Skip to Content

The 10 Best Instant Cameras for Kids 2024 + Buyer’s Guide

Sharing is caring!

Capturing memories with an instant camera is an unforgettable experience. The feeling as you wait for your photo to emerge instantly – as if by magic. The smell of the ink and the look of anticipation on your and your kid’s faces. The magical moment comes together with the delivery of the perfect little keepsake.

Even though digital file saving and sharing has largely overtaken the film industry, the pull of instant cameras remains strong. So much so that our favorite childhood instant cameras are still on the market – even if they feature a considerable upgrade (or two). 

Yes, there’s something quite special about capturing a moment in tangible form in only seconds. Sharing the gift of instant camera photography with children (especially those who’ve yet to experience it) is such a delight.

Best Instant Cameras for Kids

With this in mind, I’ve picked out the top ten instant cameras for kids on the market that will amaze you!

At a Glance: Which Instant Camera is Best for Kids?

  1. Overall Winner: The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
  2. Budget Option: KODAK Step
  3. For Older Kids: Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
  4. App Controllable: The Polaroid Now+ 
  5. Professional-Grade: Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO Hybrid
  6. Ink-Free Printing: ZINK Polaroid Snap
  7. Instant Smartphone Printing: Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2
  8. Scrapbooking Camera: KODAK Smile
  9. Selfie Camera: Canon Ivy CLIQ+2
  10. Compact Camera: Polaroid Go
  11. Touchscreen LCD Option: KODAK Step Touch

How I Selected the 10 Best Instant Cameras for Kids

How I Selected The Best Instant Camera for Kids

Each of the instant cameras listed in this post is rated highly for:

  • Quality: Built to last and print good-quality images.
  • Durability: Durable and made to withstand a few bumps and knocks.
  • Price: Affordable but not so low-cost as to sacrifice quality.
  • Ease of Use: Simple layout and functions that children can easily understand.
  • Age Appropriateness: Options that are ideal for kids from 4 to 12 years old.
  • Popularity: Tried, tested, and rated highly by hundreds of real customers.

Read our full buyer’s guide below to choose the best instant camera for your child or children.

The 10 Best Instant Cameras for Kids of 2024

Are you wondering which instant camera to buy for your kids? The instant camera models listed below make an excellent gift for kids. All are relatively easy to use and learn how to operate. So they can get snapping and saving those priceless memories ASAP!

Our Top Instant Camera Pick for Kids: The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

The Fujifilm Instax 11 comes bundled with a protective case, a photo album, photo frames, 4 color selfie lenses, and more.

Instax Mini 11 Overview

Quality: 3.5/5, Durability: 4.0/5, Price: 4.0/5, Ease of Use: 4.5/5, Age Appropriateness: 5.0/5, Popularity: 5.0/5, Overall Rating 4.5/5

The Fujifilm Instax is a cult classic, especially with kids. This popular instant camera regularly gets an upgrade. But the Instax 11 is still my favorite, mixing affordability with features. It comes bundled with tons of useful extras that the newly-released Instax 12 doesn’t (as of yet), making it slightly better value for money.

In particular, I love the protective PU leather case featuring unique colors or prints and a soft microfiber inner. Just like with the equally popular Fujifilm Instax 9 bundle, it’s included for free alongside fun extras.

Susana has owned an Instax Mini 11 for over a year, and her daughter Scarlett (who’s four years old) loves using it because of the easy-to-use controls. She also finds holding and pressing the shutter button easier than the Polaroid cameras.

One other important reason why the Mini 11 is perfect for kids is that the film develops in 90 seconds, significantly shorter than that of Polaroid cameras, which take approximately 15 minutes to develop fully.


  • Affordable
  • Ergonomic, kid-friendly design
  • Available in pink, blue, lilac, charcoal, and white.
  • 1080p video capture
  • The bundle includes film, batteries, a case, and more.


  • Short battery life (100 shots)
  • Average photo print quality

Buy the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 now, or read our full Instax Mini 11 review to help you decide whether it’s the ideal instant camera for your kids.

Best Budget Instant Camera for Kids: KODAK Step

The KODAK Step is priced the same as a disposable camera but with the functionality of an instant camera.

No products found.

Quality: 2.5/5, Durability: 2.0/5, Price: 5.0/5, Ease of Use: 4.0/5, Age Appropriateness: 4.0/5, Popularity: 4.0/5, Overall Rating: 4.0/5

KODAK is famous for its affordable disposable cameras. The KODAK Step combines the best of both worlds – disposable and instant, resulting in a surprisingly affordable instant camera. With 6 picture modes, kids can also get creative, printing in sepia, color, and black & white (with or without borders). 

