It seems to me that these are many - very basic and usually not very good - digital cameras that are adertised on e-bay as being suitable for children. These cameras are usually quite basic and give poor picture quality at VGA resolutions.
Why is this? Is it expected that children will not value the end result, or is it that the product is 'good enough' for a child? Are we assuming that the camera will be dropped, broken or abused? I suggest that if this is so, this needs a rethink. What is actually needed is a camera that can be understood relatively easily, provides good picture quality and will encourage and develop a childs interest in photography. This will not happen if the end product is poor, provides little or no inspiration and acts as a disincentive.
Range and Choice
As I am sure most people are aware, the range and choice of digital cameras is staggering. However, it seems to me that there are certain issues that will act as a rough guide to both choice and range. The older the child, the more the range of features on the camera can be extended, understood and used. Whilst it is unlikely that most five year olds will understand the concept of digitical zoom, children older than this most certainly will. Five and six year olds will most certainly understand optical zoom. All of us are limited by budget, but there are some excellent bargains to be had on e-bay if you are looking for a digital camera for your child.
Buy the best you can afford, with the features that your child can understand and put to good use. Take your time to explain how the different functions of the camera work, and enjoy a shared interest with your child.
There is an excellent guide to digital cameras on e-bay: