Children are naturally curious, inquisitive, and adventuresome. We should foster this whenever we can. One way to do so and foster a love and greater understanding of the world around us is to take them on outdoor adventures. Of course, we can nurture their zeal by providing them with tools of observation.
So let us look at the choice of binoculars. Be sure to choose binoculars that are appropriate for the age of your child. One should strive to buy a pair that will allow the formation of a good image but fits well into the hands of the child and is not too heavy or cumbersome. Try to find one that has optics that allows the formation of an image which assists the child in making a reasonable identification of the bird, butterfly or aninal in question.
We do not want to frustrate the child with an inappropriate or inadequate binocular. We wish to choose a gift that will serve our children well. So, what are the options?
For a youngster, kindergarten through third grade, you might consider the brightly (and fun colored) Audubon 7 x 18 Mini. It is small enough to fit smaller hands and light enough to be easily held steady. It has a large field of view, an important aspect for someone just learning to use binoculars. It allows for close up observation. It really is an affordable and very versatile first binocular.
Third graders to Middle schoolers can choose from the Vortex 8 x 32 Lightning or the Audubon 8 x 42 Vector. The Vortex Lightning is a mid sized wonder. It is light weight, only 17.4 ounces. Its field of view is substantial at 394 feet at 1000 yards. It is also water and fog proof. It can easily be pack in a backpack or is great for one traveling by bicycle. On the other hand, the Audubon 8 x 42 Vector is a full sized binocular, yet still light enough to be easily handled and steadied. It too is water and fog proof. The Audubon 8 x 42 Vector has another advantage in that it allows for observation as close as six feet.
High School age youth can take advantage of the Stokes Talon. The name Stokes has long been connected with birding and excellence in field observation. Don and Lillian Stokes are considered experts in the birding community and have designed a complete series of binoculars and spotting scopes. The Talon is the introductory binocular in this regard. It is rugged, full sized, water and fog proof. It has multi-coated, phase corrected lenses providing one with crisp, clean, clear images. It has a whopping 420 foot field of view, one of the best in the industry. Also, one can focus on objects as close as 4.5 feet away. The Talon can help you just as easily view a bluebird across the field as a swallowtail butterfly on the flower right next to you.
May you and your children or grandchildren enjoy the great outdoors.
Roy Smallwood is the owner of Kingbirdfeeders.com. Roy began this enterprise after a 26 year career as a teacher of science. His love and enjoyment of the outdoors and birding in particular is the impetus for the company. He is an active member of the Central Texas Audubon Society. He encourages everyone to participate and enjoy birding whether in the backyard or in the field. Visit http://www.kingbirdfeeders.com for, binoculars and happy birding!
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