Kids & Cameras: Photo Journalist for a Day

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

What do you do when sent Fisher Price Kid Tough digital camera to test drive?  Head off to the local zoo for a day of photo journalism.

Kid Tough Digital Camera

Immy hard at work in the bird aviary.

Immy loves taking photos. And whenever she gets her hands on a camera she takes a lot! The question then becomes, what to do with them all?  One suggestion is to add a spot of literacy and make a book together recording your child’s adventures.

Kid Tough digital camera

After printing out a selection of her photos, Immy dictates her recollections of our adventures at the zoo which I write down.

Making photo books with kids

The pages are laminated, hole punched and held together with pipe cleaner loops. Perfect for revisiting our adventures over and over again.

The learning potential for children of this type of book making activity includes;

  • Developing the ability to recall past events
  • Developing the ability to organise their thoughts to share their recollections
  • The opportunity to talk about places, events, people, feelings and emotions
  • Reinforcement of vocabulary particular to the experience being recorded
  • Direct observation that writing is recorded to communicate a message and that this message remains the same each time it is read

Young children often enjoy looking at photographs or listening to stories that involve themselves in some way and this is a fabulous way to involve both. Here are a few other photo book theme ideas that you might like to try;

  • A Day in the Life of …
  • A Visit to …
  • About My Family
  • Around My Home
  • My Favourite Things
  • A Shape, Colour, Nature or Alphabet Hunt

The Fisher Price Kid Tough Camera is certainly child friendly in terms of its sturdiness and durability. It is easy to use – to take photographs, to zoom in and out and to view photographs that have been taken, with nice big buttons and easy to recognise symbols. I liked that it did not have a whole lot of other functions like fancy frames or games that I have seen on other cameras marketed to young children.

Unfortunately, the downside of being drop proof is that the LCD screen is small and this makes it difficult for young children to line up the subject of their photograph accurately. Although the camera does include a manual viewfinder, Immy has never seen me use one of these, she is used to looking at the LCD. The photo quality is adequate for children (adults need to set their expectations aside somewhat), though the biggest problem I have with the quality is Immy staying still long enough for the photo to actually record! Also, although the Fisher Price information states that the camera can be used indoors and out, I do not think that it performs well in the lower light conditions indoors.

Childhood 101′s disclosure statement regarding sponsored post scan be found here.


  1. I love all the ideas on your blog, what a wonderful day at the zoo! We have just started our homeschooling journey and have recently been into the city a couple of times now to explore as well as the botanical gardens, I would love for our children to record these trips into the city and have that as ever lasting memories, as one of them says when we get home “that is one of the best days of my life.”

  2. Recently my daughter and husband went to the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria and whilst there signed up for the Up Close and personal giraffe feeding. Here they were taken on a discovery adventure around the restricted areas of the Zoo and finally the Giraffe enclosures. My husband took photos of the adventure for me to see – as I had to work. But I would have loved to see photos from my daughters perspective, from her height looking up at the tall, lean giraffes as they bent down, curling their long purple tongues around the freshly cut leaves and carrots and taking them from her hand. I would have also liked her to capture the things she thought were exciting or interesting along the way. It was an amazing day for her and I am only sorry I missed out 🙁

  3. Stephanie Wakeem says:

    My husband and I are taking our son to a farm on the outskirts of the Dallas metro this Saturday and would have LOVED for my son to have this camera on our adventure. It will be an afternoon of picking berries, peaches and shopping the general store. He has never been to an orchard so to be able to see the memories through his eyes of photography would be an unique experience. I’m always so busy taking photos of him in action that it would be neat to see the world through his fresh eyes and let him capture the things I take for granted on a daily basis.

  4. This is such a great activity my boys and I do this often. You may also want to try turning the images into a digital book or a windows movie. At the end of the summer last year we put all the short movie clips together to make a full length movie of our summer. We invited other preschoolers over for a movie night. It was such a hit we are turning it into an annual event!

  5. Linda @ stuff i like says:

    I LOVE this idea. Love the blog. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas.

