How to pick the best GoPro for kids & other action cameras for kids they will love in 2021

Child jumping in water

A handpicked selection of the best GoPro for kids and the best action cameras for kids

A GoPro camera for the kids is a wonderful gift for an active child

The idea of getting one for my kids first crossed my mind when I got my own GoPro and I saw how curious my two were of this little yet powerful action camera.

I then pushed the idea away thinking it was an extravagant expense for children and eventually revisited the idea when I realized how sturdy the GoPro is and how fun it can be for a kid.

I now think that buying a GoPro for kids is a great idea.

They enjoy it immensely, keeps them entertained during hikes and trips and the videos are always great fun to watch.

Despite this positive take on getting a GoPro for kids, there is no doubt that is a noticeable expense, so you may want to consider how much a GoPro for kids will cost vs the use they will make of it,  what options are available and what alternatives.

This is my take on the ‘should you buy a GoPro for kids’debate and my handpicked selection of best GoPro for kids and kids action cameras alternatives.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Best GoPro cameras for kids and alternative action cameras for kids chart

No time to read the whole post? Find our top pick for a GoPro for kids style action camera here

Model/BrandScreen Y/NPrice and SpecsColors
GoPro SessionNClick hereBlack
GoPro Hero 5YClick hereBlack/Silver
GoPro Hero 8YClick hereBlack/Silver
GoPro MaxYClick hereBlack/Silver
Vtech kidzoom action camNClick hereSeveral
Acaso 4K action cameraNClick hereSeveral
OurLife kids action cameraNClick hereBlack
Vtech Kidzoom smartwatchYClick hereSeveral
Our handpicked selection of the best GoPro for kids, what to expect from each model and other action cameras for kids you may want to considering when shopping for a GoPro for children
On the market for a GoPro for kids? Don’t miss our guide to picking the best GoPro camera for children and a selection of other kids action cameras for (almost) all ages

Should you buy a GoPro for kids or are there cheaper alternatives? In this guide, we share our favorite GoPro models for kids and other kids’ action cameras to suit most budgets.

What is a GoPro?

First thing first. What is a GoPro? The answer is less straight forward than it may seem.

GoPro means two very different things depending on context:

Strictly speaking, GoPro is a brand name and GoPro cameras are built by a specific manufacturer and have specific looks and specs.

In a wider sense, the term GoPro is used to talk about any action camera.

It is an incorrect use of the word but it is the fate of every innovative and hugely popular invention: GoPro were so successful with their action camera that the name now is used as a synonym of an action camera in general, regardless of brand!

In this post, I am going to state clearly the makers of each brand recommended and will use the name and description they have selected for their product so you can recognize them straight away when buying them online.

Should you get a GoPro for kids? What makes GoPro a great kids action camera

A GoPro is a very different beast from a regular camera and travel cameras.

Unlike a normal camera, it is not suited to the traditional photographic experience of framing your subject, compose the shot and possibly even manually select your settings, but is made to make videos, capture rapid movement and super wide-angle shots.

This means that if you want your kids to learn photography in the traditional terms, this is not the purchase to make.

If, on the other hand, you have active kids who love video and action shots, GoPro cameras have definite advantages.

They are sturdy

GoPros are seriously sturdy.

They are built for sports and while, like any piece of gear, they require a reasonable amount of attention, they are much less fragile than a normal camera, making them well suited for the kids ‘delicate’ handling.

They are small

GoPros are tiny and lightweight.

They occupy a fraction of the space a regular camera does, fit in one hand (even a child hand!) and your child can easily carry them in their rucksacks without fear or strain.

If, like us, you strive to pack light, a GoPro is your best friend!

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

They are waterproof

GoPros are waterproof (some by nature, some require a case) and this is good if the contact with water is accidental and great if it is by design.

Kids can bring their GoPro to the pool and take underwater shots, drop it in and out of the water at their leisure and the camera will not just survive but thrive.

The ability to take pool shots is probably my number one reason for recommending a GoPro for kids.

They are wearable

GoPros are not really meant to be held in hand but rather worn.

You can mount them on a helmet, get a wrist strap, get them on a chest strap and this is priceless in terms of ease of use and safety for kids.

With their GoPro on them, they can climb, jump and bike at their leisure with free hands and capture all the excitement in the process.

You can get an idea of how versatile the GoPro is looking at the many GoPro accessories available, they are perfect for all ages.

They take great videos

The quality of videos and photos depend largely on the model of GoPro you get but in general, you get good quality footage for the price you pay.

They take wide-angle shots

GoPros are built to take wide-angle shots and this is great for kids as it means they can finally capture those wonderful landscapes you have gotten them to trek to, without having to lay hands on your expensive wide-angle lens.

