3-year-olds love taking photos–they are fascinated by it. Creativity runs through their veins. My kids constantly ask to borrow my phone and it’s always because they want to use the camera. So, I thought, enough is enough. I’m going to buy them their own, kid-friendly camera. So, here are the best 3-year-old friendly cameras I could find.
I spent 20 hours frantically researching through the next week and looked at every child-friendly camera on the market, then I found it. The perfect camera for my 3-year-old. But in my exhaustive research, I had found eight more unusual and unique cameras I just have to tell you about. So read on–I think you’ll be surprised.
■ Most Popular: VTech Kidizoom DUO at Amazon “With Two Lenses, plenty of fun features, and a tough grippy design. This was the obvious choice for the best camera for a 3-year-old”.
■ Best Waterproof Camera: Ourlife Kids Camera at Amazon “Fully waterproof and optional large grippy handles make this easy to recommend for even the roughest 3-year-old”.
■ Best Classic Design Camera: Kidwell Camera at Amazon “Except for the bright colors and size you’d think this was an adult’s camera”.
■ Best Action Camera: Denicer Action Cam at Amazon “The Denicer can withstand the rough and tumble of even the most adventurous 3-year-old”.
■ Cutest Camera for a 3-Year-Old Girl: AIXPI Kids Cartoon Camera at Amazon “The cute bunny ears look adorable, but don’t underestimate the quality of pictures you get from the AIXPI”.
■ Best for the Budding Pro: Lyyes Mini Camera at Amazon “The Lyyes Mini camera is a full featured digital camera scaled down for tiny hands”.
■ Best Instant Film Camera: Fujifilm Instax at Amazon “Fun to use and a retro feel, theres a lot to love about the Fujifilm Instax”.
■ Best Kids Camcorder: Cocopa Kids Camcorder at Amazon “A 12 megapixel sensor and easy to hold body are the highlights of this colorful little camcorder”.
■ Cutest Camera for a 3-Year-Old Boy: Frog Camera at Amazon “This little frog is the most adorable camera I’ve ever seen and my 3-year-old carries it with him eveywhere”.
Now you’ve had a quick overview of the best cameras for a 3-year-old–get ready for a closer look at my 3-year-old camera top pick and eight other unusual and fascinating kids cameras.
1. Most Popular Camera for a 3-Year-Old – VTech Kidizoom DUO Camera
Cute, practical, and easy to hold. The Kidizoom selfie camera is the perfect first camera for your 3-year-old. It has plenty of features, including a lens on the front and rear (for those selfie moments).
This camera stands out with it’s grippy and easy to hold exterior. Little hands find cameras hard to use and hold, but not this one. It has oversized grips with all the buttons are ideally placed for your 3-year-olds hands to find. The Kidizoom also has fun features like voice record, voice changer, and stop motion video.
Technical specs include a 2.4-inch TFT rear display, 2-megapixel front camera, and 0.3-megapixel rear selfie camera. There’s only 256mb of onboard storage so you’ll need to use the included microSD memory card slot which can hold cards up to 32GB.
The Kidizoom has an auto shut-off feature to prevent your little one from accidentally draining the batteries. The camera weighs in at 1.2 pounds, so light enough for little arms to snap away all day. With the exterior being nice and grippy, the material used also protects it from bumps and falls, so the Kidizoom is very durable.
Overall, the Kidizoom hasn’t got the best image quality, but it does take nice photos. The place where this camera shines is it’s physical exterior, being so easy for a little one to hold and use. If the point of a camera for your 3-year-old is to provide hours of fun, then this is a perfect choice. Check the price of the VTech Kidizoom DUO out over at Amazon, it was the best price I could find when we purchased our Kidizoom.
2. Best Waterproof Camera for a 3-Year-Old – Ourlife Kids Waterproof Camera
If your 3-year-old is a rugged adventurer or water baby then the Ourlife Camera will be perfect for them. When clipped into the waterproof case it will easily withstand being submerged up to 100ft (Although I’d be more worried about my 3-year-old than the camera if they made it down to that depth).
When you take the Ourlife camera out of its waterproof case, you can attach the large grippy handles–these provide the perfect hold for little hands, making the camera so easy for your 3-year-old to use.
The picture quality is great from the Ourlife camera with its 8-megapixel sensor. The lens is also rotating so your 3-year-old can frame perfect selfies using the large 2.24-inch color screen. The camera also has two bright lights on the front to help with shooting those night time pictures. It also comes with an 8GB microSD card which is plenty of storage space.
