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 kids 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 include 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).
It’s the original, the one that started it all. But much easier to use now, because it’s 2021. 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. Kids can edit their photos with filters, print frames and line art, and decorate the pictures with an included set of stickers. The unit is rechargeable, too, so there won’t be any scrambling for obscure (and obscenely tiny) batteries.
Don’t let the Tamagotchi-meets-Minions design fool you — the Magicfun Instant has an impressive resolution on both front and rear lenses. In addition to shooting still images and video, however, it also has a timer and a fricking burst mode. Seriously, a burst mode.
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.”
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 paint-friendly in case they want to add their own touch.
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.
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.
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.