If you’ve ever worried that your grandchild spends too much time looking at a screen, and not enough time out in the big wide world, this week’s list of potential birthday presents is right up your street. Today we’re looking at presents that can make the transition between the online world our grandchildren are growing up in, and the exciting world outside their front doors.
A digital camera can make a great gift for a young artist, particularly if he or she is already into exploring the world. The key qualities for first digital cameras are durability and simplicity, plus of course the ability to be dropped, chewed and used to stir drinks without ill effects.
Fisher Price starts the bidding with their excellent range of “Kid Tough” digital products. These include a range of affordable cameras, which are designed to be thrown, bounced and lost (they’re big enough to find again easily) with no problems. No bells, no whistles, just point, click and review. Fisher Price cameras can store up to 500 images on each memory card.
Surprisingly, Lego have joined the fray with a Lego digital camera – again designed for little hands to use comfortably. Uniquely, the Lego camera can also be incorporated into Lego models and games using the supplied bricks. The limits of this one are defined only by the imagination!
Slightly older grandkids (7 years and up) might be ready for an upgrade. Popular camera makers including Sony; Panasonic; Polaroid; and Canon have all developed simple compact digital cameras ideal for young users.
The Canon PowerShot A2300 works great for kids, with its point and shoot ability and large LCD monitor screen. It’s light and pretty tough too, with a lens that hides away in a protective housing when not in use. Use a sticker to protect the screen and it will go anywhere in any pocket.
Being waterproof is always a good idea when you’re looking at a camera for kids. Nothing spoils a great present quicker than being dropped in a puddle. This Panasonic Lumix is an ideal solution. It’s waterproof down to 16ft (way deeper than most swimming pools), so even if it gets dropped in the bath or the local pond it’ll come out snapping. It’s also resistant to cold weather, meaning those snow days can be captured first hand, without you having to worry that a nice expensive present is about to get damaged by the frost and ice!
For the budding young film photographer (that’s right, 35mm and instant films are making a comeback), there are plenty of choices – like this Fuji Instant, which combines fun looks with the satisfaction of getting an instant print. You’ll probably love it as much as the grandchildren do. Again, it’s been designed with life in mind so you won’t have to worry about the occasional drop.