Overall, the Ourlife camera is the perfect option for kids who are rough on their toys. It’s also great for 3-year-olds who love the pool or at the beach to stop sand and water ruining their fun. The Ourlife Kids Waterproof Camera is great value on Amazon at the moment, especially because it includes the memory card, so your 3-year-old can get snapping out of the box.
3. Best Classic Design Camera for a 3-Year-Old – Kidwell Camera
If your 3-year-old wants a camera “just like mommy/daddys” then the Kidwell camera is perfect for them. The Kidwell looks like a regular compact camera but has brighter colors, bigger buttons, and it’s easier to operate. The reviews for this camera are glowing and overwhelmingly positive.
The Kidwell Camera has a chunky grip and a large 2.8-inch easy to use touchscreen on the rear. The touchscreen makes it easy for a 3-year-old to view their pictures on the Kidwell. The battery is internal and rechargeable and the Kidwell also includes a massive 16GB memory card in the price. The 8-megapixel sensor means the Kidwell can produce stunningly beautiful photos.
The reduced size of the camera is perfect for little hands, allowing them to get a comfortable grip. The camera is also light at only 10 ounces and very pocketable. It’s a camera to bring along on family days out and not have to worry about its size, weight or durability.
Overall, the Kidwell is a great choice if your 3-year-old sees your camera and wants one of their own. What’s better? Letting them play with your expensive camera and cleaning their sticky fingerprints off the lens or buying them this great value Kidwell camera of their own (Link to check the current price on Amazon).
4. Best Action Camera for a 3-Year-Old – Denicer Waterproof Children’s Camera
Being a waterproof and rugged action camera means that it might withstand more than a days use from a rough and tumble 3-year-old. I know my young ones can be tough on their toys. The Denicer is perfect for swimming, rainy days, being dropped in puddles, and doesn’t mind if you spill a drink all over it. This IP68 waterproof rated little action camera will stand up to harsh use.
The Dencier has a whopping 12-megapixel resolution, meaning pictures are crystal clear. The video recording is no slouch too at 1080p / 30fps, those specs produce a beautiful, detailed and fluid video to capture all your child’s memorable moments.
The Denicer has a 2-inch color screen on the rear so your little one can line up any shots or look back at their recent photos. It comes with a whopping 32GB storage card included (which is a blessing as video takes up more space than photographs). The camera includes plenty of extra mounts so it can be attached to a helmet, bicycle handlebars, scooters, or ski poles. The Denicer weighs in at only 8 ounces, so there’s no excuse not to bring this pocketable action cam anywhere with them.
Overall I think the Denicer is the perfect action camera for a 3-year-old. It has all the features of a regular action camera but adjusted for a toddler. If you have a sporty, adventurous, or your 3-year-old is a little clumsy, the Denicer camera this the ideal choice. (You won’t believe the price on Amazon either, it’s great value).
5. Cutest Camera for a 3-Year-Old Girl – AIXPI Kids Cartoon Camera
This camera is cute! I don’t think I’ve seen a camera so cute before (except maybe number 9 on this list). The AIXPI is available in three soft silicone case styles. One is a cute cartoon rabbit, a lamb, and a very cute deer. The cute and soft animal silicone cases for the camera also double-up as vital impact protection. Because the chances are high that your 3-year-old will drop it at some point.
The cute externals make you underestimate the powerful internal specs of the AIXPI. It has a sharp 8-megapixel lens and sensor. It also has a large built-in battery for power and a 2.0-inch screen. It can take 8-megapixel photos and record video at 1080p / 30fps. The AIXPI is compact in size and super lightweight at only 3 ounces, making it perfect for little hands to grip and use all day.
Overall I think the AIXPI would be a perfect choice for a little princess who is obsessed with cute things. The deer silicone cover may appeal more to little boys. I think the AIXPI is special because it manages to look absolutely gorgeous but still has the technical specs to take fantastic images. It’s the perfect cute little package. Take a look at the cutesy AIXPI over at Amazon for the best price I found.
6. Best Pro Camera for the 3-Year-Old Pro Photographer – Lyyes Mini Camera
If your 3-year-old has an eye for a photo and they are showing some talent for photography–then it might be wise to get them the Lyyes Mini Camera. The Lyyes is just a smaller version of a full-featured digital camera.
If you think your 3-year-old is ready and you want to nurture their passion for photography then the Lyyes mini camera is perfect. It boasts an 18-megapixel sensor, 2.7-inch screen on the rear, face detection, smile recognition, and stabilizing software. This is the real deal. The benefit of buying the Lyyes over any other digital camera for your 3-year-old is the compact size, making it easier to handle and use, and the amazing value.
Remember to buy an SD memory card (like this one) because it doesn’t come with one. There’s nothing worse than giving your kid a present and they can’t use it straight away!
