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Thread: My 4 year old wants a telescope

  1. #1
    lanmatt's Avatar
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    Default My 4 year old wants a telescope



    Hello,

    I am new to this forum and thank in advance anyone that can help me.

    My 4 year old daughter has been asking for a telescope for over 12 months and I am thinking she is going to ask Santa for one. I have previously had friends say that they have bought store telescopes to find they don't really work, I don't want to disappoint my daughter so hoping to find a telescope suitable for her age but within my budget of $200. I have read the sticky in this forum on buying telescopes, can I please confirm is it the first two microscopes listed that are suitable for children? Is 4 years too young???

    I will greatly appreciate any advice that can be given.
    Thank you.

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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    Hi,
    Wow - nothing like getting youngsters interested early! Why Not? Normally binoculars would be the first suggestion for all sorts of good reasons, but children being children - if they have a telescope in their mind, then binoculars might come as a disappoitment.Clearly a suitable telescope needs to be user friendly to someone of her age and stature - so of the two - I'd go for the smaller skyscanner - which despite its small size looks a good little scope - and not a toy. The dob mount is rugged and easy to use and with supervision she should get nice views of the moon and stars. Speaking of supervision - please please do guard against any possibility of looking at the sun - thats a real no no. On a lighter note and another caution, and I'm being perhaps too immaginative here is that the open ended nature of the scope might lend itself to little objects being accidentally dropped into the tube at unguarded moments. (Memories of similar incidents flood back!) The alternative would be a small refractor - but that means getting away from the dob idea - which would be a shame. Incidentally Celestron do a 3" MiniDob FirstScope which is a similar idea and Skywatcher do 3"Junior Infinity scope which is well rated - but does look more toy like - which may not suit.
    I really wish you well with your search and who know where this will lead - dad might get hooked as well. Wish your daughter a happy Xmas from the forum!
    Ian
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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by lanmatt View Post
    Hello,

    I am new to this forum and thank in advance anyone that can help me.

    My 4 year old daughter has been asking for a telescope for over 12 months and I am thinking she is going to ask Santa for one. I have previously had friends say that they have bought store telescopes to find they don't really work, I don't want to disappoint my daughter so hoping to find a telescope suitable for her age but within my budget of $200. I have read the sticky in this forum on buying telescopes, can I please confirm is it the first two microscopes listed that are suitable for children? Is 4 years too young???

    I will greatly appreciate any advice that can be given.
    Thank you.
    Hi,

    I'd say 4 years is not too young for looking and enjoying but certainly you'd have to operate the scope and present her with the views. So essentially you'll be buying a telescope which is most suitable for you, to operate it and show her the views.

    Since I myself haven't handled any telescope yet, you should wait for the experienced forum members to chip in, but broadly speaking, I think a 6-8 inch catadioptric telescope with GOTO capability or a 8 inch Dobsonian with/without GOTO would be good I suppose. Refractors would also be nice, but I doubt you'll get good quality ones of good aperture (at least 80mm I'd say) within your budget. In any case I think you'd have to spend at least a $100 more, since even good binoculars cost around $200.

    That's also another option. A good 10x50 or 15x70 or so, mounted on a tripod would be fantastic too, but it won't be useful if you want to show her the planets at any useful magnification.

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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    It is hard too get a good scope for that price.i call them moon scopes.they are great for the moon your wee lass wood see great detail of the moon but not with planets.you can get table top dob's that wood be great for the wee lass size wise but i don't no how good they are.they are not toys.but what ever you do do not get the scope from a department store.if you have a telescope shop you can go to then you can get great advices & hopefully a good scope.the very best of luck to you & fingers cross't for your wee lass!

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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    I've no experience with any of this, but just browsing around I came across this BEAUTIFUL looking scope. I'm sure you're daughter would aesthetically love it, and I'd be great for everything except high magnification planet watching I suppose. :-)

    Astroscan Plus Telescope - best selling beginner telescope | Edmund Scientific
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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    I don't know about 4 y/o but a 76 mm is easily used by our 6 & 8 y/o grandchildren. I bought the Orion Funscope - 76 mm last summer and they have a great time with it. I "test drove" it and it is quite serviceable. It won't do much for planets but it is great for star clusters, moon and individual stars. I showed them how to find Cygnus and then just let them scan thru the star fields.They also enjoy wandering over the moon. I also bought them a tripod to go with it as just the table top was too limiting for me. The Orion base has that capability. Price was $60 for the scope and +/- $ 60 for the tripod. Has a RDF and 20 mm & 10 mm EPs. Has a 300 mm fl so you get 15x and 30 x.

    Took a look at the other suggestions and you will have to take compare. The closest to the Orion is the Skywatcher Heritage 76. The difference with the Celestron is it comes with the finderscope which I think is a big plus. Also has two EPs. The Infinity has just a 10 mm EP so no low power and no finder. The link to he Astroscan shows $289.

    It is a very sturdy set-up and short of dropping something down the OTA or knocking it on the floor she shouldn't be able to break it. You can also just set it up on the table and let her wander on her own. She will love the freedom and sense of accomplishment this brings.

    As far as age, I wouldn't worry. You may be blown away by her abilities. To paraphrase a saying from a foundation here in the States -- Encouragement-pass it on.

    Have a good time.
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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    The good thing about the scope above is there is no collimation to be dun.that wood save a lot of pain.but i just don't know how good it wood be for planet detail.

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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by lanmatt View Post
    Hello,

    I am new to this forum and thank in advance anyone that can help me.

    My 4 year old daughter has been asking for a telescope for over 12 months and I am thinking she is going to ask Santa for one. I have previously had friends say that they have bought store telescopes to find they don't really work, I don't want to disappoint my daughter so hoping to find a telescope suitable for her age but within my budget of $200. I have read the sticky in this forum on buying telescopes, can I please confirm is it the first two microscopes listed that are suitable for children? Is 4 years too young???

    I will greatly appreciate any advice that can be given.
    Thank you.


    I am thinking a 16" GoTo Dob.... okay, just kidding (my poor sense of humor once again raises it's ugly head). I would agree with the advice that, since you will be finding the objects, at least for the time being, that getting a scope you wouldn't mind using is sound advice.
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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    I don't know why everyone objects against getting scopes from department stores. I bought an RX-7 a few years back, it is a real scope albeit on a not so good mount of course but with quite decent views. I can't remember what it cost back then but knowing myself it can't be much over $100.-. I see it now at +Venture RX-7 Reflector Telescope | Overstock.com for that same price range. It is a real scope, not a toy and definitely worth the money IMHO. And, for goodness sake, let her try to operate it, kids are really not stupid and can be quite careful depending on their character. Taking control yourself is like taking away their present. If you spend your money on that Discovery scope with some accessories it will cost you almost $400, for a kid and your objective that's a bit high I think.

    Henk
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    Default Re: My 4 year old wants a telescope

    How about the Skywatcher Heritage P130 tabletop Dob? Not sure if it's available where you live but might be a good one that is usable by yourself too
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