camera for kidsThere are lots of gifts for traveling moms and their traveling families.  The best gift I have ever gotten for my little travelers was their own cameras.  When my kids were 4 and 6, I bought them each a real camera.  We have had the rough and tough toddler cameras but they never used them.  Both children always wanted my camera and while I trust them to try and be careful, handing over my DSLR camera to a four year old is not something I want to do on a regular basis! 

I bought each child a camera in different colors (purple for my daughter and black for my son) to make them easily identifiable, batteries, and a memory card that holds hundreds of pictures.  It was THE best gift of the season! 

Not only do the kids love to snap pictures on their own camera during our travels, but they also pay more attention during our travels.  In the past, after walking around a city for an hour or two the kids would start whining. 

And whining.  And whining. 

Now that my son and daughter are carrying around their own cameras, they pay attention to what is around them.  They notice the little flowers blooming in the corner of the supermarket.  They take the time to look at architectural details on the building we are visiting. 

What I love the most though is that taking the pictures is not enough.  When we get home, we load the pictures into the computer and pick out our favorites.  I print them out on our printer or at a local photo place.  When we get the pictures, I gather up all of my extra scrapbook supplies.  We use paper, stickers, punches and more to make our own scrapbooks.  The kids love to cut up the photos and place them in the perfect spot.  As our travels continue, we continue to add to the scrapbooks. 

A few tips we learned along the way:

You can buy your children a real camera.  It doesn’t have to be the most expensive camera on the shelf but it should be decent enough to take good pictures.

Try to get a camera that also does video.  My kids have had a blast creating videos while we are on our trips.  My son did an entire video from the balcony of our hotel about how awesome learning to kayak was. 

Carry extra batteries at all times.  We ran out of batteries on a trip to Disney World and I paid for it in the form of numerous dollar bills to the person running the little battery kiosk.

Consider purchasing a case.  I didn’t, but that is because I carry the cameras with me when my kids aren’t using them.  If your child will be responsible for carrying the camera, you might want to let them pick out a case.

Get a memory card that holds hundreds of pictures…preferably thousands.  In one trip, my son took over 1000 photos.  We only printed about 40 of them.  I am sure that if we ran out of card space, my son would have insisted on heading to the store for a new card.