Overall the Lyyes mini camera is perfect for the budding photographer in your family. Who knows? Given a good quality camera at 3-years-old could spark an interest that lasts them a lifetime. I think the Lyyes Mini Camera is a bargain for the specs, check out the price at Amazon. For that price, I don’t mind so much if they break it!
7. Best Instant Film Camera for a 3-Year-Old – Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
If you reminisce about the good old days of polaroids (where you can get your print in an instant) then you might want to consider the Instax Mini 9 for your 3-year-old. It’s a shot of nostalgia when you take your first photo, shake it and then watch the image that you took appear just minutes later.
I think there’s something special about physical images–especially now. Think of how many pictures you have on your phone right now? Hundreds at least, and how many have you printed off? Not many, if you’re like me. Imagine the joy and wonder on your 3-year-olds face when you take a selfie together and they see the picture they just took squeezing from the side of the camera. Think of how amazed they will be when they finally see your smiling faces appearing magically on that developing photo.
The Instax Mini 9 comes in seven fun and bright colors–so don’t worry if pink isn’t your thing. It has a rugged, soft, and springy feel to the body. The type of grippy, silicone feel that you know will take years of rough use. Also included is a macro lens attachment that allows you to take detailed photos from only 35cm away, which is great for closeups and nature shots.
Overall, the Instax Mini 9 is a lovely slice of nostalgia but with modern features. The colors and tones of instant film are sought after, with many apps trying to reproduce the effect that your 3-year-old can achieve with this fun camera. The only thing I don’t like is the price of the film, it isn’t cheap, so the Instax works best as a camera to bring out when their friends are around, for instant selfies that will cause plenty of giggles. Check the price of the Instax Mini 9 over at Amazon
8. Best Camcorder for a 3-year-old – Cocopa Kids Camera
If you prefer the camcorder (style) digital camera for your 3-year-old–then the Cocopa is for you. Despite looking and acting like a colorful camcorder for your little one, it can actually take some decent photos too. Some parents prefer the Cocopa handheld camcorder to a regular digital camera because it’s easier to hold and operate with tiny hands.
The sensor is 12-megapixel so it provides crisp and clear video and images. The Cocopa has a 2.4-inch flip-out screen so your 3-year-old can frame their shots perfectly. It can record video in 1080p HD quality and comes with a large 16GB memory card included in the box.
Overall, I think the Cocopa is a great alternative to the regular kid’s digital camera. If your 3-year-old is interested in taking more video rather than pictures then this camcorder style exterior will be more comfortable to handle. Have a look at the Cocopa Kids Camera for yourself over at Amazon, read the reviews, surprisingly it’s the highest-rated camera I found.
9. Cutest Camera for a 3-Year-Old Boy – Frog Camera
I have a confession, I am in love with this camera. While researching this article I found this cute frog camera and even though it isn’t my top pick, I just had to buy one for its looks! Newsflash–this is the cutest camera ever designed.
The bright green, the lovely smiling froggy face, and the lens in the eye. It’s captured my heart. I want nothing more than to see my little 3-year-olds running around the house or at the park snapping photos with this super cute frog camera. It’s one of those toys which I know they will remember fondly when they are fully grown adults.
As cute as it is, little froggy has some excellent specs for a kids camera. 12-megapixel sensor for great quality pics. 1.54-inch display on the rear. It can shoot video, has a built-in rechargeable battery and 16X digital zoom. Just remember to grab a micro SD card before letting your 3-year-old use it as there isn’t any internal memory.
Just go and take a look at all the other pictures of the frog camera on Amazon, it’s adorable!
The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Camera for Your 3-Year-Old
Buying a digital camera for your 3-year-old can be a confusing task. Cameras have long lists of bewildering technical specifications, some of which are important and others frankly don’t matter.
Before diving in and buying the first camera that looks good, take a minute and read this guide I’ve put together to make your search for a kids camera easier.
Want to know the tech specs of a camera that actually matter? I’ll show you, don’t make an expensive mistake. Have a read of this guide and make sure you are getting the best camera for your money. A camera that your 3-year-old will cherish.
- How easy is it to use? If the camera you buy for your 3-year-old is too difficult for them to use, then it will become an expensive mistake, tossed in the toybox. At 3-years-old you expect your child to spend a little bit of time getting to grips with how to use their first camera, but if it’s too difficult they will give up. For example, it took my 3-year-olds around 20 minutes to work out how to take a photo on the camera and by the end of the day they had started exploring the menus and settings.
