Telescopes for kids are great as they can spark children’s interest in astronomy. Astronomy can evoke many questions in a child. For example, how big is the universe? How far is the closest star after the sun? 500 years ago people thought that the universe was just slightly bigger than earth. Only recently have humans started to grasp the immensity of the universe.
Telescopes allow children to get away from their daily routine and gain an interest in science and astronomy. Telescopes for kids can be used to study the moon and watch moon phases, to follow comet tails, or to observe galaxies and nebulae.
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For less than the price of many toys, you can get your child a nice kids telescope which will also open the door to learning. Kids as young as 4 years old can enjoy stargazing. You will be surprised how quickly children can learn to use a telescope.
Telescopes for kids are also a great way to spend quality time under the stars with your child, a time that your child will always remember. Don’t hesitate to let your child control the telescope. If he finds an object in the sky, discuss it with him. Pick out the stars, the planets and the constellations with help of a sky chart.
By the way, you can combine an evening with the telescope with visits at the planetarium or the observatory. There are also astronomy books that you can get and that are designed for children.
Which telescopes for kids should you choose?
Telescope prices range from $25 to $600. However it is important to get a good telescope for your child or he might easily get bored and never use it. Thus do not buy a cheap kids telescope of inferior quality. Besides cheap telescopes don’t focus properly and can easily fall apart.
You should get a telescope with a lens of 70mm or greater. A lens that is below 70mm will not provide a clear image. Larger lenses are better for low light situations and in order to get crisp, bright images and high magnification.
Usually telescopes contain detailed instructions on how to build mount them and use them. The best telescopes to get for a kid are refractors. They require almost no maintenance. One such telescope that we recommend is the Meade’s NG70-SM.It is an affordable and easy to operate beginners telescope. Its lens size is 70mm. It includes a beautiful instructional video and a planetarium software that teaches the night sky and to use the telescope. With this telescope your kid will be able to see the craters of the moon and even the rings of Saturn.
Another telescope that we recommend is the Orion XT6. Astronomy magazine called it “an excellent entry-level telescope.” This is one of the most affordable, quality telescope in the market. Really great value for money with very high quality optics and mount at an incredibly low price. The telescope has a sturdy and stable Dobsonian mount. It is easy to use and gives crisp images of the moon and of the cloud belts of Jupiter and its four largest moons.
If you have never used a telescope before, you and your child will be thrilled by the experience of observing the moon, stars and planets in the sky!