  6. My father feeds the deer that live in the woods behind my parents house. He puts corn out on the stone wall and the deer walk right up to him to eat. When we visit my son LOVES to help Pappy feed the deer. I’ve taken some great photos of my little guy feeding the deer with my dad but would love to have some taken from his perspective…

  7. I would love to have my 3 year old capture on film the first time she meets her new baby sister. it would be great to have her own picture journal of the ‘big day’!! Its always amazes me how observational a 3 year old can be. I am sure I can expect some quirky pics of poopy diapers, bath time, cuddling moments etc too!

  8. We have a pair of finches who built a nest in my hanging tomatoes. The eggs were so tiny and translucent, just awe-inspiring. Yesterday, the eggs hatched. I didn’t think about it until today but I wish I had or my daughter had captured the sequence of events so far — but we’ll be observing carefully as they leave the nest. (And, as my tomatoes go to plant heaven. Oh, well.)

  9. Would have been fun to have a camera the day we rode the train to the museum.

  10. I recently took my two boys 1000 miles to visit their grandparents, aunts, and cousins. One of the aunts is a craft vendor and we camped with her for 4 days at a flea market in Kansas. My toddler was in heaven! Outside for 4 days playing with thousands of interesting gadgets and bobbles to see and explore. Having his own camera there would have made it easier for me to see what he was seeing and understand what he was telling me about so excitedly.

  11. My five year old daughter loves taking photos with my camera. I have collated these into a similar book to your design which she reads to her 2 year old brother daily. It is a win, win situation. She loves taking photos, she practices her reading and her little brother is exposed to modeling her reading and extending on his knowledge of family and the world through the book and pictiures. My two year old got a hold of the camera on Monday night, dropped it and smashed the screen. I went racing out the next day and purchased a new camera so we don’t miss out on any photo opportunities. They are only young for a brief period of time, capturing this time through the lens and their eyes is priceless!

  12. Kelly Stutsel says:

    My 2-year-old son is just learning how to manipulate his face to make different expressions. He is constantly checking himself out in our bathroom mirror and making “happy face” “funny face” and “grumpy face”. I would love to help him capture these faces with the kids tough camera and display them in a book for him to see. They would be good during tantrums when I can show him what he looks like!!

  13. We recently had a family holiday to Melbourne which included my two kids (son 2.5 yrs & daughter nearly 5 yrs) meeting a new cousin, getting reaquainted with their Pa and a whole day at the zoo – all of which would now be fabulous to recall from a childs perspective through their own photos!

    With a third child due in September, it would be great to see how these two children might photograph each other and their new family member!

    Thanks again for another great giveaway.

  14. Fun contest!

    I am the class photographer at my eldest daughter’s playschool. I go in to the classroom and take pictures during special events as well as during regular class days. I think it would be really interesting to send a child’s camera (like the Kid Tough) in to playschool one day with my daughter to see what/who she would choose to take photos of. Once printed and gathered into a book (and with the addition of writing to retell the events of each picture), I think the photos would make a really great addition to the classroom that all of the children could enjoy. In fact, I think I might try this experiment in the fall when my youngest daughter begins playschool!

  15. Our recent trip to the England. I took alot of photos, but it would have been lovely to have captured it from my son’s view. We visited family farms, great grandparents and London. My son loved the Red London Buses and Black Cabs. It would lovely to have a book, like you have of the Zoo.

  16. Last weekend my partner and I took our 3 year old girl and 5 year old boy out the bush to ride our small family quad bike. We have been several times and usually take one of the children on the bike with one of us while the other one goes for a walk in the bush with Mum or Dad. This time my little boy decided he wanted to ride the quad bike on his own. He rode exceptionally well and the rest of the family cheered him on. I would have loved to give the camera to my little girl to get her perspective of her brothers first solo ride and also to give my son the chance to show us what he sees when he goes for a wander in the bush.

  17. I was just thinking the other day while taking a nature walk, that I would love to take a camera with us, and let my kids take pictures of all the local bugs, animals, types of rocks, and plants along the way, which they love to climb on, play with and examine. Then I’d love to make a little book with them, and research and put the names of all of these things in the book, and use it to look through, read, and reference. I would love it just as much for myself, because I’m not a native here, and find myself often wishing I knew the names of certain plants, bugs, and rock formations.
    What a lovely post, and great giveaway. Thank you!

  18. We had a couple painted turtles come into our yard tonight to lay their eggs. I would have loved to make a book with my daughter highlighting their local adventure with her.

