In the July 2014 issue of Sky & Telescope, Alice Altair Enevoldsen takes on the vital, but oft-neglected topic of engaging little ones at the telescope. Toddlers can gain a great deal from star parties, more than we might think possible, and Enevoldsen brings our readers valuable tools and techniques to make star parties successful for the youngest attendees.
Here are some further resources on the topic:
Interested in teaching toddlers at the telescope? The National Association for Young Children offers this list of developmentally appropriate strategies that could come in handy.
Enevoldsen recommends board books as a good alternative activity for toddlers at star parties, and this list is a good place to start.
These Northern Hemisphere star maps, produced by Pacific Science Center, are simplified versions ideal for younger kids. Each map is good for a two-month period.
Binoculars make the best first telescope for both the young and young at heart. But binoculars can shake in young hands, and mounts are an expensive addition to an otherwise cheap introduction to the hobby. Alice and Jason Enevoldsen have put together some instructions for building you own binocular mount for cheap.