Binoculars For Kids and Young Adults

Do you have kids that are curious, questioning, exploratory, and inquisitive? We should hone this skill whenever possible, and one positive way of doing that is to take interest in the great outdoors and everything that it has to offer. And one tool to help observation is a great pair of binoculars.

Now, we do not want to frustrate the child by having ill-fitting, inappropriate, or inadequate binoculars. So what are some appropriate choices? There are several binocular aspects you’ll need to consider.

First, make sure that they are age-appropriate for your child and that it is not too heavy, and composes clear images. If the set feels awkward, try another one. Ensuring a good fit in your child’s hands is crucial for long term enjoyment. It’s best to purchase a set with optics, which compose images that allows the child to easily recognize objects afar, e.g. an animal, butterfly or bird.

For a younger child (ages 4-8), consider the Audubon 7×18 mini. It is an affordable and versatile first binocular. They are bright and colorful and lots of fun! Kids from pre-school through the 3rd grade level will benefit most from this colorful piece; its size is compact enough that a child can easily hold it quite steady. It also has a wide field of view, and allows observation close up.

A good choice for 4th graders to junior high school kids would be the Vortex 8×32 Lightening, or even the 8×42 Vector binoculars by the Audubon company. The former is lightweight at just 17.4 oz, and has a great field of view of nearly 400 feet at a thousands yards; best of all, it’s both water proof and fog proof. It can be easily packed and stored (backpack or pouch), no matter where your adventures take you! The light full-sized Audubon is one that is also water proof and fog proof. It has the distinct advantage of allowing focus as near as 6 feet.

The Talon by the Stokes family is the best choice for those in high school. The Stokes name has been long associated with superiority for viewing afar and birding. The designers of a complete series of binoculars and spotting scopes, Mr. and Mrs. Stokes, are considered specialists in the birding field and the Talon binoculars are part of their intro models. It is strong, durable, fog and water proof, and full size. It provides clean, cool, crisp images due to the sophisticated and multi-coated lenses. The view is one of highest in the game, with over 400 feet field of view. You can also focus on images as close as four and a half feet. With these options, you can easily spot a bird afar or even a seasonal butterfly fluttering by. The possibilities are limitless.

The outdoors is meant to be discovered and enjoyed by the young and old alike. Experience the environment close up, with your family and friends, with your new set of binoculars. Binoculars can open up a door to a previously undiscovered world of nature and all that it has to offer. Take time to choose the right set of binoculars for your child, and start enjoying the wonders of the natural world.

A Critical Review of the Young Adult’s Book – "The View From Saturday"

I was given this one by a friend of my oldest son Jordan. The book is called “The View From Saturday” by E.L. Konigsburg. I felt that this book by a very prolific author, stood out because of the simplicity of the prose and the complexity of the novel’s structure.

The emerging popularity of academic sport sets the scene in this novel about love and friendship.

In this Newbery Medal award winner, four sixth grade children, Ethan Potter, Noah Gershom, Julian Singh, and Nadia Diamondstein, create a group they call “The Souls”. The main characters in the book are sixth grade students, their teacher Eva Marie Olinski and several senior citizens. The story takes place in Epiphany Middle School in upstate New York.

The novel takes on an interesting format. It alternates between first person narrative and third person. Each member of the Souls tells their first person slice of life after answering a question during Bowl Day.

The academic bowl is coming up, and their teacher, Mrs. Olinski, chooses them to represent their school, Epiphany.

As it turns out, the Epiphany team beats even the seventh and eight graders in the Academic Bowl, and in the end, becomes the state champion.

I’m not really giving away the story here, the beauty of this book is in the writing and the portrayal of each child as well as the grownups; especially the paraplegic Mrs. Olinski.

I recommend it for 10 to 12 year olds. Those 13 and up might find it too slanted towards the younger crowd but might enjoy the story just the same.

The book is 160 pages, which makes it a short read for most junior high / middle school children. I would recommend it for boys and girls. The style is varied and the characters are solid and grounded though most are given to flights of fancy.

Three Young Adult Literary Heroines Named After Flowers

The kinship between flowers and women goes beyond the concept of beauty and romance. Flowers have a significant role in giving women their voice when society tried to silence them. Dawning in the 17th century, women used a secret language of flowers to express themselves when they were buried under the power of patriarchy.

Bookworms will agree that the fruits of women revolutions are vindicated in creating powerful women literary characters christened with meaningful flower names. Young girls (like myself a few years back) learn so much from the lives of the today’s celebrated fictional characters. Here are three young girls who proved that women are epic!

Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Set in a post-apocalyptic and dystopian society, a powerful young girl emerged as the hero that her family and country needs. Katniss Everdeen is named after the katniss plant/ flower. This name takes a significant role in her destiny as a fighter.

She lives up to her name by becoming a symbol for change in the cruel world– ending hunger and poverty. It is no wonder Mama and Papa Everdeen named her Katniss as the bloom’s roots, tasting like potatoes, is a staple food for native Americans.

The Hunger Games is a play of life and death. Each tribute never hesitates to kill for the glory of coming out as the champion. Different district tributes have distinct skills. Our girl from District 12, Katniss, is the best archer. Surprisingly, the katniss plant has a latin name Sagittaria, after the zodiac archer, Sagittarius. Slay!

Lily Evans-Potter (Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling)

Harry Potter’s first conversation with Professor Snape is immortalized with the Professor’s question “What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?” In the language of flowers, Asphodel is a lily that signifying remembrance in death or after the tomb. Potterheads know very well that Lily is the Snape’s forever love, even after her death. Always, right?

Lilies symbolize not only purity, but as well as nurturing, motherhood and lasting relationships. Like her namesake, she nurtured and connected with Harry even when she is beyond the veil. Lily is more than just being loved by a man. She is also a brave and loving mother to her child Harry. She died for him and continued to look after him.

Viola (Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare)

William Shakespeare yet again created a fantastic character in the persona of Viola. A daring woman who dressed like her twin brother to work in the court of Duke. As a survivor that she is, Viola upholds the essence of the viola flower. This blossom represents simplicity, but also vibrancy. In the midst of adversity, Viola strives to become the best woman she can be.

It is a great time to be a woman!