I love when I give my kids the camera and tell them to take some pictures. It's fascinating to see what they capture. With digital cameras, 'trash' pictures are easily deleted and there's no film-development expense to worry about, and they can snap to their hearts' content. Photography is a hobby I have always enjoyed and it pleases me to see my children so enamored with it as well.
At 3 and 6, one thing we DO have to worry about is the camera itself. We've had several cameras bite the dust, often quite literally, due to the kids' manhandling them. I have to give a huge shout-out to our current camera, the Casio Exilim, made for sports enthusiasts but also perfect for families. It's 7-foot shock resistant so if my kids drop it, it's highly likely to survive. There is no lens cover, and even when you zoom, the lens never moves, so they can't break the shutter or snap anything off. It's also waterproof so we've been able to take it to pools, splash pads, and lakes without worry. Furthermore, it takes great pictures. (As a bonus, it's red, and I feel sassy when I whip it out.)
Last weekend, we spent some time in Wisconsin with friends, and I let the kids have the camera on a couple different occasions. Here's a few of the shots they captured:
At the Cost Cutters, waiting for Daddy to get his hairs cut (yes, all of them, har har). I love how my 6-year old captured his 3-year old sister studiously writing in a journal. She's all legs and creativity.
My 3-year-old likewise captured her brother, waiting impatiently for me to finish a ride at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Up close and personal.
She also got a good shot of our friend Ihor. It wasn't so long ago that she couldn't even manage to get a person framed in the shot at all. Now she's using backlighting and soft colors and everything. OK, perhaps I'm attributing too much to her burgeoning photography skills, but I still rather like how this shot came out.
I hope they continue to enjoy taking pictures and capturing family memories. It is, in my opinion, an invaluable hobby.