Rome fountain photographer with GoPro session
Architecture shot taken with a GoPro (notice the slightly warped base of the fountain)

What to look for when buying the Best GoPro camera for kids

There are several factors to take into account when choosing a  GoPro for kids. I consider these the most crucial.

Look / Brand

GoPro cameras are not designed for kids and this means their look is cool, rugged and somehow grownup.

You want to take this into account when picking the best action camera for a child: how old are they and what do they like?

Will they enjoy a grown-up looking piece of gear that they can flaunt with their tech-obsessed friends (teenagers will LOVE them), or will they prefer a more colorful kid-friendly look?

Depending on the child you are buying for, this consideration can sway you from a GoPro to a different type of action camera.

Budget

GoPros and action cameras for kids come in several price brackets.

New models come out all the time and old ones get discontinued but stay available on sites such as Amazon for a long time at a discounted price.

Do not presume all action cameras for kids are an extravagant expense: some are reasonably kind to the wallet.

Fields of view / image quality / video capabilities

GoPro cameras and kids action cameras are compact but the same optical concepts that apply to traditional cameras apply here.

When picking the best GoPro for kids, consider the field of view, the number of pixels they operate at and what type of video capabilities the camera flaunts.

Battery life / connectivity /memory

To avoid frustration, make sure you take into account battery life, easy connectivity and memory size when picking a GoPro for kids or a kids’ action camera in general.

Nothing is more frustrating than your camera battery dying in the middle of an adventure or cutting your video short for lack of memory.

This is frustrating for adults and a true tragedy for a child so all other things being the same, I would highly recommend looking at these specs when picking the best action camera for your kids.

The best GoPro for kids: our top picks

These are our top picks for GoPro cameras for kids and GoPro style kids action cameras.

The best entry-level GoPro camera for kids: GoPro hero with LCD screen

The GoPro Hero entered the GoPro line up in 2018 and is a great entry-level action camera for kids and adults alike.

They introduced it to the market as a low cost entry point to the GoPro world and is excellent for kids as it comes with an LCD screen which the previous entry level model, the session, lacked.

Check price and exact specs of the GoPro Hero here.

The GoPro hero has lower specs in terms of quality output than its more expecting siblings but it a solid option in terms of quality and won’t disappoint.

The camera is good for both photos and videos but it is important to notice that it does not support 4K videos, something to keep if you are buying for an older kid with a passion for video or precise plans on how to use their new GoPro.

The GoPro Hero is a great GoPro camera for kids who like a tech-look and is relatively easy to learn to use, thanks to the handy touch screen.

Specs according to manufacturer:

  • Megapixels: 12MP
  • Screen: 2in touchscreen
  •  Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  •  Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps
  •  Max video resolution: 4K
  • Waterproofing: 10m (60m with Super Suit housing)
  •  Voice control: Yes

Check the price and exact specs of the GoPro hero here

The best GoPro kids camera for mounting: GoPro session

The GoPro session was my first GoPro and the one that made me think a GoPro for kids was a good idea.

This camera is tiny and mighty: it takes fantastic videos, goes underwater and can be mounted easily on helmets, check straps and tripods, making it super versatile.

The main thing to know about the GoPro session is that is doesn’t have a screen and this means there is a bit of a learning curve to it.

It is best suited for kids who want to wear it and forget it until the time comes to see their action shot on the phone rather than those looking for taking photos the traditional way.

The session I had has been discontinued by GoPro and replaced by the Hero described above.

However, it is still available on Amazon (as Hero Session) and in shops until stocks last, often at a very good discounted prices.

Check availability and prices on Amazon here

  • Megapixels: 10MP
  • Screen: No
  •  Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  •  Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps.  Max video resolution: 4K
  •  Waterproofing: 10m
  •  Voice control: Yes

The best  GoPro for kids when budget is no issue + best GoPro for teenagers

if you are on the market for the best GoPro for kids money can buy, then look no farther than the latest full GoPro models such as Hero 8 and Hero Max.

To compare exact model specs, have a look at the GoPro store on Amazon here.

The GoPro line up, especially at this price point, is not designed for kids so you won’t find anything here that is specific for a young age.

However, what you trade in terms of kids’ effect and games (see below) you gain in quality and versatility.

If you buy one of the better GoPro, you can be sure they will not outgrow it in terms of looks and will make good use of it for a long time – or as long as it takes for a new model to come out and blow all the others out of the water!

Currently, the best GoPro money can buy are the GoPro Hero 8 and the GoPro Max.

