A Telescope can make for great gifts for children and teens. Not only do they offer education dividends, they also help young people develop a skill that may help them later in life.
However, it’s worth mentioning that not all telescopes are suitable for young children. Buying advanced telescopes for your kids may only intimidate them, which may drive them away from a great and rewarding hobby. So if you’re looking for a good telescope for kids and teens then, here are several tips to help you find the ideal item.
Size and Complexity
If a telescope looks too big or too complex for your children, then it’s probably not a good choice. Unless your kids have a lot of experience working with telescopes, these types of items will cause more harm than good.
Complex telescopes usually have parts that most teens and children will not find particularly useful or even interesting. Take magnification for example. A telescope that offers 300x to 400x magnification is impressive, but most teens and children won’t be able to appreciate it. The same is true for large telescopes. They may look impressive, but your children will most likely have a hard time moving them from one point to another. So when you buy a telescope, it’s better to buy one that’s simple and easy to use.
Another important issue to consider is telescope maintenance. If you’re going to buy a telescope for your kids, make sure that it’s something that they can maintain. This means cleaning it, calibrating it, storing it in a safe place and protecting it from damage.
Most telescopes have durable parts, but even the most durable telescopes need to be cleaned and maintained to keep them in good working condition. So unless your children know a lot about telescopes, you should get them an item that is both tough and easy to maintain. The telescope’s parts should be easy to clean and assemble/disassemble. The lenses should be tough and washable using conventional cleaners. The casing should be durable and easy to assemble/disassemble.
Finally, try to get your kids a telescope that offers a lot of instructional material. Using a telescope for the first time can be quite a learning experience, so buy them a telescope that is designed specifically for people who want to learn how to use a telescope.
It should be easy enough to allow them to learn, but also complex enough to give them a taste of what more advanced telescopes can do. On the other hand, if you buy your kids a telescope that has too many settings and complex parts, they could end up disenchanted with astronomy and quit prematurely.
Buying a telescope for your child doesn’t mean buying the cheapest one you can find. It means finding an item that is both age appropriate and interesting enough for kids to use. And of course, you should also consult your children about the type of telescope they would like to get. Do these things, and you should be able to find a great telescope for your kids.