The Nikon D5000 is light and easy to hold. It has large mode dial, a dedicated dial for changing the shutter speed, and the aperture can be changed by using the same dial while also pressing the exposure button. Any type of F-mount lens can be mounted on the D5000 body, but AF-S DX-format lenses are the best pairing.
Other features include a built-in cleaning mechanism for the sensor, an airflow control system to keep dust off the low-pass filter, a silent shutter mode (which allows you to minimise the noise of the shutter when shooting sleeping babies, for example), and a native ISO range from 200-3200. Plenty of in-camera editing functions are available, too, which should be a particular hit with kids, as they can create colour outlines of their photos, blur them or distort them. There is a built-in distortion control to fix photos that have been taken with lenses that produce noticeable barrel roll. Photo navigation is also aided by the inclusion of a calendar mode, which can show you pictures taken by date; this can save you trawling through your SD card for photos taken on a specific date.