Nancy B’s Science Club® MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal
Nancy B’s Science Club® MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal
Item # 5351
Ages 8-12
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The Big Idea

Grab your MoonScope and take a tour of the nighttime sky complete with visits to the stars, Saturn, Jupiter, and even the mountain ranges and craters on the moon! The Sky Gazer’s Journal is packed with fun activities, like learning about the lunar phases, writing a moon myth, drawing your own man in the moon, and more!

Shh…They’re Learning!
  • Real-life journaling activities provide hands-on astronomy lessons
  • Encourages independent, parent-free learning
  • Perfect for budding astronomers
  • Supports STEM learning
Cut to the Chase
  • A telescope that gives a clear view of the nighttime sky
  • Includes moon filter, two eyepieces (to provide 18x and 90x magnification) and a built-in, pre-aligned finder scope with glow-in-the-dark ring to make it easy to use
  • 22-Page Sky Gazers Journal includes stories about the moon plus fun observation activities
  • Lightweight and easy to assemble
  • LED light preserves night vision, and requires AA batteries, not included
  • 2014 Toy of the Year Award finalist
  • 2013 Parents' Choice Silver Award Winner
  • 2013 Parents Magazine - Best Toys of the Year
    • MoonScope with magnification range from 18x to 90x
    • 4mm and 20mm all-glass eyepieces
    • Finder scope
    • Moon filter
    • Tripod with built-in red LED light to read journal and moon map in the dark
    • 22-Page journal full of astronomy activities

      The Nitty Gritty
    • MoonScope measures 15.5"L x 3.25"W x 7"H.
    • Journal measures 8.5"W x 8.5"H.
    • Requires 2 AA batteries (not included).

    Inventor: Nancy Balter

    Nancy has always loved science. As a young girl she dreamed of being a vet, a marine biologist, an astronaut, or a biomedical engineer, and spent her summers attending space camp and marine biology camp. Her passion paid off with a B.A. in Biology from Yale University and an M.S. in Science Education from the University of Southern California.

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    by PowerReviews
    Educational InsightsNancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal

    (based on 45 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars



    • 4 Stars



    • 3 Stars



    • 2 Stars



    • 1 Stars




    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.


    • Educational (22)
    • Engaging (19)
    • Interactive (16)
    • Lots of fun (16)
    • Durable (13)


    No Cons

    Best Uses

    • Entertainment (12)
    • Young children (12)
    • Older children (11)
    • Travel (4)
    • Outdoors (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Parent of two or more children (12), Education oriented (8), Stay at home parent (8), Grandparent (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes (13), No (12)

    Most Liked Positive Review


    LOVE this! And it is very well made

    We took this on a camping trip and the kids had a great time with it. Well made the the booklet just added to it being such a great find.

    We took this on a camping trip and the kids had a great time with it. Well made the the booklet just added to it being such a great find.


    Most Liked Negative Review


    Not Recommended - Parents should do some

    Two Quick Points:

    First, the best advice for first time telescope buyers is to attend a "star party" given by an astronomy club in your location. You'll be...Read complete review

    Two Quick Points:

    First, the best advice for first time telescope buyers is to attend a "star party" given by an astronomy club in your location. You'll be invited to look through members' telescopes and you'll come away with a first-hand appreciation of what to expect in the areas of capability, price and availability. You'll also get an idea of what your child might be able to handle.

    Second, even a bare-as-bone telescope designed for a beginner can be expensive. For example, what might be called the standard telescope for a moderately interested amateur astronomer, a six-inch Dobsonian reflector, will cost over $200. And for what some people might call high-end or professional telescopes the prices begin in the thousands.

    This may be why the time-honored advice given by experienced amateur astronomers to the parental question what should I get for a child just taking an interest in the sky has been a pair of binoculars and a good star map or beginner's book, such as "Turn Left at Orion". Most binoculars have acceptable optical performance, are relatively inexpensive and will still be of some use if the astronomy interest doesn't pan out.