Weighing just 100 grams and featuring a magnetic lens cover, pop-up viewfinder, and camera strap (sold separately) anchor, it’s easy for kids to handle. Additionally, you can attach it to a compatible tripod using the camera’s integrated tripod connection.


  • Very affordable
  • Lots of features
  • 10-sec timer
  • Waterproof, sticky-backed ZINK film
  • Available alone or bundled with film & accessories


  • Challenging to find a compatible memory card
  • Average print quality
  • Flimsy build quality

Get the Kodak Step for less

Best Instant Camera for Older Kids: Fujifilm Instax Mini 40

It’s hard to tell that the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 isn’t a retro film camera featuring a vintage black grainy leather finish and silver accents.

No products found.

Quality: 3.5/5, Durability: 3.5/5, Price: 4.0/5, Ease of Use: 4.0/5, Age Appropriateness: 3.5/5, Popularity: 4.0/5, Overall Rating: 4.0/5

If you’re looking for a more refined instant camera for an older child, the Instax Mini 40 is our top recommendation. This “grown-up” instant camera is stylish, hardy, and not childish at all, featuring a decidedly retro film camera look. Plus, it’s super-affordable, as well!

Along with the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, this instant camera also features some pretty useful features and functions.

For example, its auto exposure setting, selfie mode, and pop-out, adjustable selfie lens (with a reflective mirror to line up the perfect shot). So, they don’t need to know much about photography to get started using it.


  • Stylish, “grown-up” retro look
  • Affordable buy
  • Compact, easy-to-handle design
  • Comes with a hand strap


  • Flash and exposure settings aren’t adjustable
  • Average print quality

Purchase the Instax Mini 40 instant camera now

Best App-Enabled Instant Camera for Kids: The Polaroid Now+

Polaroid is an original – but the Land Model 95 has certainly had an upgrade in the form of the Now+.

No products found.

Quality: 4.0/5, Durability: 4.0/5, Price: 3.5/5, Ease of Use: 4.0/5, Age Appropriateness: 3.0/5, Popularity: 4.5/5, Overall Rating: 4.0/5

Edward Land’s (Polaroid’s inventor) 3-year-old daughter was the inspiration. She asked him why she couldn’t see the photo of her he’d just taken on his film camera. Thus, the classic Polaroid was born – and is still a popular choice today.

However, the look and print style of this camera is about all that’s retro about it. Available in a variety of fun shades, Now+ cameras pack a dual-lens autofocus and more advanced tech.

Don’t get the Now+ confused with the Polaroid Now – available in Gen1 and a newer Gen2 Now version – though.

Polaroid Now Camera

The Polaroid Now+ instant camera is also available in Gen1 and Gen2 versions. But it pairs with the Polaroid App via Bluetooth, allowing you to adjust select settings in “manual mode.” The Gen2 Now and Now+ cameras are made from 40% recycled materials and feature USB-C-charging lithium-ion batteries. 


  • Stylish, modern retro look
  • Affordably-priced
  • Available alone or bundled with 5 creative lens filters
  • Film bundles are also available
  • Compatible with larger i-Type & 600 films


  • Average print quality
  • Expensive film packs
  • Have to capture at the correct range to get sharp pictures

Best Professional Instant Camera for Kids: Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO Hybrid

With 10 lens effects and 10 film effects to play around with, the Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO hybrid camera is sure to delight budding photographers.

No products found.

Quality: 5.0/5, Durability: 4.0/5, Price: 2.0/5, Ease of Use: 3.5/5, Age Appropriateness: 2.5/5, Popularity: 3.5/5, Overall Rating: 3.5/5

If you’re looking for an instant camera with professional features, the Instax Mini EVO Hybrid is it. Featuring a self-timer, multiple combinable camera & film modes, and adjustable exposure, white balance, and flash settings, creativity is maximized.

Of course, it’s not a real professional camera.

But it certainly allows kids to explore the art of photography more – and look the part while doing so.

The Mini EVO’s interface features analog buttons and dials with which to print and mix up the lens and film effects. Plus, it’s Bluetooth-enabled, allowing you to connect it to your smartphone and the Mini EVO app (Android and iOS).

Not only can you save images taken on it to your phone using this function. You can also print images taken on your smartphone on the EVO!


