Reader hp asks:
Do you (or your commenters) know what to look out for in a small-child-friendly telescope? My daughter (now aged 4.5) has been space-obsessed for over a year now, and I’d like to encourage her but am nervous of spending a lot of money on the wrong thing.
For those of you who look at the night sky with kids (or who once looked at the night sky while kids), what are your suggestions? What are the crucial features of a decent ‘scope, and which of the bells and whistles are things you can live without (and without paying for)? How important do you think it is for a kid to be able to mess with the adjustments herself (and what kind of ‘scopes would make it easier for a kid to make the adjustments herself)?
(It’s worth noting that, in a post on measuring devices for kids, Natalie mentioned she had heard an astronomer recommend binoculars as a good place for kids to start in terms of star-gazing instrumentation. So if you have good binocular recommendations for 4- to 6-year-olds, lay those on us, too. )
Thanks in advance for your input!