Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Every Child Needs A Digital Camera

I used to be a mom who was always behind the camera - never in the photos.  Hiding from the camera was a habit I started as a child, and continued as a parent.  In pictures from my childhood, I see my mother and grandmother act shy of the camera when they happen to be caught by one, too.

And yet, the rare photo that captured my grandma and mother are some of my most treasured photos.  When I see them, I'm not thinking of my grandmother's round face and strong frame; I'm thinking of how she loved me, and how much I take after her.  I don't see the nose that was the bane of my mother's existence, I see an uncertain young mother rarely caught on film because she preferred to keep a camera between herself and the world.

I've come to understand that what is most important to our children is that we are MUM. How sad if they don't have pictures of us because we were always hiding in self doubt, strictly behind the camera. Now imagine how priceless it would be to an adult child to have photos of us as seen through their own eyes.

We bought our first digital camera when my little daughter was two.  It was a Kodak EasyShare CX 7430 - such a breeze to use, right out of the box, that by age four she had no problem operating it on her own.  So, she was allowed to use it.

Her favorite subjects have always fascinated me in what they are.  They reveal so much about what is important to her, insight I wouldn't have had otherwise. Sometimes I find photos of myself, asleep or distracted, strange shots of random body parts, usually her brothers', sometimes hers - we're talking elbows, feet, toes. Sometimes the pictures are of her favorite cartoons and toys. And she loves to turn the camera back to herself.  She has taken some of my favorite photos of her.

I love to nurture her interest in the art of photography by compiling the best or most amusing shots into a slideshow for her. Another way I've encouraged her was to create an online album of her photos. When we finished the first one, she was full of such joy and light that I was appreciating her art that way. Eventually, I want to create a scrapbook for her of her own photography, with those glimpses back into how she perceived me, her siblings, and the world.

But letting her use the family camera had its drawbacks.  When I wanted to use it, I'd find it full of pictures and video, the batteries drained.  It would have solved so many problems if we could have gotten her a camera of her own from the very beginning.

Fortunately they now have a lot of great options in digital cameras created specifically for kids, so my daughter and her little brothers can have one just for them.  The best feature ease of use and sturdy design, to withstand the bumps and drops which can happen in the hands of a preschooler.

This way, we have none of the drawbacks as the kids get to explore and record their world in their own perspective, saving their childhood memories digitally.

Here are the top rated brands of digital cameras for kids on Amazon.com:

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