  • Stylish, retro camera look
  • Simple, durable analog interface
  • Best print quality: 600 DPI
  • Also acts as a mini printer for smartphones
  • Comes with a strap, case, film, and 32GB microSD card


  • Pricey for an instant camera
  • Not ideal for younger children

Buy the Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO

Best Ink-Free Instant Camera for Kids: ZINK Polaroid Snap

Gone are the days of messy, smeared ink and stained fingers – the ZINK Polaroid Snap features inkless printing for smudge-free photo sessions.

No products found.

Quality: 3.0/5, Durability: 3.5/5, Price: 3.0/5, Ease of Use: 4.0/5, Age Appropriateness: 4.0/5, Popularity: 4.0/5, Overall Rating: 3.5/5

ZINK is an ink-free technology that results in fade-proof photos and smudge-free photo sessions. Perfect for kids, the ZINK Polaroid Snap features ZINK technology and more – such as multiple picture modes, border-free mode, a built-in selfie mirror, and a self-timer.


  • Simple, easy-to-handle interface
  • microSD card slot
  • Comes with a wrist strap


  • Average print quality
  • Long printing time

Best for Smartphone Users: Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 Smartphone Printer

Let your kids turn their smartphone into an instant camera with the Instax Mini Link 2 – a mini, portable printer made for printing memories on the go.

No products found.

Quality: 3.5/5, Durability: 4.0/5, Price: 3.5/5, Ease of Use: 3.0/5, Age Appropriateness: 2.5/5, Popularity: 4.0/5, Overall Rating: 3.5/5

If your child already uses a smartphone or tablet, you may not have to buy an instant camera at all. Mini printers such as the Instax Mini Link 2 make instant printing accessible to anyone using a smartphone. Simply connect it to yours wirelessly and use the app to print your snaps!

With no prior experience, Scarlett started to fiddle with the camera’s buttons and dials. Some functions were straightforward, but others required Mum to take a peek at the manual. A few times she wished the settings were a tad simpler. It took her a while, but she eventually figured out how to take her first photo: a snapshot of her dog, Max.


  • Simple interface
  • Connects to smartphones via Bluetooth 
  • Comes with film, a carry-case, an album, frames, and more


  • Heavy to carry
  • Requires a smartphone

The Best Scrapbooking Instant Camera for Kids: KODAK Smile

Don’t just print photos – create unique stickers your kids can stick in their scrapbooks, photo albums, notebooks, stationery, and more, with the KODAK Smile!

No products found.

Quality: 3.5/5, Durability: 4.0/5, Price: 4.0/5, Ease of Use: 4.5/5, Age Appropriateness: 4.5/5, Popularity: 4.0/5, Overall Rating: 4.0/5

Scrapbooking is another fun activity for kids – especially using their instant prints. The Kodak Smile brings these activities together, printing detailed sticky-backed photos that they can place in theirs. Plus, it features a small LCD screen viewfinder kids can use to frame their snaps perfectly. 

The printer-only version of the KODAK Smile is also available for use with smartphones.


  • Ergonomic, protective pop-open design
  • Prints very detailed, color-rich snaps
  • ZINK (zero-ink) printing & waterproof film


  • Best for bright conditions

Best Selfie Instant Camera for Kids: Canon Ivy CLIQ+2

Taking instant selfies and group photos is easier than ever using the Canon Ivy CLIQ+2!

No products found.

Quality: 3.0/5, Durability: 4.0/5, Price: 3.5/5, Ease of Use: 4.5/5, Age Appropriateness: 4.0/5, Popularity: 4.0/5, Overall Rating: 4.0/5

Speaking of scrapbooking, the Canon Ivy CLIQ+2 is another worthwhile contender, allowing kids to edit and print custom (sized and shaped) sticky-backed photographs and stickers.

Plus, it’s set up for selfies, with a selfie ring light (for perfect lighting), a selfie mirror, and various shooting modes. Ideal for image-conscious tweens and teens! 


  • Stylish, lightweight design
  • Available in metallic rose gold, navy, and mocha
  • Comes alone or bundled with film and/or stickers
  • Bluetooth-enabled and Canon Mini Print app1 compatible


  • Average print quality

Best Compact Instant Camera for Kids: Polaroid Go

The Polaroid Go is the compact, pocket-sized mini-me of the Polaroid Now.

No products found.

Quality: 4.0/5, Durability: 4.5/5, Price: 4.0/5, Ease of Use: 5.0/5, Age Appropriateness: 5.0/5, Popularity: 4.5/5, Overall Rating 4.0/5

Love the Polaroid Now and Now+ instant cameras but want something a little smaller. The Polaroid Go is its pint-sized sibling, featuring a tiny frame and smaller prints perfect for small hands.