  19. What a wonderful resource!!! My son took his ‘camera’ on our last family outing. His camera is a little cereal box. He had us line up in front of dinosaurs at Melbourne Museum whilst he took photos. This was very cute the first few times…but after 2 hours of people looking at us having photos taken by a box, well let’s just say he was the only one still enjoying the photo session.

  20. Super Sarah says:

    My daughter has been using my iphone camera to photograph the living eggs at her preschool this week and twice she has asked me if she can use my big camera. She is so excited about the eggs and how they slowly cracked and then hatched and then the chicks came out. She wants to write a book about the chicks and so she wants to use the photographs to illustrate it hence asking me for my iphone! This camera would be brilliant for her to expand her creative ideas and start her own little publishing empire!

  21. Oh Christie, what a fine ‘toy’ this is. I was just reading about it over at retromummy and prior to that I didn’t know it existed. I risk our camera for the Badoo all the time but recently banned her from using it (too many drops!). She would be so delighted to have her own. Imagine the photos she would have taken at her recent Pink Party! I would have loved to have seen it from her perspective.*


    * Although, from past experience, her perspective is all feet, calves and blurred landscapes! x

  22. We went up the Bell Tower on the weekend (in Perth, WA), which I can thoroughly recommend. Miss Two and Miss Four were spellbound with the view and amazed by the size of the bells. Climbing all those steps had the added benefit of really good afternoon naps from both of them! I came home and dutifully drew a (dodgy) picture of the bell tower in Miss Two’s talking book (speech pathologist mummy, daughter with a stutter) but a photo from her perspective would have been MUCH more meaningful! Loving your literacy spot series – thanks so much for the ideas.

  23. This is such a generous giveaway.

    It would be fun to take this camera everywhere with us and have it on hand to capture places, nature, animals, whatever it may be that interests us. Then we could use these images to make postcards that we could send to family and friends across the globe.

    I am excited to learn about the Kid Tough Digital Camera.

  24. Lisa Gilmore says:

    Our ‘almost’ 4 year old son recently had his first ‘sleep over’ at his Nanna & Poppa’s house. My folks had been away South all winter and when they returned, our son Cale was eager to spend some time at their house in the Gulf Islands. My husband and I spent a lovely weekend away in Victoria, BC while he and our dog spent a fun-filled couple of days re-connecting with the grandparents! My Mom kindly took a couple of photos but most of it was recounted to us only in story form. We heard great tales of feeding the deer that come to the back steps of the house and how he was able to touch the soft, fluffy fur on the chin of one deer, ferries sailing past the island all day long, beach time with our dog and his sand toys, yummy meals made by Nanna (especially her pasta which is WAY better than yours Mommy!), watching the hockey game and learning how Poppa doesn’t like it when ‘the other team’ scores, a trip to visit Nanna’s friends and another to buy a brand new Matchbox car for his collection and best of all…having Nanna sleep in the bed next to his! It would have been delightful to have Cale capture those moments from his perspective. He tells very animated stories so I know the photos would have been worthy of binding in a book!

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  25. Oooh I’d love to give this to one of my five year olds to take to kinder to document what the other one gets up to for the day – then swap for the next kinder session!
    Often it takes quite a while to hear of all the little bits and pieces about their day that they forget – which the other day included learning to use a spinning wheel!

  26. Found your blog via Digital Parents and have become a “follower”. Love you header btw.

    This is a great comp! My son LOVES taking photos…I have over 2000 photos on my iPhone and most have been taken by him! I’m surprised at how good some are with interesting angles etc. Would have loved if he had his own camera when we travelled into the city to see the LEGO exhibition at Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Wildlife World. It was his and his brother’s first time in the city and they were completely amazed by the buildings and boats and roaming entertainers!

  27. We often go for walks down to the local park to play. I recently thought about it and decided to slow down as we often just walk straight down. We found toadstools, splashes of paint on the footpath, amber coloured gum on the side of a tree and many other wonders. I’d love to see what my daughter deemed suitable for a photo, in the eyes of a toddler even the most mundane thing is a wonder.

