A GoPro for kids… is there such a thing? There are several reasons why a GoPro camera makes an excellent family camera, but does it make a good kids camera?
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In this digital age, kids are very familiar with digital cameras, action cameras, and even your phone camera. That's a lot of pricey gadgets that we trust in our kids' hands! But I have two kids (11 and 6), and I often hand one of my GoPro cameras off to one or both of them to let them capture whatever they feel like. The GoPro is easy enough to use and they have fun with it, so why not?
There is no shortage of kids cameras and cameras designed specifically for children, but they look more like toys than an actual camera. So at a certain age, I think it's a fantastic idea to start teaching kids that cameras and tech gear are tools, not toys.
The rugged nature of GoPro cameras almost begged kids to take it for a spin. And although there is no specific GoPro for kids (yet?), here are 4 reasons why I love letting my kids use my GoPro Hero5 Black.
1. GoPro cameras are waterproof
This is one of the reasons I love a GoPro as a family camera! Water parks, sledding, swimming, baby slobber… there are TONS of wet and wild family adventures that you'd want to capture, and the GoPro is the ideal camera for the job.
2. GoPro cameras are mountable
This is where GoPro cameras excel far beyond what your mobile phone, DSLR, or almost any other camera can do. Because of the size of the GoPro and the endless options for GoPro mounts and accessories, you can mount this camera to literally anything.
Bicycle handlebars, a snowboard, a skateboard helmet, even a baby walker… the perfect kids camera!
QuikCapture is a feature on the GoPro that enables you to start recording by pressing one button, which turns the camera on and starts recording all at once.
This is convenient for kids (or anyone!) because you can save your battery life by keeping the camera completely off, but you won't miss anything because when you're ready to hit record, you just hit it and let it roll!
4. Small and Light
The size of the GoPro cameras is ideal for small hands, and it's lightweight, so even little ones won't have trouble hoisting it around for fun video footage.
I usually have my Hero5 mounted on a GoPole Bobber so it's easy to handle.
While these 4 reasons prove why the GoPro for kids is a great idea, there are a couple things to keep in mind before you hand over your GoPro:
- I love using voice commands on my GoPro, but the voice commands function doesn't work very well for my kids. It's like they just don't annunciate enough or something!
- You might want to keep The Frame on the camera, even if it's not mounted. That will protect the corners from bumps, knicks, and scratches.
- The lens cover on the Hero5 and Hero6 Black cameras are replaceable for relatively cheap, so don't worry too much about scratching the lens–it's just a cover.
- You might get weird angles if you leave shooting up to your kids, who are amateur filmmakers at best 🙂
Bottom line though: your kids will have fun just using the camera. So even if the footage isn't spectacular (or even usable!), your kids will love the experience of getting to be the camera operator. Let them have some fun with it, you never know how it inspires them in the future.
So, I really don't think you need to have a “just for kids” toy that takes pictures. With a GoPro, you have a perfectly useful action camera that YOU can use as a family camera, and with proper accessories, can let you kids use to their heart's content.
Best GoPro for Kids
So which model GoPro cameras are best for a kids camera? I definitely recommend the Hero5 Black or Hero6 black, mostly because they have the screen on the back. Kids and adults alike appreciate being able to clearly see what they are capturing.
The Session cameras are smaller, but my kids (and even my parents) have trouble figuring out which way is which, so they don't always hold the camera in the direction they intended to.
GoPro Accessories for Kids
Ok on to the fun part, GoPro accessories and mounts! I do have a post explaining the top 5 accessories every GoPro newbie needs. You can hit play on the video below but I highly recommend you pick up some kind of handle of your kids if they'll be using the GoPro.
The headstrap mount is also a favorite for the kids because it is adjustable. I have no trouble fitting in my youngest daughter's head when she was 4 years old.
If your kids are the opposite of mine (hehe), they might do rugged outdoorsy stuff like skiing, snowboard, skateboarding, or play organized sports. You might want to grab a GoPro helmet mount to capture their point of view!
Should you Buy a GoPro for Kids?
Again, my opinion is that a GoPro is a perfect family camera. So instead of forcing a seemingly dumbed-down “toy” version of a kids camera, why not teach them how to use a camera properly? Buy a GoPro for your family, and let your kids have at it!
It never occurred to me to question whether my GoPro cameras would hold up to any possible destruction at the hands of my kids. When we are out and about as a family, it's nice to have a second and third perspective.
Personally, the GoPro Hero5 or Hero6 Black are the best options for an overall action camera, family camera, and kids camera. With a little help from mom and dad for settings changes, it's simple enough to use, for all ages.