It prints on Polaroid Go film (53.9mm x 66.6mm), which is smaller than the i-type (88mm x 107mm) film the Polaroid Now and Now+ cameras use. 


  • Tiny, simple, lightweight design
  • Comes in white, black, and red
  • Available alone or bundled with film


  • Pricey option
  • Expensive film packs
  • Have to capture at the correct range to get sharp pictures

Best Touchscreen LCD Instant Camera for Kids: KODAK Step Touch

With a 13MP camera and LCD touchscreen, the KODAK Step Touch brings a touch of innovation to the more basic Step cameras in the range.

No products found.

Quality: 2.5/5, Durability: 2.0/5, Price: 5.0/5, Ease of Use: 4.0/5, Age Appropriateness: 4.0/5, Popularity: 4.0/5, Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your instant camera’s sensor will dictate the quality of your images. Higher-resolution instant camera options – such as the 13MP KODAK Step Touch – produce decidedly better images. Besides this, this camera also features a full-size LCD touchscreen, perfect for framing and editing any captured images.


  • Full-size 3.5” LCD touchscreen screen
  • 1080p video shooting
  • Available alone or bundled with film & accessories
  • Photo editing app with social media sharing


  • Average print quality
  • Flimsy build quality

How We Selected

When choosing the best instant camera for kids, I considered Quality, Durability, Price, Ease of Use, Age Appropriateness, and Popularity.

I also consulted with Susana Bodamer who is an expert photographer and has a 4-year-old daughter, Scarlett, whom I also asked to test the cameras so I could get a child’s perspective on each of the cameras.

I then ranked each instant camera against the selection criteria, rating them from 0 (worst) to 5 (best) for each criterion as detailed in the comparison table below:

Camera NameQualityDurabilityPriceEase of UseAge AppropriatenessPopularityOverall Rating
Fujifilm Instax Mini 113.5444.5554.5 / 5
Kodak Step2.5254443.5 / 5
Fujifilm Instax Mini 403.53.5443.544.0 / 5
Polaroid Now+443.5434.54.0 / 5
Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO Hybrid5423. / 5
ZINK Polaroid Snap33.534443.5 / 5
Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 Smartphone3.543.532.543.5 / 5
Kodak Smile3.5444.54.544.0 / 5
Canon Ivy CLIQ+2343.54.5444.0 / 5
Polaroid Go44.54554.54.5 / 5

How To Choose the Best Instant Camera for Your Kids

When selecting an instant camera for your child or children, there are a few important factors to consider. Mainly, you want a model that is appropriate for their age group and developmental level. However, the price, special features, and quality of prints and camera build also matter.

How To Choose the Best Instant Camera for Your Kids

Here are a few of the most important things to consider when choosing an instant camera for your kids (or yourself!).

Age Suitability

When looking at instant cameras, consider their suitability for the kids in question. Younger kids (around 4 years old) will find it a challenge to use a complex instant camera, especially one with hidden features – or ones accessible only via a smartphone app. 

However, older kids (up to 12 years old) and teens will have no trouble. In fact, they’ll likely be easily bored with a simple instant camera with few or no adjustable modes and functions.

Ergonomic Design

The instant camera that you buy must be easy for kids to handle and use. Ideally, it should be both grippy to hold and lightweight to carry. But also consider the placement of any buttons, dials, and levers. Can they easily reach, press, and manipulate these?


Kids are incredibly efficient at finding the faults or limits of any device – be it by brute force or repeatedly pressing those buttons! That’s why the instant camera you select should be affordably priced enough to be easily replaced. However, it should also not be so low-cost that its quality is questionable enough to result in it breaking easily. No pressure, hey!

Water Resistance

Some electronic devices are water-resistant or waterproof. If so, the camera’s IP (Ingress Protection) rating should tell you exactly how much. This rating ranges from 1-9 (from light rain or sweat to water jets; the higher, the more protective). 

If an IP rating features two numerical digits, these signify its protection against both dust and water ingress. The first digit refers to dust, and the second to water resistance. Dust ingress ratings range from 1-6, with higher ratings covering very fine dust.

Some instant camera film is also waterproof, but if so, this will be mentioned in the product’s description. ZINK (zero-ink) cameras print without ink, making prints unlikely to smudge. However, ZINK film is also generally waterproof.

Settings & Functions

Most instant cameras are pretty basic, focusing, adjusting exposure, and printing automatically by themselves. However, some instant cameras feature extra settings and adjustable functions – such as picture modes, manual-focus lenses, or color, exposure, and flash settings.  