  28. We purchased a broken kids camera for $1.00 from an “treasure shop” last week just so Miss H could pretend to take photos. The giveaway camera looks fantastic, Christie! Miss M (4) was very excited to be invited along with the family to her very first kindy party on Sunday. It was to celebrate the fantastic flood recovery that had taken place. The kindy was badly affected in the floods and after many donations of resources and funds the kindy is looking amazing. At the party there was a magician. I may have let the cat out of the bag beforehand so Miss M spent lots of time before the party talking about what the magician might do. She was VERY pleased when he pulled a real rabbit out of a hat, just as she was hoping to see. I think some child photos of this day would have been extremely special.

  29. Hobby of mine is mountain trekking. I got proposed by my future husband in Alps, where he did damage his knee and since then we have had only small trekking walks. Knee is slowly getting better. By now our daughter is 2 and a half and we recently made a trip to Norway fjords and did our first hiking trip with her! It was only about 2 km, but it was oh so rocky and a good test for the knee and our toddler! Everybody survived and enjoyed, we, adults, took pictures, but I am still wondering how our daughter saw the hiking adventure with her eyes 😉

  30. My daughter had her 4th birthday last week, and I would have loved for her to take a heap of photos during her birthday party. I was so busy playing hostess that I didn’t get very many pictures, plus I think it would be lovely to have some photos from her point of view.

    BTW, love the photo journal idea!!

  31. The munchkin loves to take photos. Sometimes we remember to take the old Nikon out with us, but usually we rely on the iPhone. His photos have gotten us out of a couple of “assignment” scrapes – he’s at preschool. Who does assignments at preschool? About to embark on our much publicised (but still to actually occur) time capsule project. Would REALLY love the munchkin to take the pics.

  32. Recently after a very rainy spring and beginning of summer we finally had a day that was warm enough to let the kids run through the sprinklers and play in the sand pit. I would love to have my kids taking picture of their normal daily activities like this and see what they would come up with. The colors of swimsuits and spraying water, dirt and mud, and home made sand food concoctions. The daily things of their little kid life.

  33. I remember one time my daughter, Maya, visited her granny’s farm and they went for a ride around the neighboring properties to see all the animals. They saw cows, sheep, horses, water buffalo, chickens and ducks. She said the sheep were her favourite! This would have been so good to photograph, but instead we drew pictures and wrote the name of what each one was.

  34. Today I went with my son (~3) and daughter (9 mo) to watch the signing of the new 42 year mining lease by our Prime Minister and the Traditional Landowners in Yirrkala NT, Australia. It was a privledge to be able to take them to witness such a historical event for Australia and the Community in Arnhem Land. It was a chance for Rio Tinto and the Government to do right what has been done so wrong in the past. I was honoured to be able to show my son and daughter the amazing traditional dancing of the Yolgnu people and the atmosphere had such a spiritual ambience. My son likes playing with my camera and he is often asking me.”take a photo?”. Today was another one of those days but with special meaning and special people. We got to see our Prime Minister up close! I wish he could remember the harmony and beautiful buzz from the day with photos he had taken himself.

  35. My husband is a wildlife biologist at an army post which is home to several endangered species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker. My husband is responsible for monitoring the breeding success of the woodpecker population, and bands all the nestlings when they are approximately 7 days old. I took my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter to visit him at work last year during the breeding season to see these special baby birds (and their furious parents) up close and personal, and to explore some of the unique habitat they live in.

    The breeding season is again in full swing, and we’ll be making the trip out there again soon! I’ll be taking pictures, of course, but my son has also begun asking to take pictures – I would love to be able to let him loose with one of his own.

  36. We are about to go on our yearly road trip to visit family. I would love to have a camera for my little guy to take pictures of his trip and his family. We will be visiting grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles and friends who are like family. My son really enjoys us taking his photo and always wants to give it a try. I am reluctant because I have already have had a camera distroyed when I let my a child from my kindergarten class have a go with mine. eeeek.

  37. What a neat idea with the book! She will enjoy looking back and “reading” it for a long time! My little girl LOVES taking pictures! We recently visited Callaway Gardens, a huge garden and beach area. While there, we visited the butterfly house where over 1700 butterflies freely fly around. She enjoyed looking at them fly and land and enjoyed watching them feed on the citrus fruits around the house. She would have thoroughly enjoyed having her own camera to capture photos of her favorite butterflies to remember this experience. We also visited the beach where she created a really neat sandcaslte. The camera would have come in handy for her to have snapped a picture of her work. I see a futre photographer in her!

