Friday, 17 January 2014

Gift Ideas for Young Astronomers

Celestron 21024 FirstScope TelescopeMy 7 year old is currently fascinated with astronomy. It's definitely a hobby and interest we want to encourage. He got some astronomy-themed Christmas gifts and there are other things we'll be getting.

We've taken him star-gazing for real a few time which is always exciting because it involves staying up late! But we've found that we need to either go to an organized event or make sure we're prepared beforehand so we know what we'll be able to see and can explain it.

  1. The Everything Kids' Astronomy Book: Blast into outer space with steller facts, integalatic trivia, and out-of-this-world puzzles (The Everything® Kids Series) The Everything Kids' Astronomy Book: Blast into outer space with steller facts, integalatic trivia, and out-of-this-world puzzles @ Amazon BUY NOW

  2. Books are always appreciated as gifts in our house. The Everything Kids Astronomy book is an excellent introduction and is available as a physical book or eBook. It's packed with facts and also hand-on activities for kids to do.


  3. Smoothfoam Styrofoam Solar System Kit for Modeling, White Smoothfoam Styrofoam Solar System Kit for Modeling, White @ Amazon BUY NOW

    There's nothing like making your own solar system for understanding the relationships between the planets and the Sun and Moon. A Styrofoam modeling kit is a classic way to do this. We've started making a solar system from colored modeling clay - this means that the boys can play with their planets and lay them out on the floor to get a idea of relative distances (they really enjoyed a talk we went to that did this within a lecture theater until the distances got too large even at a small scale!).

  4. Celestron 21024 FirstScope Telescope Celestron 21024 FirstScope Telescope @ Amazon BUY NOW

    Provided the child you are buying for has an adult that is willing to support them, a proper telescope is an excellent gift for a child who is interested in astronomy.

    There are various children's telescopes on the market, but for a science-minded child who doesn't need to be encouraged with bright colors, we think the Celestron FirstScope is a great bit of kit.

    It's a proper beginners telescope at an affordable price. It has a good manual which explains how to use the scope and also some introductory information on stargazing. 

    The scope has some interesting ties to the history of astronomy too - watch the video to find out more.
  5. The Mountain You Are Here Sun Galaxy Child T-shirt M The Mountain You Are Here Sun Galaxy Child T-shirt
    @ Amazon BUY NOW


    A T-shirt is always a good conversation starter. And most kids love to share their knowledge on their favorite subjects.

    This purple solar system design shirt from the Mountain comes in a range of kid sizes and is suitable for boys and a lot of girls too.
  6. Uncle Milton Solar System In My Room Uncle Milton Solar System In My Room @ Amazon BUY NOW

    My boys have the Uncle Milton Solar System in my room ceiling light. I think you have to set your expectations with this one and it's good value know it's been available for a while and the price has dropped.

    It looks cool and kids enjoy the light up and rotation features, but don't spend too much money on it. 
  7. DK Eyewitness Books: Astronomy DK Eyewitness Books: Astronomy @ Amazon BUY NOW

    We're very big fans of the DK Eyewitness reference books for children so I was pleased to see that the Astronomy book has been recently updated.

    It's packed with color pictures and well as loads of facts.

    It's a physical book but it also comes with a clip-art CD. 
  8. Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking
    @ Amazon BUY NOW


    A factual documentary is an excellent way for older children to learn about astronomy. It has a PG rating.

    We've picked Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking. Why? Well Hawking is a real physicist with an amazing story and this series is very well produced and accessible. It asks lots of big questions and explains what we know about the universe. Oh and the voice over is shared with Benedict Cumberbatch (the voice of Smaug from the Hobbit.)


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