera effects
  • Built in games with parental time limits or disabling altogether
  • 32GB microSD sold separately
  • Requires 4 AA batteries
  • Available in pink and blue

Best For Young Babies: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click & Learn Instant Camera

If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic for those classic Polaroid cameras, the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click & Learn Instant Camera will help you stroll down memory lane with your baby.

The simple design features a moving instant picture which can be activated by clicking the red “shutter” button. 

The lens lights up and a friendly voice sings along to more than 25 songs, sounds, and phrases as your child presses the alphabet and number buttons. There’s even a fun winding button to mimic the sound that old-school film cameras made as you wound the film to the next frame.

Key Features
  • Rated safe for 6 to 36 months
  • Sings songs and has various sounds (alphabet, number, and other phrases)
  • Easy to grasp for developing motor skills
Good To Know
  • Might not hold the attention past 12 months
  • 2 AAA batteries required.
  • Green lens does not rotate

Best For Older Babies + Young Toddlers: LeapFrog Fun-2-3 Instant Camera

Depending on when you plan to get the camera, you may want to go with the LeapFrog Fun-2-3 Instant Camera which will likely last a bit longer than the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Click & Learn Instant Camera; though it's rated for 12+ months (the previous pick can be introduced as early as 6 months).

By inserting one of the five double-sided photo cards into the camera your child will learn a variety of subjects including the alphabet, their numbers, animals, shapes, and colors. 

And you can store the photo cards on the included wrist strap. This toddler camera toy also aids in building fine motor skills as children work to push the photo card into the correct spot. You’ll still get working sounds and lights that correspond with pushing the shutter or winding the lens. 

Key Features
  • Interactive features from a color wheel filter, a twist zoom lens, and practicing pushing cards in
  • Includes 5 double-sided photo cards teach numbers, colors, shapes and animals; cards store on wrist strap
  • Rated for 12+ months, but again, best suited for older babies/young toddlers
  • Built in audio on animals, colors, shapes, and numbers
Good To Know
  • Replacement cards are not sold if lost
  • Cards fall out easily
  • Requires 2 AAA batteries

Best For The Future Influencer: Disney Junior Cell Phone + Camera Pack

We've all seen the influencers on IG rocking their Minnie ears and bedazzled jean jackets, and as the Instagram age has kids, it only makes sense that those IG mom's mini me's will want to match with their very own camera and cell phone set.

The Disney Junior Minnie Mouse Cell Phone and Camera will have them feeling like they’re part of Minnie’s Happy Helpers team. This two-piece set comes with a Minnie “smartphone” and a camera — both of which come with straps. 

Minnie’s smartphone features a cover with a flap to store two of her credit cards. Meanwhile the faux camera comes with three pretend double-sided photos. Both items offer fun sounds and lights, as well as cute Minnie phrases.

Key Features
  • Camera and cell phone can be purchased together or separately
  • Includes lights, sounds, and Minnie phrases
  • Comes with pretend credit cards and pictures
  • Includes crossbody strap
Good To Know
  • Batteries may drain quickly
  • Only available in Minnie currently
  • Some quality issues a few years ago

Best Pretend Play Set: Fisher-Price Click Away Camera Set

If you're looking for a more comprehensive pretend play camera set for toddlers, we LOVE the Fisher-Price Click Away Camera Set!

You get 10 pieces in total, including: interchangeable lenses (one regular one kaliedeoscope) that snap into place, 4 pictures with a bag, a passport, photo album, and “cheese” prop.

The camera itself is plastic with a wooden exterior frame and next strap. The shutter but is functional and the entire experience is analog; so no overly stimulating lights/sounds!

Key Features
  • 10pc set with photos, passport, and interchangeable snap in lenses
  • Encourages analog play
  • Boosts creativity and fine motor skills
Good To Know
  • Best suited for older toddlers who enjoy pretend play

Best Portable Bubble Camera: SplashNSpray Automatic Bubble Maker

You can’t beat the appeal of bubbles — especially when they’re coming out of a camera you can wear around your neck! The SplashNPlay Automatic Bubble Maker is perfect for toddlers, and even comes with bubble solution.

You’ll love that once activated, this camera can continuously make bubbles, though if wind is blowing against the bubble it may get clogged/slow down.