    But practically all beginners want a bona fide telescope, an instrument that will "really show something". So there is a market for small telescopes aimed at beginners and children. Frankly, most if not all of them will show lunar craters, Jupiter's four Galilean moons and Jupiter's two prominent cloud bands on a good night. While all of these telescopes make compromises of some sort to be affordable, but all should meet some basic requirements and of course some will be better at that than others.

    I can't recommend Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope because there are a number of beginner telescopes roughly in the same price range, for example Celestron's 70mm Travel Scope or their Cometron FirstScope that have better fundamentals and will perform better.

    The Moonscope has a clear aperture of 45mm (the diameter of its lens. Both of the Celestron units are larger in aperture. They will resolve details more clearly and capture more light. Both should be easier to use and will accept some standard accessories if a child's astronomy interest grows.

    Here are some basic requirements that any telescope should meet:

    1. A TELESCOPE SHOULD BE RIGIDLY MOUNTED. The legs of the Moonscope are plastic and will easily transfer vibrations should they or the surface on which the scope is set up is bumped. Also because the Moonscope and its tripod are extremely light a good breeze will give it the shakes. Few things are more aggravating than trying to observe something through a vibrating telescope. Having to "fight the telescope" could really deaden a child's interest. All beginners telescopes have this problem, but it's especially obvious with the Moonscope due to its construction.

    2. A FINDER SCOPE SHOULD CLEARLY SHOW AND HELP PINPOINT A TARGET. Like the cross hairs on a rifle, a telescope finder helps you point the more powerful main scope at a target which would be difficult or impossible to center using the main scope alone. Usually, they are adjustable, but the finder on the Moonscope is not. It's a pre-aligned plastic tube that's partially closed at one end. Unfortunately, it's next to useless. It totally distorts the image of the Moon and using it to point the Moonscope at Jupiter, a really bright star-like object, was just about impossible. I gave up and pointed the telescope by sighting up the main tube – a skill picked up over the years. Most beginner scopes include a small telescopic finder and an adequate finder should be considered a necessity if a child is to use the telescope.

    3. A TELESCOPE SHOULD HAVE GOOD OPTICS. The Moonscope comes with two eyepieces, a 20mm and a 4mm. The view through the 20mm is acceptable, but the image produced by a binocular of comparable magnification is significantly sharper. When compared to the image produced by a slightly larger, but more expensive telescope with more expensive eyepieces, the difference is clearly obvious.

    The 4mm eyepiece indicated as giving a magnification of 90 is a bit of a disaster. First the power is at the limit recommended for a scope of this size, even with perfect optics and great seeing conditions. The views that one would normally get at this power, even with expensive equipment, will be disappointing – a bit dark and "mushy". But the 4mm eyepiece is far from being optically perfect. Move the object you're viewing to the periphery of the field of view and it turns into a "blob". After using the 4mm a few times, I put it permanently in my pocket.

    Also eyepieces for modern astronomical telescopes come in two standard diameters, 1.25 and 2 inches. The Moonscope eyepieces are smaller and non-standard. You have only the two eyepieces that come with the Moonscope. Starter scopes, such as those mentioned above, use standard eyepieces so other eyepieces with different magnifications or fields of view (and things like filters which fit them) can be added.

    A NITPICK. The Moonscope comes with a permanently attached star diagonal (the device that bends the light path 90 degrees and accepts the eyepieces). A diagonal presents a "mirror" image of what you're viewing. North is north, south is south, but east and west are reversed. This is mentioned in the activity journal that comes with the Moonscope. However, the lunar chart in the activity journal shows the Moon in its normal orientation. This could be confusing for a youngster trying to navigate the lunar surface and identify its features.

    Sparking a child's interest in astronomy is a laudable goal. It can lead to a lifetime of interest, activity or in some cases, even a profession. Taking a bit of care with regard to the tools a child will use to explore the sky for the first time can make all the difference.

