It is all well and good letting children loose with a camera BUT like all things in life this is just another tool that we need to learn to use: that we need to master.
Letting the children loose without any directions might let them get
comfortable with the camera but it is not going to guide them as to all
the photographical possibilities…
Of course depending on the age/ability of the child you are going to want to challenge them in different ways.
Maybe the challenge for the youngest children is limiting how many
photographs are to be taken and also thinking about what the subject is
going to be BEFORE clicking… while for older children they can be
challenged with ideas of composition… how placement can influence the
importance of the subject, how lighting can affect the mood etc…
For ideas of how to approach teaching digital photography to children take a look at 13 lessons to teach your child about digital photography by Darren Rowse You will find plenty of inspiration there.