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There’s nothing like a throwback toy, and Polaroid cameras have been making a comeback for a while for the selfie-obsessed generation and those who love vintage toys and accessories. If you’ve ever picked up your phone and noticed about a billion out-of-focus photos, you’ll know that even tiny kiddos can handle a shutter. And the best instant cameras for kids are made with tiny hands in mind. When they’re done creating their insta-masterpiece, you can frame it and add it to their kid's bookshelf, or send it to Grandma and Grandpa as presents.
Fortunately, they don’t have to experience the joy of waiting a week for their memories to come back from the pharmacy. The modern-day line-up of instant cameras for kids includes a range of features, from digital screens to delayed shooting. Most of the ones we picked out also print on the spot. You can make stickers, artsy black & whites, and even edit with filters. While some of them use film, others print on rolls of inexpensive thermal paper, so you have full control over how much to invest in your kid’s new retro art hobby.
Here are the best instant cameras for kids.
Most Popular Instant Camera for Kids
The most popular of all the next-gen polaroid cameras, the Fujifilm is the one to get if you don’t want your kid accusing you of getting the “knock-off.” It comes in about a dozen cute colors and the film is easy to find just about anywhere (which is great, because you’ll be needing refills).
One reviewer says: “I bought this for my 9-year-old daughter's birthday and she is over the moon for it. It's simple to use, both in taking pictures and loading film. Ours only came with instructions in Japanese, so I got English instructions online easily enough. Picture quality seems to be better inside or when it's a sunny day outside. My daughter loves that pictures develop within seconds.”
It’s the original, the one that started it all. But much easier to use now, because it’s 2022. With 60-day battery life, a self-timer, and ability to connect to Bluetooth, this is the perfect vintage camera with all the modern features your kid or teen needs and wants. This is the ideal camera to get the future photographer who wants the ability to really manipulate images and create some super artsy portraits.
Best Instant Cameras for Young Kids
For a camera designed for young children, the Dragon Touch has an impressive range of features. This adorable camera prints photos instantly in black and white. From there, your child can color them in with the provided markers, or add stickers, and make mini masterpieces. This device goes one step further, as it’s also a video camera capable of shooting professional HD 1080P videos.
One Reviewer Says: “This was really just a great idea. It prints amazingly and it even has filters which is adorable. The coolest part is that you can put an SD card in it and it's just like any other camera but the quality on this camera is amazing! I recommend it for anyone who has a creative child.”
Are bunnies more popular in your house? This MINIBEAR camera is too cute to pass up. This set comes with three print paper rolls, which will allow up to 180 pictures. It also has a rechargeable battery that’ll let your child take photos or videos for up to 3 hours. Parents seem happy with how durable it is — it’s definitely more of a camera and less of a toy.
One Reviewer Says: “It came charged, I simply turned it on. The display is great. I took a picture and before my finger was off the shutter button it was already printing out the front. Very fast. If you press and hold the shutter, it switches to selfie mode which is awesome.”
Equipped with 1080p video and a 12MP camera, this frog? Lizard? Politoed? shaped camera arguably has the best specs of the bunch. It comes with a lanyard, too, so you can rest a little easier about accidental drops — or, if you’re a New Yorker, teach your kids to play “Hustle the Tourist.”
One Reviewer Says: “Really fun gift for my 4-year-old grandson. Easy to learn [the] functionality of the real deal plus thermal paper prints [for a black-and-white] image. Kids really get to practice digital photography with this realistic toy! Looks like a tough enough shell for a little bumping around. So far it's been 60 days with 4 kids who all use it every day. Still working perfectly and I'm wishing I had ordered the extra paper...lots of it!”
Kids’ Instant Cameras with a Ton of Features
Raising a miniature Ansel Adams? They’ll love this digital camera that prints black and whites. Support for a 16GB SD card lets you save images (with an array of funky cartoon frames) and 1080p video. The images print on a special thermal roll that’s colored pencil-friendly, in case they want to add their own touch. You can buy it in four different colors.
One Reviewer Says: “My kiddo loves this camera so much. She has barely put it down since she opened it. She's taking so many photos and loves that you can easily spin the lens for selfies. I'm happy there's a printing feature, as well as the digital saving. I know she will lose some of these pictures she's printed and they'll fade, but I'm glad we can save her photos and have them printed in the future. The lanyard is great... She likes that you can add some little digital images to the screen/pictures. She likes the mermaid most. This is a great camera and we're going to have to order a lot more paper.”
This cutesy Polaroid-style camera comes with one of the largest built-in digital screens in the line-up. It also comes with a delayed shooting mode, picture and video effects, and materials to decorate the high-resolution, printed black and white images.
One Reviewer Says: “My kids LOVED this gift! Very well made quality, my kids have been taking pictures using this camera since received. They still stay excited about the quick printed pictures that showed right after they took the photo. They've been showing this camera to friends and taking pictures together with their friends... The printed pictures are very clear and provide a lot of fun and interesting memories!”
This instant camera is ultra slim (which can be a pro or con — pro if your kid is capable of not losing something so sleek and compact, and con if they are not) and not only prints your photos but seamlessly connects with your phone. You can even download the Canon Mini Print App and add stickers to your photos.
One Reviewer Says: “I totally loveeeee this camera! The size is great (lightweight), the light for selfie mode is great, the fact that it doesn’t need ink is great, how long the battery last is great, the quality of the pics is great! EVERYTHING is awesome! You can even use an app to choose pics from your phone and print. You can also customize the pics with borders or cute stickers before printing. Charge it through a USB in an outlet or computer and you are good to go.”
The Kids’ Instant Camera You’ll Secretly Want
Sleek, streamlined, and shockingly inexpensive, this grown-up-looking camera prints on sticky paper. Your kids can print photos as they continue to shoot, and if they run out of paper you can save your photos to a microSD card. Don’t bet on them losing interest in this one so you can steal this cute Kodak for yourself. It’s a perfect gift for a selfie-obsessed tween, too.
One Reviewer Says: “My family went to Disneyworld right after getting this camera. My daughter (7-years old) was able to take pictures easily and the photo produced within 15-20 seconds was of good quality. I was also able to take pictures of the family with Disney Characters and place them in her photo album which worked out perfectly. This is an inexpensive gift that has great upside. Santa did a good job picking out this gift, lol!”
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