    Reviewed by 45 customers

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    Highly Recommended for Your Budding Scientist

    By Science Mom

    from Los Angeles, CA

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    The EI-5351 Nancy B's Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal is a child astronomer's delight. It can be used during both the day and the night (and even for bird watching). It gets kids excited about astronomy and the universe and encourages interest in the sciences. It is easily assembled and durable. It has two lenses for distance and up-close viewing. The activity journal was also worthwhile, as it allows kids to engage in fun activities, draw examples of what they view (e.g., phases of the moon), and fun myths and facts about the moon. It is a great educational activity and is highly recommended for both boys and girls ages 8-12.

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    Great educational toy without electronics!

    By Randitp

    from NY

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    This moonscope is a great educational toy and I love that there are no electronics! It is perfect for getting my son interested in the world around him. He is captivated by the ability to see the moon and stars. The work book that comes along with it is really well written and provides interesting facts. I definitely learned a lot while playing with my son. One negative is that i found the base unsturdy and easily tips over the entire moonscope. The good thing is that it is durable and has not yet broken. Also, the online video instructions were really helpful! I would recommend this as a gift for young budding astronomers.

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    Great Beginner Moonscope!! Moon Map a Must Have!!

    By Orion

    from New York, NY

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    I bought this for my 1st grader and she was so excited to see the moon with it!! She was able to put it together and she didn't need the instruction manual. What did take a little more time is learning how to focus the moonscope!! I would definitely recommend having the kids practice during the daytime before doing it at night. Its very easy for them to confuse the 20mm and 4mm lens in the dark so it would be nice if it was color coded so you could tell the difference at night.

    What is awesome is not just the moonscape, but the activity journal with a Moon Map!!! It provides suggestions about what the children should look for on the surface of the moon.

    I would definitely recommend this to get the kids interested in looking up at the sky, whether it be for the Moon, stars, planets, or constellations! I also have a 4 year and he was also able to use the moonscape as well. He was probably even more excited!!!

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    My girls are excited about science!

    By Kimberly Brabec

    from Temecula, CA

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    I am continually amazed by the quality of the Nancy B & Educational Insights products. Most "toys" that are promoted for kids are made cheaply and not great quality. This is definitely not the case with Nancy B and Educational Insights. While still plastic they look and perform like the real thing. And the best part they have gotten my girls really excited about science. We can't wait to share our Moonscope with our Girl Scout troop on our first campout.

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    "Look, it's so clear"

    By Al

    from Culver City

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    This is a great way to introduce skygazing to your kids. It was easy to set up, even with just a casual glance at the instructions. There is a nice video to watch that does a great job explaining the operation to parents and kids. We set it up during the day to get acquainted with the lenses and focused on trees, then again at night to look at the moon with both lenses. The set up was a little easier once we brought out a small table to set the moonscope on. The icing on the cake is the Activity Journal, that is really well thought out with multiple modes to explore science, e.g. storytelling, drawing, etc.

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    Nancy B's Moon Scope

    By Tia Jeanius

    from Champlin, MN

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    Nancy B's moon scope is a great beginner telescope. We ordered it for my son but the entire family enjoyed it. My son who is 8 loves the activity journal that also came with it. He was able to track the moon for the entire month and enjoyed learning more about the moon in the journal. The telescope itself was easy to use and could see clearly when gazing into the night. My 4 year old daughter also enjoyed seeing all of the planets and learning more about all the fun facts in the journal. I would recommend this product for the entire family.

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


    An incredible experience to be had (if you are persistent)

