Kids these days have lots of pleasures and conveniences that we didn’t just have as kids. There are iPhones, Bluetooth, laptops, tablets and waterproof versions of them all. It’s an advanced world.
And it’s not just the kids, either. Ever see how many adults and even older people are in line at Apple stores when the new iPhones are released? Even that funky one without the headphone jack.
Here’s a little bit of technology that most kids haven’t embraced, though: Telescopes.
Let’s try to get the kids interested in the universe rather than the immediate world in front of them. Right?
I got my kid interested in Astronomy. Now What?
Buy them a telescope. Make sure that it’s a decent piece of equipment with some technological perks. The reason why kids like “new things” is because they’re usually better than the old stuff. Same goes for telescopes. Don’t grab your son or daughter their first telescope for $5 at a Thrift Shop. It won’t impress them, and you’ll just prove the point the star gazing and telescopes is not cool.
Kid’s telescopes can have some cool bells & whistles. There are many telescopes today that come with downloadable apps with star maps and information that will help explain what they’re seeing. There’s also computer software built right into the telescopes themselves.
NASA even has really cool Kid’s Club for the younger bunch that does a really good job at getting kid’s interest and explaining some stuff to them in a way that you or I couldn’t.
Here’s some Quick Tips for Getting a Kid Interested in Astronomy and Buying their first Telescope:
> Don’t buy a piece of junk telescope. Kids are smart. They play complex games and solve complex problems on smart devices. They’ll know the difference between an actual astronomy tool and a flea market knock-off. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a telescope but investing a bit in this healthy hobby for your kids is advised.
> Hobby shops have some very friendly geeks that will be happy to find people who are interested in astronomy. They’ll be chomping at the bit to teach someone about their passion.
> On the opposite of “Don’t buy cheap” is the “don’t go overboard.” If you’re buying for a young kid or someone who is “rough” on stuff (like my son), then I would advise NOT buying a very expensive, super-delicate telescope.
> Kids are smart but not bionic. Don’t get them something too complicated either. That’s just frustration waiting to happen.
> Hopefully your child’s interest in astronomy will grow. There are some modular or “buildable” telescopes that you can buy so that when your child’s interest in astronomy grows then, their hobby can grow with it.