How To Choose A Telescope for Kids
I see too many very well intending parents buy the toy store telescope (often with an included microscope), only to find the whole experience of trying to setup and use their child's new prize to be a frustrating, rather than amazing, experience for them and their child.
A Little Story about a Too-little Telescope
A few weeks ago at an astronomical club open house, some kids and their dad brought in a little telescope he'd gotten them. This was one of those $20 toy store items. It had a shaky little tripod that you would sit on a table (the legs didn't extend), a very small aperture lens (about 30mm) and a couple of very cheap plastic eyepieces. The family was frustrated because they weren't able to see anything through this little telescope, and even had trouble getting it pointed at the Moon...