Opening children to stargazing at an early age helps expand their minds and educates them on the wondrous world around them. Children are naturally curious and so introducing them to a telescope or a good set of binoculars helps them explore the world beyond the norm. Finding the best telescope for them, however, can be a bit daunting.
This guide aims to help you out. It covers what to consider and compares some of the best telescopes for kids.
What is the Best Telescope for Children
In considering the best childrens telescope, if you are new to using telescopes, you may wish to find out more about the different telescope features.
Either way, you want more than a plastic toy, right?
Let’s start with the three basics when buying a kids telescope. These are the things you care about:
- Ease of use
- Quality of the telescope
You might not want to go as far as purchasing a GoTo telescope. You don’t want to overwhelm them with technicalities and you don’t know how long your child will maintain their interest in stargazing.
So, it’s a good idea to start with something fairly inexpensive. You’d probably be wanting to look at telescopes under $100.
Ease of Use
You don’t want something too technical or it may be a huge turn-off for the child (and you).
Quality of the Telescope
Naturally, you want something that’s going to give some enjoyment. The features to consider include the eyepiece, the type of telescope, and the aperture size.
Here’s a tip for you if you are wanting the best kids telescope. Choose one that doubles for birdwatching or other terrestrial uses as it will give your child more freedom to explore and of course, the telescope gets more use. More bang for buck, so to speak.
The Best Telescope for Kids
A good child’s telescope will encourage children to learn about astronomy! Here are some pros and cons on five recommended telescopes for kids. It’s interesting to note that these types make some of the best portable telescopes for traveling also.
Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ Refractor
Suggested Ages: 6 – 18+ years
This refractor telescope is simple to use, well built, and of good quality. It’s an ideal children’s telescope.
Aperture size is 70 mm (about 3″). Your child should get a good view of the moon and be able to observe the bright planets such as Venus.
It comes with a full-size tripod and stands about a meter from the floor.
The child will have fun in trying out the different lenses and working out the trick in figuring out which lens to use.
With this, you will get a program for your computer where you can add your location and it will show you what constellations and planets are visible in your part of the sky at certain times of the year.
If you want a carry case, you will need to buy it separately.
CSSEA 70-mm Telescope for Kids
Suggested Ages: 3+ years
This refractor kid telescope comes with an adjustable tripod, finder scope, and two eyepieces (25 mm and 10 mm). Focal length is 360 mm. It also comes with a backpack carry case.
Expect this to be easy to set up as it is promoted as a no-tools quick setup.
It doubles as a nighttime telescope for sky watching and a daytime scope for bird watching and scenery viewing.
It includes an educational kit. And, it has a lifetime money back guarantee.
A bit more expensive than others, but still at a really good price considering the number of items included in the package.
Emarth Telescope 70-mm Refractor
Suggested Ages: 3+ years
This lightweight kids telescope comes with a 40 cm adjustable tripod, a finder scope, and carry bag. It has a focal length of 360 mm, and therefore focal ratio of 5.1.
it is super easy to set up since it is a no-tool gig.
It sports high-quality optics and extras for the child to experience using, including a 3× Barlow lens to increase viewing power and two eyepieces (25 mm and 10 mm).
Compact scope. Having a carry case makes it good for traveling also.
It has an azimuth mounting and can be moved vertically.
It also has a lifetime money back guarantee.
Tripod is not a full standing height for an adult.
MaxUSee 70-mm Refractor Telescope for Kids
Suggested Ages: 3+ years
Similar shape to the previous telescopes for kids shown above. This comes with a tripod and a finder scope but no carry case. This is also another no-tool needed setup that’s easy and good for portability.
Includes a 3× Barlow lens.
A bit cheaper than the last two. Has four eyepieces — 6 mm, 12.5 mm, 20 mm, & 25 mm.
The tripod is short and is not adjustable.
TwinStar 60-mm Refractor Telescope
Suggested Ages: 6+ years
This is a compact telescope. It comes with two eyepieces 6 mm and 20 mm and an altazimuth mount.
Like the others, it is easy to set up. It is simple to use with just 4 parts.
The manufacturer claims that you will be able to pick up at least four of Jupiter’s moons and the rings of Saturn should be visible.
Comes with a full standing height tripod that is also lightweight. Economically priced.
No carry case.
What to Expect with Eyepieces Listed Above:
You’ll notice that these are all refractors. Refractors are low maintenance and durable types and hence why they are suitable for children’s telescopes.
Hi, I’m Jeff Madden. I’m an enthusiast of the wide open spaces. I’ve had over 15 years experience in presenting spatial data and I find it valuable to research and compare the latest technology available. I hope you find my comparisons on the performance of technology useful for exploring and capturing visuals of the outdoors.