Do you have a budding shutterbug in your home? Help him develop and hone his artistic skills by giving him the chance to learn. Children need a creative outlet to help them build self-confidence and to provide them with an enjoyable outlet for self-expression, but it is important to allow them to choose which outlet they want to explore. If your child seems to enjoy taking random photos with your smartphone, perhaps photography is a good option.

In addition to showering your child lots of encouragement and praise, you may want to consider getting him his own camera to practice on.

But before you go shopping, there are several things you need to consider when choosing a camera for your child. One is ease of use. Digital point-and-shoot cameras are usually recommended for this purpose and they are usually simple enough for users across all levels to learn. The camera must also provide adequate grip to prevent accidents, and durable enough to withstand the occasional bumps or drops.

Here are the things you must consider when purchasing a camera, depending on your child’s age:

Ages 3+

Kids this age have very small hands, which can make it difficult for them to hold a regular camera. Consider choosing a camera that’s specifically designed to fit the size of their hands for a better grip. Also, since the motor skills of children this age are not quite refined yet, getting a camera that is made of durable material and can withstand the use and abuse from play is your safest bet.

Lastly, make sure its controls are easy to learn and use, even for children this young.

One camera that has all these features is the Vtech Kidizoom Duo. It is made of rubber and has a small recessed lens, not to mention it is ergonomically-designed to fit small hands so it is perfect for your little tyke.

Ages 5+

It is during the age five and above when children slowly start to acquire gross motor skills such as those of an adult. Mostly, they are able to run and balance themselves. In terms of fine motor skills, their grip is now much stronger, as evidenced by how firm they are able to hold a pencil. By this time, hand preference is also already established, so they are basically aware of what they are doing.

Given all the developments above, kids this age can now be entrusted with a slightly more complicated camera. And this is where the VTech Kidizoom Selfie Cam comes in. It comes with a selfie stick that will make your children feel like they’re using a real selfie stick-camera setup just like mommy and daddy.

It also captures decent-looking photos at .3-megapixel and 640×480 resolution.

Ages 8+

Although it won’t be that obvious, this is the period when your child’s fine motor skills and coordination are sharpened. Children ages eight and above are able to exercise better control of their fingers. You may also notice an improvement in their level of comprehension.

Thus, you can give them a regular but easy-to-use digital camera like the Panasonic Lumix FT30. It has an extensive zoom range to allow your child to take photos of beautiful landscapes, animals at the zoo, or whatever subject they fancy, from a safe distance.

It is also shockproof up to 1.5 meters and waterproof up to 8 meters, so it can withstand accidents like slipping out of your child’s hands, falling of your child’s pocket, or getting spilled on with water or juice.

For slightly older kids, you can go for cameras with much higher specs. Even pre-teens can be taught how to use a DSLR or mirrorless camera, provided that they truly want to learn. Therefore, the ideal cameras for teenagers vary considerably from the cameras recommended for children.

So there you go—a brief guide on how to choose a camera depending on your child’s age group. While every child develops at his own pace, having a guide like this will make shopping for an appropriate camera for your little one easier and less stressful.