The compact size is perfect for younger children to manage, especially since it comes with a carrying strap that’s sized for small tots. If you dislike music, you’ll like that aside from the sound of the motorized blower, you won’t get music playback or annoying sounds.

Key Features
  • Bubble maker camera
  • Comes with two bottles of bubble solution
  • Simple on/off button
  • Comes with carrying strap
Good To Know
  • Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)
  • Point bubbles in line with any wind to reduce likelihood of clogged bubble machine

Most Educational Toy Camera: Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. with Robert Irwin

Transport children to feeling like a real nature photographer with the GeoSafari Jr. Talking Wildlife Camera!

Voiced by Robert Irwin, this cute faux camera is set on a tripod and is preloaded with 130 images of beautiful animals in the wild and over 200 facts/quizzes.

It features dual eyepieces and a soft grip that’s comfortable to manage. The camera can also be removed from the tripod for pretend play; but the voices/images only work when attached to the tripod. Note that it requires three AAA batteries which aren’t included.

Key Features
  • Educational STEM toy
  • 130 preloaded wildlife images
  • 200+ facts and quizzes voiced by Robert Irwin
Good To Know
  • Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included)
  • Camera can be removed from tripod for pretend play; however educational audio/visual component only works when attached

Best Toy Camera With Slides: ArtCreativity Kids’ Camera Toy Set

I will not lie, this is my toddler's favorite camera on this list! Yes, more than the digital or wooden cameras! ArtCreativity's Kids' Cameras come as a pack of 12 – making it great for birthday party or goodie bag fillers.

The shutter button works – and each time you click it, a carousel slide within the camera shifts to show a new picture of an animal within the viewfinder for the child.

If that's hard to imagine, it's like this classic toy, but in a camera and you can't switch out the slides.

It's plastic design is lightweight, comes with a wrist strap, and has withstood many drops/tosses in our house.The vibrant colors and playful animals are also toddler friendly.

Key features
  • Set of 12 plastic cameras
  • Functional shutter button triggers a carousel of sliding images of animals inside the viewfinder
  • Wrist strap attached to camera
Good To Know
  • Some reviewers experienced quality issues, so double check upon arrival!

Most Fun Wooden Toy Camera For Toddlers: kiko+ Kaleidoscope Wooden Camera

The kiko+ Kaleidoscope Wooden Camera is our favorite wooden toy camera! Made from 100% beech-wood and handcrafted in Japan, there's no denying this camera is beautiful AND fun.

Toddlers will appreciate the fun star shaped shutter button that actually presses down.

There's also a detachable magnetic yellow or red lens that goes over the turning kaleidoscope lens.

Parents will appreciate that it's all one piece, so there's nothing to lose – yes, even that filtered lens stays attached view a string when removed.

Key features
  • 100% beech wood
  • Made in Japan
  • Rotating kaleidoscope with removable color filter
  • Shutter button works
  • 2 different neck straps included
Good to know
  • Only kaleidoscope viewfinder; no “realistic” view of the world

Most Affordable Wooden Toy Camera: Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Coming in at under $10, this wooden toy camera is not only aesthetically pleasing and will certainly look great in most montessori inspired homes, it's fun too!

The top shutter button does push down, and the blue ring around the lens does spin for a pretend “zoom.”

There's a small rectangular opening children can look through, just like a real viewfinder on a camera. Then instead of an actual screen it's a colored block which may appear a little boring to some, or inspire further creativity in others.

NOTE: If you are concerned this is too large/heavy for your toddler, then we recommend this wooden mini camera as an alternative (check price here and here).

Key features
  • Solid wood construction
  • Functioning shutter button and zoom ring
  • Comes with neck strap
Good to know
  • A little large for some toddlers
  • Heavy/large wood block design may not be the best option for all toddlers

Best Wooden Camera With Multiple Lenses: Manhattan Toy Camera

Manhattan Toy Camera is probably one of the most popular wooden pretend cameras on the market and certainly provides the most versatile viewing experience.

It comes with three different lenses that can be removed and fitted into the camera base. A kaleidoscope, green, and clear one. Personally, I returned this camera because the removable lenses didn't have a carrying bag or attach to the camera and just seemed like they'd get lost.

