Holiday time is of course a photographer’s paradise for capturing family memories. I encourage the kids in our family to take pictures, which provides a great “kid’s eye view” into own traditions and activities–and the fact that my own favorites aren’t necessarily my kids’ favorites. Let’s just say anything involving cookies seems to make a snapshot-worthy moment.

Related: What are the best first cameras for kids? 

While my tweens are old enough to work an actual  compact digital camera, my 4 year old nephew can feel left out of the fun, so I looked into VTech’s children’s digital camera which could keep his own little creative fingers busy.

The Vtech Kidizoom Plus Digital Camera is, as you might have gotten from the name, an actual working digital camera with an 1.8 inch
color LCD screen, and it takes video too. The buttons are labeled with kid-friendly and intuitive symbols, and the large rubber grips on each side make it easy to hold.

The included photo editing software requires only basic computer skills to use, so if it’s the parents editing–as it well might be–it’s very simple, but little kids could also get a turn at the keyboard and have some fun with it.

I really like that there’s 256MB of built-in storage, because as we all know, preschoolers take a lot of pictures. Often of the floor. If your kid takes more than most, you can grab an optional SD memory card. Kids will also get a kick out of special effects that they can add in camera, or afterward with the software. It really is more like a first real camera than a toy, especially with a price around $50.

My 11 year old tween son would be challenged by the smaller set of features on this camera and frankly, he’s ready for his own first point and shoot. But for a young kid who wants some autonomy without getting his mitts on your DSLR? Very nice option.

Editor’s Note: This review is of an older version of this camera. We have updated the photo and links to a newer, more affordable option. Cool Mom Tech is a reward style affiliate.