Often, such settings are accessed via a smartphone app when pairing an instant camera with a smart device wirelessly. Kids can edit these settings to improve print quality and may even be able to modify prints with other elements.


Using and storing your instant camera according to the provided user guide and safety manual is a must. If in doubt, go for a camera that you think will be a safer option, as well (no sharp edges, a sturdy build, hard-to-open compartments) – especially if it’s used or in reach of younger kids and siblings. 

One of the biggest safety hazards of electronics is the ingestion of batteries.

Make sure your child can’t and doesn’t pull the batteries out. The ingestion of button batteries by children is of particular concern, as this can result in severe internal burns, tears, damage, and even death. Luckily, most instant cameras feature larger, hard-to-swallow batteries – but do take care.

In general, it may be a good idea to buy or fit any provided compatible protective case on an instant camera, as well. Not only will this protect the camera from damage. It will also stop kids from easily opening it up and pulling out internal parts, such as batteries, SD cards, or film.

Print Quality

The print quality on instant cameras is unlikely to be as good as professionally developed or premium prints. But print quality does vary from model to model, so do research before you buy. 

Notably, the instant camera’s image and print quality are not always the same. This is because the print quality is determined by the camera’s internal printer, not its sensor (which takes the image). As such, you may achieve better print quality by saving an image captured on an instant camera (on an SD card or smartphone, if possible) and reprinting it on a printer.

Image Quality

As mentioned before, your instant camera’s image quality and print quality aren’t necessarily the same. Your instant camera’s sensor resolution is key in dictating the quality of taken images. 

Typically, instant camera sensors are lower resolution (around 10 MP) but can be more powerful (13MP or more). To give you a rough idea, budget DSLR cameras generally feature a 24MP resolution sensor or higher. So don’t expect the best instant camera image quality!


Instant cameras need a film to print on, which is generally sold separately or bundled with the camera. If the camera comes bundled with film, make sure it’s undamaged and relatively new. 

Old or damaged film (reportedly an issue with film bought with Polaroid instant cameras on Amazon) can result in blurry, faded, or unsaturated photographs. If in doubt, it’s worth buying a new film pack and trying it out if you do experience this issue.

Regardless, you will need to purchase compatible film for your instant camera. The specifications of which you can find on the manufacturers’ site or when buying the camera. Each instant camera takes a specific film type and size.

Larger 3.5” x 4.2” film is required by some instant cameras (Polaroid Now and Now+ and KODAK Smile). However, the typical film size for most instant cameras is 2” x 3” (Polaroid Go, KODAK Step, Instax Mini, Polaroid Snap, Instax Mini Link 2, Instax Mini EVO, and Instax Mini 40) – often labeled “mini” film. 

Battery Life

All types of digital cameras, including instant cameras, require electricity to operate. This power will usually be supplied by internal batteries, which will either be rechargeable or replaceable. In the case of replaceable batteries, expect to fit 2 or more AAs. And to replace them every 20-100 snaps (depending on the camera model). 

If your instant camera is on the pricier side, it will likely feature rechargeable batteries, though.

Expect to charge them as frequently – whether internally via a charging cable or by removing and placing them in an external charging cradle.


Some instant camera models are wireless-enabled, meaning you can connect them to other devices via Bluetooth or WiFi. In most cases, an instant camera will be wirelessly enabled in order to connect it to a branded app.

In most cases, this will be a smartphone app, but it may be usable on a tablet, PC, or printer. 

Using an app, you might be able to control your instant camera via it on your smartphone or devices.

You may also be able to edit photo settings and any taken photos using your instant camera. Either way, an app can maximize creativity – and help you avoid wasting money on printing so-so photos.

Bundle Extras

Before you disregard an instant camera for being too expensive, be sure to check what’s included with it. Does it come bundled with a protective cover, film packs, accessories, stationery, and the like? If so, what is the value of the above?

If it works out cheaper to buy the camera bundled, that’s a saving, not a splurge.

Instant Cameras for Kids: An Instant Success!

Children love to explore the world around them. Instant cameras allow them to do so while also saving those precious moments (potentially forever). No matter the model you choose, I’m sure your kids will fall in love with the art of instant camera photography. And make some unforgettable memories in the process!

Why Trust FocalFun?

Caitlin Greyling is an expert photographer who has over 10 years of experience writing camera reviews for Photography Course, PictureCorrect, CNN, The Daily Mail, and more. In addition to her depth of experience, Caitlin also performed detailed research on instant cameras and consulted with several instant camera experts.

Sharing is caring!