  38. My son and I went on a canoe tour of some wetlands in Portland. As he is rather young to paddle himself, the time spent on the canoe would have been great for picture taking!

  39. Jeanne Hatch says:

    I am a professional photographer, writer and artist. I love working with children. I always let my kids use my camera and take photos as they grew up. I would love if Fisher Price handed me a handful of these camera’s and I would teach a workshop for children this summer and write a article on it. I know I’ll be purchasing this for my friends with young children! Great story!

    Jeanne Hatch

  40. Love your blog – we get many great ideas from you! My 3 yr old son loves to take and look at pictures. And loves to do it by himself. Our daughter was born at home last week. She was born close to midnight and so he was asleep. Just as she was born, our dear friend ran to get our son, scooping him up in her arms whispering “baby sister is here!!” They arrived beside the birth tub just as she was lifted from the water. Our son was spell-bound. The first video shows him exclaiming in wonder “she’s a baby! She’s such a little one!” he loves to look at photos of his birth and hers and I know he would have loved to be able to take his own pictures of his brand new baby sister.

  41. I would have loved for my children to have a camera of their own to take pictures when me my husband and my two children ages 2 and 4 went to Arizona zoo with my parents and my sisters. It would be so cute seeing what they see throughout their eyes. Being there age and height everything is different. My kids often sneak my camer and come back with pictures of carpet, their feet anything they can reach. Of course they show me with a big smile and so excited to mommy what pictures they captured. A camer that is durable and easy enough for them to use would be absolutely perfect.
    Thank you,
    Kristi ( parkmomof2)

  42. Helen Potts says:

    We’re moving to a different house next month, and I would’ve loved my almost-five-year-old daughter to have had her own camera to record what SHE found interesting when we looked at the house the second time. I took pictures of the kitchen layout and laundry room, the window placement in the family room, the pantry (yay, a pantry!!!). If she’d had a camera of her own, I’d expect photos of the closet doors that she said were “JUST like at Mimi and Papa’s house!), the sparkly “treasure box” she spied in the little girl’s room, an interesting pattern in the rug, an out-of-focus close up of the drawer handles like she’s never seen before, fuzzy fringe dangling from a blanket. If we compared photos of the house, I bet it would look like two different places!

  43. Elizabeth says:

    Our little city family recently went to help my sister on her dairy farm, (so much poo!! But that is another story!)and then onto my dads sheep farm to help ‘mark’ the lambs. This adventure prompted plenty of questions afterward, especially from my 3 year old & 6 year old. Taking some pics themselves and making a book would be a great way of gathering all their thoughts and bring back some fantastic memories!

  44. Bec @ Bad Mummy says:

    I don’t have a recent one, but I’d love for Erin to be able to photograph Abi’s first steps! Imagine how cool that’d be? Especially for the girls when they’re grown up 😀

  45. Last Friday I took my little girls, (three and almost one) down to Cronulla to see the big surf that has been rolling in with the big southerly busters here in Sydney (there’s more on the way this weekend). We spent the whole day down there playing on the sand and on the grass under the Banksia tree near Oak Park beach at the southern end. As usual I was taking photos for my own blog. I even fell out of a banksia tree trying to get the perfect shot, much to 3yo’s amusement! Anyway I spent a while trying to get a shot of a honey eater feeding in a Banksia tree with the occasional glance round to check the children weren’t rolling down the hill toward the beach. During one of these glances I caught the 3yo gazing up at the same tree, imitating mummy, but with an old phone handset I gave her, which she was repurposing as a camera! I immediately took a photo of her doing this. It was a classic moment.
    When we are on our outdoor adventures I am constantly saying; “hang on girls, mummy just needs to get one more photo” and dear of them, they are very patient. It seems kids really do “as we do” and not “as we say”. I’m happy that my daughter wants to take photos too and would love to see her perspective on our adventures through photos that she has taken. The Fisherprice Kid Tough camera would be perfect for her. We could take it to the beach and out in our little tin boat with no fear of damage! Maybe she could even start her own blog?!