Additionally, many reviews said the lenses eventually stopped fitting snugly into the camera, which became a safety concern for me with two kids, since they are kind of heavy. Though I did love the variety.

The other reason we returned this one: shutter button doesn't work. While it is a beautiful and well made wooden camera that does come with a neck strap, it just seemed like a bigger headache in the long run than other options on the list.

Key features
  • Solid wood construction
  • 3 interchangeable lenses
  • Comes with neck strap
Good to know
  • No carrying bag for loose lenses; nor can you purchase replacements
  • Shutter button does not work
  • Lenses fit into camera base but simply pushing in and out and may fall out with continuous use

How To Choose The Best Camera For Toddlers: 

It’s not surprising that after watching their parents or older siblings snapping pictures, that your toddler would want a camera of their own. But that doesn’t mean you’ll give them your mirrorless or DSLR! You’ll want to pick something that’s age appropriate and incredibly durable. Consider the following as you shop for a toddler-friendly camera.

Size

Little hands means that you’re not going to give your child a camera that they can’t possibly manage without help. This means that your child should be able to easily hold and take pictures simultaneously.

Additionally, you don’t want anything too heavy as this might make it more likely that your child will drop their camera or accidentally hurt themselves.

Durability

Toddlers aren’t known for being the most gentle with their toys. And even though a toddler camera can fall under the category of tech gear, let’s face it — to them it’s another toy. Look for toddler cameras that are durable and less likely to break when they’re dropped even for the hundredth time. 

Additionally, look for cameras that come with nice features like shock absorbent skins, neck straps, or reinforced seams. This helps to ensure that when your child drops their camera (which they will), it’s less likely to break. 

Purpose

Just like cameras made for adults, toddler cameras come in a variety of formats/features within both the pretend play sector and digital camera space.

Pretend Play Camera:
  • Lights/sounds for entertainment
  • Audio for education
  • Completely analog for more imaginative play
Digital camera:
  • Only shoot stills
  • Video and audio recording
  • Instant printing: polaroid or thermal print
  • Games
  • Filters and frames
  • MP3 functionality

Really think about the age of your child, their interest, and how much exposure to technology you want to give them when selecting a camera for a toddler.

Photo Quality (for digital camera)

Even if you’re not buying a state of the art camera for a preschooler, that doesn’t mean that you won’t want to print or display their handiwork. Check to ensure that the camera offers enough megapixels to create a clear image. Ideally, you’ll want a camera that comes with 12 megapixels (MP); though in brighter light you can get away with less in some scenarios for a more “retro” feel.

Similarly, if your child likes to shoot in darker spaces, a camera with a built-in flash is helpful. 

Water Resistance

This won’t be a requirement for everyone, but if you plan on taking your preschooler camera around water, a water resistance rating is going to be important. Note that these ratings can vary. 

A camera that’s designed for shooting in or under water will usually list water resistance as 3 ATM, 5 ATM, or 10 ATM which means that the camera can be fully submerged by as much as 30, 50, or 100 meters below the water’s surface and still function properly. 

In contrast, a camera that’s rated for water exposure (such as occasionally getting splashed by or quickly being submerged in shallow water) will list water resistance as IP or IPX and can vary widely from minimal exposure to a light rain to as much as occasional submersion in water of up to 1.5 meters deep. Note, if you think your child will dunk their cameras in water frequently, target a rating of IP68 or higher. 

Accessories

At minimum when selecting a toddler camera you'll want some sort of carrying strap whether it's a wrsit or neck strap.

Beyond that, some come with bonus accessories like stickers or pretend play accessories.

Additionally for digital cameras, some include an SD card while others you'll need to purchase separately. Similarly, some toy cameras need batteries while other use a rechargeable lithium battery. You'll want to check both of the aforementioned before giving the camera to a toddler to avoid a meltdown.

FAQS About Toddler Cameras

When is the best time to give my toddler a camera?

Generally as soon as a child starts to show interest in an object you can introduce a child sized version.

This is inline with Dr. Montessori's beliefs of following the child and Waldorf beliefs of educating the whole child.

Of course, depending on the age of the child you may give a different type of camera.

Can a 2 year old use a camera?

