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cmaee
12-17-2008, 06:53 AM
My DS(6) finally told me what he is going to ask from Santa this year...a telescope. I have no clue on what would be a good one for a 6 year old. I do not want to spend a ton of money on this, but I want it to be good enough quality that he will actually be able to see something with it. Any suggestions?

KelliLee702
12-17-2008, 07:44 AM
I'd stay mid range. Find one that may come with maps of the stars. My son was probably about the same age when he wanted his. I think we got it at COSTCO. Try on-line and sometimes they will give an age range in the description of the product. Maybe put some books about the stars and planets with it.
Good luck!

tzolkin
12-17-2008, 07:55 AM
I would suggest looking for a local astronomy club. The one near me (30-45 mins) is only $15 for annual dues, but you have access to all of their equipment plus your child can meet with people who know how to use it. I think most of the inexpensive telescopes you will find don't really work or are too difficult to use if you don't know what you're looking for. Buying one may just be a waste of money and your child may lose interest because he can't see anything.

We are giving our DD a membership to the club and will take her to meetings. She will learn some info at the meetings and will be able to take a telescope home to use for free. Then we may look into buying her a telescope.

Also, my college has a new digital theater. It's like a planetarium with the reclining seats and domed ceiling, but they can also show movies. We have gone to several free shows. They usually do a little demonstration about what can be seen in that night's sky (constellations, etc) and then show a video with really amazing images. If there's one near you I think your son would really enjoy it.

SandrA9810
12-17-2008, 08:04 AM
My mom used to have a family pass to the museum and planetarium when we were growing up. We never did the nighttime viewing of the stars because it was so far away. And if we did, I don't remember it.
But it was definatly one of the cool places we went to a lot.
So was the Metro Zoo. We used to know both places like the back of our hand.
And usually a family pass isn't too expensive for a year. Sometimes you can get them for the weekends only for a little cheaper.

Ning Ning
12-17-2008, 09:38 AM
Walgreens currently (this week) has a Vivitar telescope on sale for $20 - it's an $80 value. I bought one for my 9 year old nephew for his January birthday. A friend told me she bought one for her grandson last Christmas and she said he hasn't complained about it so it must be okay. Good luck!

ChristyJ
12-17-2008, 10:26 AM
Check out LLBean. I think I remember them having one that was a moderate price. Plus then you have their guarantee just in case.

GoHerbie
12-17-2008, 10:49 AM
I highly recommend Orion telescopes, and they have a page listing kid's scopes. The least expensive is $100 and you can get a nice table-top model for $180. Of course you might get lucky with a cheaper model at your local blank-Mart or blank-greens. If the scope is the main gift then I'd recommend Orion, if the scope is just "another" gift then the cheap store model should be fine.

If there's a few store models to choose from, stay away from ones that claim huge magnification numbers like 300x or 400x, because magnification that high is barely attainable on $400 scopes.

POB14
12-17-2008, 11:17 AM
Check out Sky & Telescope's website - they have a buyer's guide (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/letsgo/toolsforstargazing/12511616.html).

HayGan
12-17-2008, 11:23 AM
Walgreens currently (this week) has a Vivitar telescope on sale for $20 - it's an $80 value. I bought one for my 9 year old nephew for his January birthday. A friend told me she bought one for her grandson last Christmas and she said he hasn't complained about it so it must be okay. Good luck!

CVS has the same telescope for $14.99 all month. We bought this one for our boys. We wanted to get them one but did not want to spend alot on it since they are so young. It will be the gift they open on Christmas Eve so they can search the skies for Santa ;)

SleepyatDVC
12-17-2008, 12:12 PM
We got DH's nephew a telescope from http://www.opticsplanet.net/telescopes-by-price-1.html

It was a Busnell one. I think this one http://www.opticsplanet.net/bush-ts-785003.html but for under $60. Free Shipping.

cmaee
12-17-2008, 10:12 PM
I went to Walgreens and CVS tonight, but neither of them had any at their stores. I then went to Toys R Us and ended up spending $50 on it. If the box is any indication on what it will do, he should be able to see Saturn with it. Who knows. I am sure it is going to be more work for us than him, but he does like to look at the stars, so maybe he will use it and figure out how to use it as well. Thanks for all of your ideas. I wish we lived near a place we could take him to like a few of you suggested. We live in the middle of nowhere so at least we shouldn't have too much light pollution in order to see the sky in great detail.

hlane
12-18-2008, 07:30 AM
I ordered this for DS6 and it arrived yesterday...its huge and very nice! Luckily I bought it when it was $39 and I got free shipping!

http://www.kbtoys.com/4-in-1-Digital-Telescope-with-Carry-Case/PID/4826612/ctid/17/INstock/Y/D/