- Size. 3-year-olds have tiny hands, so it’s no use giving them an adult-sized camera. A larger camera will be heavy and difficult to hold. The size and shape will be suited to adults’ hands, making your little one find it frustrating. The weight of a normal camera might put your 3-year-old off. We might consider modern cameras light, but at 3-years-old children are much weaker than adults. So, the lighter the camera the better.
- How Many Megapixels? The number of megapixels that a camera for a 3-year-old needs is a complex question. To put it simply, the higher the number of megapixels the more detailed a photo will be. If a photo was taken with a low megapixel camera, they will only be suitable for printing out in a smaller size. If your 3-year-old has a larger megapixel camera then you can happily print out canvas sized prints of their photos and hang them your wall.
- Features. A good camera should do more than just take pictures/videos. But the features that interest a 3-year-old will be different than for you and me. If I’m buying a camera for my child, I want it to have fun features, like a selfie camera, sound recording, fun filters, fun photo frames. A camera for a 3-year-old is more about fun and creativity than anything else.
- Durability. 3-year-olds are rough on their toys and cameras are normally delicate pieces of electronics. Not a great mix. A delicate camera is very likely to be broken by the average 3-year-old. That’s why you need to look for a rugged and child-specific camera. Something that’s ready for the bumps, falls, and spills of everyday life with a little one.
- How to Get the Pictures Off the Camera? Before purchasing a camera it’s worth taking note of how the camera stores the photos it takes. What kind of memory card/film does it use? Does it come with a memory card int he box? Also, check that the camera is compatible with your PC/Mac and that it either comes with the correct wires to connect it up or you can buy them.
- Batteries Needed? All cameras need power to run. So make sure you know if you need batteries or a charging cable. The last thing you want is for your 3-year-old to receive the camera, excited and then realize that they can’t use it because it isn’t charged or you forgot the AA batteries for it.
What Type of Camera is Best for Your 3-Year-Old?
All Cameras aren’t created equal. They all have their strengths and weaknesses in different areas. That’s why it’s important to ask or decide for your 3-year-old how they are going to use the camera. Each camera on this list is ideally suited to a different purpose. Some have the best technical specifications and others are the cutest cameras you’ve ever seen. It all depends on your child and which one they will connect with and get the most joy from.
How to Decide on a Camera Type for Your 3-Year-Old
Think about your answers to the following questions:
- Ask them why/think about why they want a camera? Is it a fashion item? is it to take pictures of bugs? is it to create their own movies?
- How serious are they about a camera? If your 3-year-old has a passion for photography and constantly steals your phone and takes pictures, it might be worth investing a little more in a photography camera.
- How careful is your 3-year-old? If your kid is always breaking their toys, spilling drinks, and treating things roughly then it might be worth looking into the more rugged types of cameras available.
- Decide on a budget for yourself? The cost of a camera can vary. From expensive professional setups costing thousands of dollars to fun cheap toy cameras. Think of a maximum figure you’d like to spend and stick to it, then choose the best camera in your price range. A more expensive camera isn’t always the better choice. You have to be sure that they will use every feature you are paying for.
The Three Main Types of Cameras for a 3-year-old
These cameras are normally brightly colored, durable and easy to use. This is the perfect first camera for a 3-year-old, they are a great all-rounder and the best introduction to see if your child actually likes photography.
Polaroid type cameras are another example of a fun camera, they have the added magic of watching your prints develop with your friends and then giggling at the photos you just took. It’s a magic that digital photos that you print next week just can’t capture.
Best Example: VTech Kidizoom DUO Camera
These cameras are perfect for a 3-year-old who likes the art of photography. You’ll know if your 3-year-old is ready for a camera like this because they will want to take pictures of wildlife, scenery, and buildings. They are interested in taking beautiful pictures they can keep, not just snapping away randomly. If you give them a complex camera with more settings to play with at this age, it might just be the foundation for a life long passion.
Best Example: Lyyes Mini Camera
If your little one is more of the rough and tumble type then this is the camera for them. Action cameras are tough, waterproof and shockproof. They can take a video of your 3-year-old’s latest scooter stunt and then follow them into the swimming pool to record their underwater antics. These cameras will be up for the roughest adventure any 3-year-old can undertake.
Best Example: Ourlife Kids Waterproof Camera
If your 3-year-old likes gadgets and technology then take a look at my article on the Best RC car for your 3-year-old. You won’t be disappointed, I stumbled over an RC car that smashed my expectations. I never knew that technology in toys had become so advanced!
Hi, my name is Gavin and together with my wife we are the proud parents of twins. We believe that learning more about your children will help you be a better parent and love your 3 year old even more. That’s why we created At3yearsold.com, just for you!