    By Just a mom

    from St. Paul, MN

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    Having had ZERO prior experience with telescopes of any kind, I was slightly overwhelmed by the set up and instructions* for this scope. It took some time to get acquainted with the scope and I honestly was NOT looking forward to getting outside in the chilly autumn temperatures to figure this thing out, but my 7 year old was desperate to see how it worked, so I appeased her. :) She located the crescent moon just above the treetops, so I got down on the ground and set it up for her. Again, I was frustrated because the finder scope on the side was pretty useless in the dark. Also, the tripod is very very short, so I was literally laying down on the ground trying to set it up for her. I could have brought a table outside, I suppose, but that wasn't practical for us at the time, so we worked with what we had.
    I ALMOST gave up trying to find the moon, but, with one final try, I was able to see a glimpse of light through the eyepiece. I turned the focus knob very slowly and gently (which was also hard to do as the tripod is not stable and with each jiggle of my hand I lost focus), but suddenly there it was -- the most beautiful live picture of the moon I have ever, personally, seen. My daughter was able to see it too, which made it totally worth it. Overall, this was an incredible experience to share with her as we could literally see the craters in such a clear sharp picture. Wow!! I tried to focus in with the higher power lens, but was unsuccessful. I'm hoping with a bit more practice and patience we will conquer this toy, eventually.
    It's hard to know how to rate it as it really was an amazing experience if you have a bit of stick-to-it-ivness, but my kids (ages 7, 10 12) would not have been able to figure it out on their own. I would give it 2 stars for ease of use, 3 for age-appropriateness, 3 for educational value, 4 for the overall quality of the toy and activity journal, and 5 for the wow-factor when you finally DO see the moon.

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    Great for daytime use!

    By KKA

    from South Jersey

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    My nine year old daughter received this telescope and immediately went to work putting it together herself. A few times I tried to ease frustrations and assist her, but she was quite adamant that she complete the project herself. She was able to put it together and was quite excited to use it. Thus far, our evening attempts to star gaze were quite limited, whether due to the weather or because we were unable to get a very crisp view of the moon. We also tried it during the day to investigate the trees and animals in our neighborhood and had more success with being able to bring things into focus.

    I asked my daughter to provide her own review and here were her thoughts:

    I think it worked decently. I prefer to use it in the daytime because things look better. When I tried at night, it was pitch black, even when I pointed at the moon and stars. However, whenever I looked through it, it was blurry, with both lenses. I could focus in on objects, but I could not see as clearly as I'd like to. I like how light and flexible the scope is and the color scheme was nice, as well as the tiny planets and stars on the body of the scope. Overall, I think it is more of a telescope because it was not the best for looking at the moon, but I liked it and thought it was very fun to explore. The activity journal was very interesting and the activities were really fun. I would really like to use more of your products.

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    Great intro to astronomy!

    By MJ the mom

    from Philadelphia, PA

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    Son is a little younger for this than recommended, however he is really enjoying it! I love the size, which is perfect for him. There was a little more set-up than I prefer. Nothing crazy, but it wasn't a take-out-of-the-box and use type of toy. Other than that, it has been great and is on the list for holiday gifts to give!

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    Good all in one telescope and educational booklet

    By NY Mom

    from New York NY

    Comments about Educational Insights Nancy Bs Science Club™ MoonScope™ and Sky Gazer's Activity Journal:

    Comes in a box that's about 19" long x 4.5" wide. Assembled with tripod, the scope is about 21" tall and the scope is 15" long. Includes an instruction guide and 22 page activity, MoonScope comes in a few pieces that needs to be assembled (straightforward- my 8 year old daughter started putting it together without looking at the instructions and only needed help putting in a screw), 2 eyepiece lenses: 20 mm and 4mm. Feels sturdier than other kids microscopes or telescopes that I've bought in the past. I liked the fact that the main lens' dust cover is attached, so it won't get lost. I thought the view was quite sharp and it's easy to focus, once I figured out where the focus knob was (it's actually clearly explained in the instruction manual). Activity book offers different things to look for in the moon, as well as some interesting facts and myths. It also provides other suggestions for night viewing, i.e. stars, planets, etc. Has an external LED light to help read a book or star map at night. Can be used during the day as well.
    pro: easy to use right out of the box. fun facts in the booklet that makes learning about the night sky interesting. Like having different lenses and being able to experiment with them. Versatility of being able to use it during the day and night.
    of note: needs 2 AAA batteries and a screwdriver to pen the battery case. I would have liked some sort of case to keep the lenses together, along with their dust caps.

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