Pretty snazzy looking, isn't it? Monkey Man was seriously foaming at the mouth as I was taking it out of the box. He could hardly wait to get started looking through it.
So what do you get with this Talking Telescope? Well, it starts with a series of flash cards that talk about space exploration. Then there are 20 slides with images provided by NASA that feature different elements of our solar system. And a parent-friendly "Lab Assistant" guide. And of course, this cool looking telescope. Oh, and did I mention that the slides can be stored in a tray in the base of the telescope, thus almost eliminating the possibility of lost slides? Ooooh yeah, that almost made me giddy with excitement.
But you know, you always think that things look cool straight out of the box. And haven't we all bought toys that we thought would be fantastic and educational, only to be sadly disappointed?
Well, this certainly is not the case with the Spark Talking Telescope. I was pleasantly surprised at how user-friendly it is, how packed with information it is, and how fun it is. The three of us - Monkey Man, the husband and I all played with it for a good hour the first night, taking turns changing out the slides and listening to the facts.
How it works is that each slide can be inserted into the telescope. Then you have a series of facts that you can scroll through as you look at the slide. The information is in snippets that can be replayed as many times as you want. What I liked is that it's all simple, concise information that is presented - not too much to be overwhelming to a child, but not dumbed down either. The focus is also adjustable so a child can see the slides well. And if your kid is really into it, there are quizzes available for them to try their skills with.
So Monkey Man and I have thought this was one of the coolest toys we've seen in a while. And even the husband, who knew I was working on this review, said he thought it was one of the best things that Monkey Man has. And considering the husband is a serious geek, that is high praise indeed.
Priced at $34.95, I think this would make a most excellent holiday gift or birthday present for the future scientist in your life. I'm planning on checking out some of the other products that Discovery Store offers, like the Spark Talking Microscope. It looks way cool, as did many of the other products that I saw in the complimentary catalog that was included in our telescope.
If you're interested in reviews of the microscope or to see what the other reviewers thought of the Spark Talking Telescope, stop on over at Parent Bloggers Network where the campaign is getting off to a great start!