Astronomy is a wonderful hobby for a child. It makes finding gifts for them easy as well. There are a huge variety of gifts available for children interested in Astronomy. I have created a list of some of the top Christmas 2007 Astronomy gift ideas for children.
1) Telescopes, Binoculars, and Accessories
Spark Talking Telescope. This is a toy but is great as a way to keep your young child interested in astronomy with out having to let them stay up late to see the stars. This talking telescope lets your child explore space and make discoveries, just like a real astronomer. It is $34.95 at http://shopping.discovery.com/.
Telescope, Explorer. This handheld telescope is ideal for beginners. They just pick it up, sight an object, push/pull the focus tube and enjoy bright, clear images of far-off places. Durable plastic telescope magnifies objects 30X. Objective lens is 30mm. This is $12.95 at http://www.hometrainingtools.com/.
Konus KJ-9 60X Telescope with 60X magnification and a short focal length, which gives the maximum brightness in observation. It is compact, easy to carry, and equipped with plenty of accessories. It comes in a handy hard-shell carrying case. This telescope is $49.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
Telescope Kit. This is a kit to build a 3X refractor telescope in less than an hour while learning how telescopes work. The finished product is helpful for terrestrial viewing, observing the moon, and general stargazing. This kit includes acrylic lenses, glare stops, kraftboard tubes, and instructions to make an 18" long telescope. This kit is $12.95 at http://www.hometrainingtools.com/.
Celestial Seeker. Flip the top open, insert one of the twenty constellation cards into the Celestial Seeker and compare what you see with what is in the sky. This kit includes twenty Northern Hemisphere constellation cards with helpful details to help you locate the stars. The lightweight design is easy to transport and even includes a night vision red light. This is $14.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
You can always pick up gift cards so that they can pick out what they want. However the best gift card is the Slooh 50 min Telescope Card. This is a pre-paid card gives them 50 minutes spectacular deep space objects streamed real-time live to your computer from powerful telescopes located high on a mountain off the coast of Africa. This is $9.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
Books, Maps, software and Calendars
Planets, Moons and Stars book. This is a great guide for young kids who are interested in astronomy. It is $7.95 at http://www.hometrainingtools.com/.
Backyard Stars Guide. This is a fold-out guide to identify the stars from your own backyard on any reasonably clear night, year-round. The stars identified in this guide are those easily seen without binoculars or a telescope. Includes charts for each season and for the moon. This is $4.95 at http://www.hometrainingtools.com/.
Map Of The Sky Poster Both north and south night skies are included in this poster plus star data. Star data included: magnitude, surface temperature, zodiac constellations, and more. It is $9.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
Astro Pack Astronomy Starter Kit. Written for the novice astronomers, this kit includes everything you need to fully appreciate the wonders of the stars above. It comes with:
Night Sky Through Your Telescope book, star finder guidebook, star chart map and adjustable planisphere. This kit is $24.98 at http://shopping.discovery.com/.
Exploring Space: 3D Interactive Kit. This kit contains an interactive CD-Rom, which aids your child in learning about the creation of the universe, the galaxy and stars, the black hole, our solar system, space debris, and space technology. Kit includes Interactive CD-Rom, 2 pairs of 3-D movie glasses, glow in the dark space mobile, and space shuttle with launch pad. This kit is $34.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
Calendars with night skies or even pictures from space can be found almost any place. Some of them will even have reminders of important viewing events and historical date for astronomy. Calendars can make great gifts.
Models and posters:
Glow-in-the-Dark Planets and Supernova kit. Create our Solar System and Milky Way in their room with this glow-in-the-dark kit. It comes with 9 glow-in-the-dark planets and 100 glow-in-the-dark stars. This kit is $12.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
Glow-in-the-Dark Constellations kit. Create your very own night sky. Included in this kit are 28 luminescent stars, 24 rods, strips of double-sided adhesive tape and an on-the-box layout of the Southern and Northern Hemisphere’s natural nightly murals. This kit is for young children and is $3.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
The Solar Flare and Earths Magnetosphere Poster is a great new poster. This is a great gift. It is $9.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
Give your kids access to http://www.kidsastronomy.com/. It has free games, information and more for kids to play and learn.
The MONOPOLY: Night Sky Edition brings the wonders of the universe right into your living room. Move around the game board as you purchase comets, planets, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies and build observatories. Comes with six custom pewter tokens (Meade telescope, Hubble space telescope, binoculars, radio dish, observatory, Mars Rover) and custom dice. Mars and Moon cards replace classic Chance and Community Chest cards, respectively. Read all about the different wonders featured on the game board. This game is $34.95 at http://scientificsonline.com/.
AristoPlay Mars 2020 game. It's a race to Mars in the year 2020. This game is for 2-6 players and has over 550 space travel and astronomy questions, endorsed by Jack Lousma, U.S. Astronaut. This is actually a fun game to play. Each player is an astronaut. Astronauts choose a spaceship and a crewmember and try to land on Mars first. This game is $31.95 at http://www.sciencestoreforthestars.com/.
Planet Quest Board Game Planet Quest. A space board game where astronaut to blast off through space and try to be the first to collect all the planets in the solar system by answering True/False question cards. They have to watch out for the black hole, Asteroid belt and supernova or getting lost in space. This game is for 2-4 players. This game is $24.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
Just fun astronomy gifts:
LeapFrog Solar system fun facts floor puzzle is $9.88 at www.areyougame.com.
Solar System Rule. This12 inch ruler is made of transparent plastic and decorated with the vibrant colors of our solar system. Displayed on its front position are mesmerizing illustrations and diameter/temperature measurements of the sun, the 9 planets and asteroids. It is $2.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
Moon In My Room. This light hangs on a wall. It is authentically detailed to look just like the moon. There are twelve different phase settings let you match what the real moon looks like outside. The Moon In My Room comes with a CD to learn exciting facts about the moon and its unique relationship with planet Earth. It is $29.95 at http://www.physlink.com/.
A Vacation Plan:
If you live in a city it can be hard to see the stars. Plan a vacation some place that is “dark”. There are also quite a few places that will give unusual sites like the Northern Lights in Alaska. Take the time to look around and see what you can do with your family budget. It does not have to be expensive or a faraway vacation. It does not even have to be longer then one night. A child would love to go out into the country and get to stay up late, spending the night looking at stars they cannot see at home.
Written by Lori-Lee Craig