Manufactures specs of GoPro 8:

  • HyperSmooth 2.0 Video Stabilization
  • Live Streaming in 1080p
  • TimeWarp 2.0 Video
  • LiveBurst
  • Rugged + Waterproof to 33ft (10m)
  • 100Mbps Bit Rate
  • Voice control
  • Intuitive Touch Screen

Find price and specs here

This is a fantastic kids action camera and a great GoPro for teenagers who love action and adventure.

Other great action cameras for kids

If the tech and rugged look of a real GoPro doesn’t appeal the child you are buying for, you may want to consider a different action camera that may compromise of quality of output for kid-friendly looks and specs. here are some of our top picks.

Vtech Kidszoom action camera

Often referred to as  ‘GoPro camera for kids’, this action camera is not made by GoPro but uses the same concept and then declines it to suit the taste of a younger crowd.

The Vtech action camera comes in several colors, it is durable, versatile, waterproof and has some elements that are designed specifically for kids, such as kids games, fun photo effects, frames and filters.

This is an excellent choice for young kids and doesn’t break the bank.

It comes with several accessories and mounts that make it versatile and great fun to use.

Check Vtech Kidszoom action camera specs and price here

Manufacturers’ specs:

  • 1.4-inch color video camera with LCD screen
  • Takes photos and videos (including stop-motion videos, time-lapse and fun photo effects)
  • Several mounts and waterproof case available
  • Memory card sometimes sold separately
  • Micro USB cable (Included) for easy photo downloads
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Polymer battery
  • Battery: 2.5 hours (depending on usage)
  • Suitable for kids: 4 to 9

Akaso 4k Action camera

A camera that looks a little like a GoPro and that is easy to use for kids is the Akaso 4k, a good option in terms both of quality and budget needs.

The Akaso is a 4K sports action camera able to record ultra HD videos and pictures.

It has a built-in LCD screen that make this sports camera easy to use, a wide angle lense able to capture all the action the built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) is excellent for producing good quality videos.

The camera is waterproof has an underwater case that makes it perfect for water sports.

Our Life Waterproof kids camera with video recorder

Another good action camera for kids, available in several colors to suit all taste is the Our Life Waterproof kids camera.

The camera is recommended for children 4-12 years old, is easy to operate and able to take both photos and videos both in and out of the water.

The camera is built with environmentally-friendly materials, non-toxic and can take the rough handling of children being surprisingly durable and sturdy.

Specs according to manufacturer:

  • Waterproof camera able to shoot photos and videos, two colors available
  • Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor, high resolution photos up to 5M (2592×1944 ), HD 1280×720 pixels, 30 frames per second (fps)
  • Built-in 3.7V rechargeable lithium battery, 1.5 hour continuous recording time
  • 1.77” LCD screen
  • Built-in microphone, micro SD slot with 32GB maximum support capacity.
  • Includes 8GB memory card 
  • Best for 6 to 12-year-olds

Kidizoom Smartwatch DX

Not just a camera but a full kids smartwatch with photo and video capability, Kidizoom smartwatch is a great GoPro for kids alternative if you are buying for a younger child (they come recommended for age 4 to 9).

The smartwatch comes in several colors, has built-in photo effects just for kids and games, that make this a great purchase if you are less concerned with the video capabilities of this action camera and the versatility it offers to kids.

The cameras allow children to take videos, pictures and selfies that can be customized and made into new watch faces.

Their special edition comes with changeable wristbands.

  • Product dimension and weight: 8.8 x 0.6 x 1.8 inches, 3.84 ounces
  • 1.44 inch LCD screen 128 x 128 pixels resolution
  • Photo resolution 640 X 480 (0.3 MP), Video resolution 320 X 240 pixel or 160 X 120 pixel

The best GoPro accessories for kids

One of the most fun elements of action cameras is that they come with special mounts that allow you to use it hands-free while you are busy with outdoor pursuits or playing.

Among the several available, these are my favorite GoPro accessories for kids (when buying, please make sure they are compatible with the specific camera you have / are purchasing)

GoPro Chest mount

I love the GoPro chest strap and find it the best of all GoPro accessories for kids.

It is super easy to use, leaves the kids pretty much total freedom of movement and captures reality from a really cool angle, at kids’ chest height!

This is fun for the children but also fun for us adults, who often do not appreciate that different height means a totally different view of reality.

Head strap camera mount for GoPro

Another fun and hands-free accessory for GoPro that is good for kids is the head camera mount.

This is great for kids who love cycling or skateboarding as this will capture the action while giving them an extra reason to wear a helmet.

GoPro wrist mount

This may be a tricky size-wise one if you are buying for a young kid but I love the wrist strap and it is a great mount to get for kids who love taking selfies.

I hope you found our guide to the best GoPro camera for kids useful. Safe travels!

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