One of the first questions you ought to ask yourself if you’re thinking of purchasing a telescope for your child is why you want to do it. It stands to reason that one of the reasons is that the kid probably wants one.
However, when it comes to children, it is often difficult to tell whether they need certain things to nourish their passions and turn them into hobbies, and even professions later on, or if they just want something they can pleasantly fill their time with and nothing more. It is, therefore, up to you to understand whether the product you want to spend your cents on should be a toy telescope or a real one.
With actual telescopes, you’ll be getting a lot more. On the one hand, the device won’t be made of some cheap plastic that renders it prone to mishaps. On the other, you and the kid will actually be able to look at the night sky whenever you feel like it. Not all telescopes are identical, of course, especially when it comes to their aperture and magnification power. So, while with some you can look at the moon and a limited number of stars in the galaxy, with others, you can see breathtaking nebulas and star clusters.
It develops imagination
Another rather apparent reason for getting a telescope as a gift for your child is that it can improve their imagination. We’re not suggesting watching all of the Star Trek series or even any Star Wars movies, although they might be a good intro if you want to help your kid’s imagination run wild. We’re also not suggesting that aliens exist, but it is a question one should ask oneself at least once in a while.
It helps the child master the art of patience
Patience is a virtue that can be gained and nurtured by learning to use a telescope. It stands to reason that this type of device is anything but easy to handle, especially at the beginning of the learning curve.
And once that’s been taken care of, you need to explain to the child that focusing the image and actually finding an interesting celestial object takes time and maybe a bit of research.
A telescope can help a child understand that hard work pays off
Fortunately, these days you can learn most everything online, so there have to be thousands of pictures of celestial objects available for free. Whenever you have the time, look for them with your son or daughter sitting next to you. This practice will develop a type of structure and will eventually bring the child to understand that hard work pays off even if it all comes down to research.
What’s the ideal age you should start prospecting the market for an affordable telescope for kids? There isn’t a golden rule to all of this, and that’s because children these days are far more precocious than how they used to be. Nonetheless, we suggest getting your kid’s first telescope around the age of 7.