Paul Carter, 61, was spotted by parents discreetly filming children aged between five and eight, some in school uniform, in Camberley at around 3.30pm on May 24.
He was then seen filming girls aged between six and nine at Farnborough Gate retail park a short time later.
Carter, of Bruntile Close, Farnborough, initially denied two charges of taking indecent photos of children and two charges of outraging public decency, and was due to stand trial in July.
However, when no evidence was offered on the indecent photo charges, he changed his pleas to guilty for the latter two charges last Thursday (August 7) at Guildford Magistrates' Court saying he could see why people may have taken offence.
Carter was seen aiming his phone at the girls in both locations, with one girl in Camberley saying: "Mummy, that man just winked at me."
Carter was watched walking to his car and driving away, and later arrived at Farnborough Gate where he was challenged by a parent.
He denied he was filming the girls, arguing that he was waiting for a phone call.
He told police in an interview that he had seen the girls and thought they were sweet, but that "nothing funny happened".
But in a second interview, Carter admitted what he had done and claimed he had wanted to be arrested.
Johnson Shittu, prosecuting, said: “He said he thought he had not been seen in Camberley so went to Farnborough with the intention of getting caught so he could get help for his actions.”
Carter told the police he found the young girls sexually attractive and was suffering from stress and anxiety.
Chairman of the bench, Richard Huckle said the offences were serious enough to warrant a community order of 36 months. During this period, Carter will receive supervision, attend appointments with probation officers and take part in any programmes he is told to.
He will complete 160 hours on a sex offenders’ programme.
Carter was also told to pay £250 costs and a victim surcharge of £60.