  46. My kids have recently got 4 little ducklings and I would love them to be able to take photos of each other and of the ducks. The door to their cage is a bit hard for me to climb into!

  47. I would love for my daughter to have been able to take pictures of her visit to my cousins at summer camp. She would’ve had a great time with the camera!

  48. Beck O'Neil says:

    My 4yr old son would love this idea. We often make books but they are usually “Thomas the Tank Engine” stories and we cut out pictures and glue on. I would have loved him to have this camera just last week when he stayed an Nanna and Poppa’s place. They live on 300 acres and he often goes for walks with Poppa to check on the animals. On his walk last week they went to check the goats as some are due to have kids and found one in labour. They were lucky enough to actually see her giving birth and he came home telling me a wonderful story about it and how my horse stood watch over the mother while she was birthing and chased away all the other goats so she could be in peace. Then he helped her clean up her baby! What a precious moment to have caught on camera!

  49. Jennifer Miller says:

    This Spring my husband and I have been working in the garden with our (almost) 3 year old daughter. She loves to help plant, water and clean up with her very own garden tools and push broom. She also loved observing already planted perennials as the slowly emerged from the ground. Seeing them grow a little bit taller each day was so exciting. We would walk around to observe the different plants, and talk about how they were getting bigger. The best part was seeing our crocuses and peonies form buds and then finally bloom. She enjoys telling her grandparents about everything she does, so I think she would have loved to document everything in pictures to share. We could have made a photo journal showing how different plants changed over time. In fact, I think we will definitely do that next year!

  50. My two year old is already taking pictures with my iPhone, and I would love for him to have something he can use on a regular basis. We took a spontaneous trip to the zoo this past weekend, and he was so excited! He kept saying, “Elephant first!” because that’s what he wanted to see the most. I’d love to see his view of the elephant, and all the other animals he was so excited to see.

  51. We recently created a vegetable garden with out 3 year old son – he took some photos of it with my big SLR camera under very close supervision, but I’d love to see his independent perspective on watching ‘his garden grow’.

  52. We went for a hike over the weekend to the state park which is close by home. We have been there quite a few times now and we love hiking there. The views are amazing .. we are on a hill with canyons views, clear blue skies and turquoise blue waters of the Pacific Ocean – a school of dolphins can be spotted at times . All these sights are lovely in themselves worthy to be shot every time but that day we were in for a real treat. Being spring time, flowers in lots of different colors were blooming everywhere and so there were lots of bees buzzing away. My husband spotted a black widow spider(our first wild sighting) and a bumblebee trapped in its web a few inches away. My 3 year old was really excited and started talking in a loud voice and I think the spider sensed danger so it quickly moved towards the bee which was moving a little, stung it hard and then weaved a few strands around it and carried it away under the bush. Alas, we forgot carrying our phone along else we would have had some great memories.
    My son always wants to borrow our phone or camera for taking these pics himself. He took a few pics from our Hawaii trip last year and loves to watch those again and again on the computer. So i would love for him to have his own camera. he will be thrilled if i can win this for him for his birthday (july 3rd).

    thanks for the opportunity

  53. Taking photos is a great way to keep the kids sharp during summer vacation. We have the kids take one photo each day during vacation and then make a video or book at the end of summer to document their break. One year we used the best pics and made a calendar for the grandmas for the holidays. You can print books at quite a few place online. We use the Apple store sometimes and TinyPrints is also good.

  54. My kids love taking photos! I constantly find on my iphone hundreds of self portraits of the kids! and I cant bear to delete any of them! I would love my kids to win one of these so that next time we head to Dreamworld they can take some photos themselves!

  55. I don’t have children of my own but teach pre-kindergarten. Every June we have an upper school (3’s, 4’s, and 5’s) art show and one of the things my kids do is photography. This would be something amazing to use, but not only then. I would love to have one for anytime the mood strikes one of my kids to take photos — of art time, circle time, center time, lunch… It would be great to see the world from their eyes with one of these!

  56. My 4 year old daughter loves maps. As we were walking to kindergarten the other day, it occurred to me we should photograph some landmarks on the way to kindy, eg fence where we always stop to play shops, the railway bridge, the post office, the corner where we cross the road and then finally the kindergarten. I could then give her the printed photos to construct her own “Dora the explorer” style map of how to get to Kindy!

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