I asked my dad for his opinion on getting a telescope for a constellation-crazy four-year old for Christmas. His advice was to skip the telescope, which, along with being ridiculously pricey, would likely be too abstract for her right now, and go with binoculars which could get her up closer than you'd expect and be useful for many other explorations. Her attached-to-her-hand magnifying glass amuses him no end.
We decided he was right, but that the binoculars could wait for a bit. They didn't have to. He sent her a small pair and a large pair for Christmas. She bounced around the house telling every constellation story she knew until it was dark enough to go outside and look at the stars.
Once it was dark enough, coats and hats and boots were thrown on. Gloves were disdainfully tossed aside because "Then I couldn't hold the binoculars, could I, Mother?" (This was a rhetorical question.) and "No knock, Momma! So no gove! Noooo!" So I threw their gloves in my pocket (along with a warmer hat for the redhead for whom color is more important than warmth right now) and out we went.
They had to discuss which way would lead to the best star-gazing. Ains kept pushing for the direction that had playing kittens.
And off they went. On a mission.
Trying to get out past our yard light takes a few minutes.
And then we were there! They looked, and what did they see?
*sigh* How did I miss that? "Well, girls, lets go look at the chickens."
Ains wasn't thrilled with that idea. I don't blame her. It's hard to look at chickens with binoculars when you're three feet tall, they're a foot tall, and they're a foot away.
So we came in and Ainsley studied the freezer. After thirty intense seconds - a long time in a two year old's world - she looked up and announced 'no mone bac'n'. She was right. There is a dearth of bacon in our house at the moment. The bacon always goes the fastest when we get the pig. Then she disappeared into her sister's room...
where I found them studying glow-in-the-dark constellations (Andromeda, Cygnus, and Orion reside on her ceiling)...
and spying on kittens playing outside the window.
Great Christmas present. I can see much Discovering in the months ahead.