Astronomy is one of the most fascinating subjects for young children. With children’s songs alluding to heavenly bodies up above and many children’s stories revolving around the sun, the moon, and the stars, it’s not really difficult to comprehend why kids are captivated by things that we can never hold in our hands. Perhaps, it is for this reason that the stars up in the heavens can command such vivid imagination from our kids. What better way to help them understand astronomy and really appreciate these stellar bodies than with the ten best telescopes for kids? While some of the products in our selection are for make-believe purposes, they are nonetheless wonderful introduction to the concept of using telescopes to see very far objects.
- 1 Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
- 2 TwinStar 60mm Compact Refractor Telescope Backpack Bundle – Black
- 3 Educational Insights Nancy B’s Science Club MoonScope & Sky Gazers Activity Journal
- 4 Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Telescope
- 5 6 ” Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box – Pirate Navigation
- 6 TwinStar 60mm Compact Refractor AstroVenture Telescope
- 7 Edu-Toys Mobile 20/30/40x Telescope
- 8 Balance Living Refractor Telescope with Tripod
- 9 Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope
- 10 PRO Series Refractor Telescope by Discover with Dr. Cool
Our Picks of The Top Telescopes for Kids
How We Chose the Amazing Kiddie Telescopes in Our List
We were not quite sure how to approach this particular project since it telescopes are superb pieces of optical engineering. While we do recognize that kids deserve only the best kind of telescope they could possibly have, they might not really be able to appreciate the rather complex knowledge associated with astronomy. We cannot go for purely telescope toys, either; although we do recognize the need of kids to use their imagination. So, we decided to strike a balance between the play needs of children and their need for learning. This is the reason why there are real telescopes in our list and there are also toy telescopes that are designed primarily to stimulate the imagination of children during make-believe or pretend play.
That being said, we made sure that the toy telescopes are appropriate for the developmental age of kids. Different features were carefully evaluated and then analyzed as to what developmental benefits the toy can provide. The safety and quality construction of the product were also examined and correlated with the trustworthiness of the company that made it.
As for the kiddie telescopes, there were three things that we had to look for: the quality of the optics, the stability of the platform, and the diameter of the telescope’s aperture. These three are very important in any type of telescope as they do allow for a more superb experience. Unfortunately, we had to compromise a bit as high quality optics can easily translate to thousands of dollars. The same is true with the aperture. The greater the aperture, the more expensive it is. And since we’re only talking about beginners’ telescopes, then something that’s affordable yet functional should be the main focus of our search. And that’s exactly what we did.
How You Can Choose the Right Telescope for Your Kid
Choosing a telescope for your child can be quite tricky. When choosing your kid’s first telescope it is often important to consider a variety of things. While you can always refer to a comprehensive parents’ guide to children’s telescopes, sometimes you only need to consider the following.
- Your kid’s interests – This is very important as a child who clearly has no interest in astronomy will be bored to death and you’ll end up with another junk in your basement or even backyard. Make sure to introduce your child first to astronomy concepts before buying a telescope. The same is true if you want wildlife viewing.
- Your budget – True telescopes can range between $100 and $5,000. Before you head out to your favorite retailer, ask yourself how much you’re prepared to shell out.
- Your understanding of the basics – This is related to the second point, your budget. Know that telescopes are excellent pieces of engineering ingenuity. The more sophisticated the construction, the greater is the telescoping experience. Unfortunately, it’s also pricier. So, you need to strike a balance between what’s functionally acceptable and what’s economically feasible. To help you with this, you’ll need to understand aperture, optics, and the mount. A good starting point is to choose an aperture of at least 70mm for superb astronomical observations. Also, don’t buy into the magnification bandwagon. A good rule of thumb to follow is to always get a telescope with a maximum magnification that is no more than twice its diameter in millimeters. For instance, if you have a 70mm aperture, the maximum power you must look for is 140x. Any value greater than this can lead to fuzzy viewings.
The Bottom Line
Astronomy may not be everyone’s favorite but it sure can draw fascination from many kids. With these 10 best telescopes for kids, you can now help grow your kids’ fascination or initiate them to the wonderful world of astronomy.