Yes! If you want to start with a pretend play toy camera you can, this will teach the basic layout of a camera to the child and then you can graduate to a digital camera and teach them where the buttons are.

For 2 year olds, opting for a digital camera like this one, where the buttons are marked via symbols, can prove easier to navigate ultimately.

Just keep in mind, that many digital cameras for toddlers include game packs; some can be disabled while others can't, so you may want to hold off on those.

What skills do cameras for toddlers promote?

  • Motor Skills: Children gain fine motor skills and can improve hand-eye coordination by learning to precisely touch specific buttons.
  • Spatial Relations: Child learn how to plan a shot within the frame
  • Bonding: using a camera is a playful way to connect with your child as you take turns taking photos
  • Lessens resistance to having THEIR photo taken: especially helpful little hack before shelling out hundreds of dollars for professional family photos where you child doesn't look at the camera!
  • Encourages independence, creativity, and language: free to explore and capture their insights and tell stories about their photos

What types of cameras are there for toddlers?

There are a wide array of cameras available for toddlers, including: toy, film, digital, underwater, instant prints, video and more.

If you’re not quite sure they’re ready for the real thing, toy cameras help them understand how to properly hold and interact with a camera. 

Meanwhile, digital cameras are a mainstay as they’re easy to use and allow for instant picture development. Today they have many toddler friendly options with shock absorbing exteriors, water resistant casings, and some even record video and audio as well.

Of course, you can always go with an old school disposable film camera which are easy to operate and affordable, while also teaching patience as you wait for photos to be developed.

Additionally, there are also cameras that support instant printing either on film or thermal paper. Film paper is ideal if you want to display your child’s masterpiece. But cameras that print on thermal film often come with markers or other art supplies so children can customize their creations. 

What age should a child get a camera?

The short answer is, it depends. While you shouldn’t give a camera to an infant, you’ll know your child is ready for a camera when they have strong hand-eye coordination. Additionally, they should have refined their fine motor skills so that they can easily press smaller buttons with precision. And in most cases, they should have expressed an interest in cameras either by trying to use an adult’s camera or smartphone when others are taking pictures.

But don’t forget that the camera you select should be age appropriate. Picking a premium (read expensive and delicate) camera like a professional mirrorless or DSLR from the big three (Canon, Nikon, Sony) for a toddler isn’t the smartest option given the sheer weight of the base body and the fact that you usually need additional lenses and accessories to really experience the breadth of their capabilities. 

What size memory card will I need for my toddler’s camera?

Generally speaking 32 GB is a safe size mircoSD card for toddlers. It's typically compatible with most toddler cameras.

Check the digital camera's handbook for their suggestion first before buying though.

If you really want to ensure you'll never run out of room, a 64 GB mircoSD or SD card will definitely will definitely help with that; but again, check that it's compatible.

Ideally, don't go smaller than 16 GB, especially if the camera records video.

Are Kidizoom cameras good?

KidiZoom cameras are generally considered top notch kids cameras.

They come in several models – even more than what we listed here – making it easy to find the age appropriate match for your child.

Beyond that, they are incredibly sturdy, typically support features like selfie mode, supports shooting video, and even comes equipped with computer games. 

Additionally, KidiZoom is made by VTech which has been a leader in kids audio/visual products for years.

Final Thoughts:

Finding the best toddler camera will ultimately depend on whether you want a pretend toy camera or a digital camera that takes real pictures.

All of the picks on this list are great in our experience.

What is the best first camera for a child?

For digital cameras, while the KidiZoom cameras didn't necessarily win “best overall” it's our personal favorite pick since they actually give parental controls for disabling games and setting time limits; though they are pricier and you do need to purchase a separate microSD card typically.

For toy cameras, it really depends on the age and interests of your child. As a montessori family we've loved the simplicity and smart design of the kiko+ Kaleidoscope Wooden Toy Camera; but are also huge fans of the Fisher-Price Click Away Camera Set for all it's pretend play accessories.

Lastly, the ArtCreativity Kids’ Camera Toy Set make awesome party favors, and are great for families with lots of kids and love the way it functions like an old school red ViewMaster toy with the animal photo slides inside.

1 Shares
Pin
Tweet
Share
Share
Share