Solution? The Kidizoom camera from VTech. I am thrilled with this product.
One thing I love about this camera is that it comes ready to take photos. A lot of photos. You can buy a memory card, but my kids took 328 photos and several videos, and there was still room for more.
It's easy to use too. I handed it to Quinn and he immediately started to wander the house taking photos. It's amusing what catches the eye of small children.
The camera interface is really easy to use. All three of my kids figured it out easily. Features such as the flash are simple as well.
There are games on the camera as well, Tic Tac Toe, and matching, and one other. I couldn't care less that they're on there. I'm more interested in the camera. But for what it's worth, Jack and Quinn love them. And they come with volume control too. (For the camera, not your kid. VTech aren't miracle workers.)
We took the camera with us to play with some friends and I'd like to report that the friends adore the camera as well. I would also like to report that if a four-year-old drops the camera on the sidewalk, it is well-insulated enough to not break.
My kids are mostly interested in taking the photos and looking at them on the screen on the back of the camera. I've seen other kiddie cameras, and the screen on this one was a pleasant surprise.
My kids couldn't care less about uploading their photos, but I know some kids do care. Once I uploaded my 328 photos (and deleted about 312 photos of stains on my floor) I noticed that the photo quality is dependent mostly on the amount of light. (Obviously.) Outdoor photos fared better than indoor photos, but if my kids did care about the finished product, I would defintely have been able to produce enough good shots to make them happy.
I also have to admit that the quality of many of the photos was less than desirable due to sloppy camera work on my three-year-old's part. Using this camera would be a great way to teach a kid about photography if that is something you are interested in.
Following are some photos taken with the Kidizoom:
But possibly the best thing about this camera? I don't have to sacrifice my pricey adult digital camera to their grungy little hands anymore. That is worth its weight in gold.
Honesty Clause: VTech gave me the Kidizoom camera for free. It retails for $59.99.