When it comes to finding the best telescopes for kids, the mission can prove to be longer than you first thought it might be. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, depending on the budget you have. The art, craft, and science of astronomy is a wonderful way for children to work to discover space.
This is why we have dedicated an entire article to helping you find the best telescopes for kids. Check out these popular and quality options for children below and see which model is best suited for you or your child.
Discover the Best Telescopes for Kids in 2016!
1. Orion SkyQuest XT8 Telescope
Our list is in no particular order. However, we have to admit that the Orion SkyQuest XT8 Telescope is truly one of the best telescopes for kids out there. This excellent device is one of the most praised models on Amazon. Around 74% of customers currently rate it with 5 stars. Out of over one hundred reviews, almost all of them are positive, and customers honestly recommend the Orion SkyQuest XT8 Telescope as a good telescope for kids. It is very inexpensive for the value it offers, which is currently $389.99 on Amazon, with free shipping.
The large aperture will help your child discover breathtaking nebulae and galaxies. In addition, the reflector optics with an 8-inch diameter will aid them in observing planets. It’s a great Dobsonian the entire family can enjoy and will last for years. If you purchase the Orion SkyQuest XT8 Telescope on Amazon, you will also receive several accessories. That includes a 25 mm eyepiece (Sirius Plossl), a 2-inch focuser (Crayford – works with 2-inch and 1.25-inch eyepieces), a cap for collimation, an EZ Finder II, and specialized software. Therefore, you can get some extra guidance for observing.
Customers note that it is very easy to assemble and even easier to use, so you can understand why it could be the perfect telescope for kids. If you are looking for cheap telescopes for children but still offer an amazing observing experience, the Orion SkyQuest XT8 Telescope is the way to go.
2. Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
Take your family camping trips to a whole new level and introduce your children to observing celestial objects. For this, Celestron has designed the Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope. Not only is it one of the best telescopes for kids that you could ever hope for, it is also a fantastic way to introduce education on vacations.
In addition, the Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Telescope for kids can be your next reason to spend more time with the family in the great outdoors. If you look into the Travel Scope on Amazon, you will instantly notice that it is a #1 best-selling refracting telescope. For only $64.99 on Amazon, how could you not be interested in it? The refractor comes with a custom-made backpack, and it only weighs 3.3 pounds for light traveling. Its portable features make it a great kids telescope. The package comes with both low and high power eyepieces, as well as astronomy software for boosting the educational experience.
As your family gets used to with using telescopes, you can use the Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope for some jaw-dropping images through astrophotography. We truly recommend this for families who are searching for an authentic adventure with kids telescopes.
3. Meade Instruments 209002 Infinity 60 AZ Refractor Telescope
Why not teach your child to observe the skies both night and day? The Meade Instruments 209002 Infinity 60 AZ Refractor Telescope is ideal for this situation. It’s clearly one of the best telescopes for kids on the market. You can treat your child to quality, fun and interactive education throughout the day. That means either observing the sea or doing some bird-watching during the day, and then move on to discovering stars and planets at night.
The Meade Instruments 209002 Infinity 60 AZ Refractor Telescope is just $60.88 on Amazon, currently, at a 19% discount from its original price with free shipping. It has a 2.4-inch aperture (60 mm) and a focal length of 800 mm. You get two eyepieces with your package for different types of viewing: a low magnification eyepiece at 26 mm and a high magnification eyepiece at 6.3 mm. Additionally, it comes with a 2x Barlow lens that can double the power of magnification for either of these two eyepieces. It’s a good telescope for kids who want that deep exploration to satisfy their curious minds.
One of the best perks that this telescope presents is that it is a refracting instrument. Therefore, you do not have to spend time and energy collimating it (a process also known as alignment). All you have to do is unpack the scope, assemble it and start learning. The ease in which it functions makes it one of the best telescopes for kids. They don’t need to customize their view too much. Customer reviews show that assembly is simple. In fact, the only step that might take a bit of time and experience is focusing the red dot viewfinder. Regardless, it’s an excellent kids telescope that won’t cause confusion upon setting.
4. Celestron FirstScope Telescope
It’s no wonder why Celestron named this model the FirstScope. It’s one of the most promising telescopes for kids and adult beginners alike. In our Celestron FirstScope Telescope review, we explained that this 2009 model received several awards. In addition, it’s highly appreciated by all customers across the United States, not just as a kids telescope. Almost 100 reviews on Amazon offer the Celestron FirstScope Telescope positive feedback. Customers state that they are highly pleased with their purchase. Furthermore, it ranks #8 in the Telescopes for Kids category on Amazon and #11 in the general Telescopes category on the same platform. Given customer feedback, it’s clearly best-selling scopes in its class and best kids telescope.
The product itself is just $49.95 on Amazon and also benefits from free shipping. You can move the tube, so you can easily navigate, and it also includes two eyepieces. The FirstScope is very lightweight (only 4.5 pounds) and is 9 inches long, 9 inches wide and 16 inches tall. The reflector optical tube has a 76 mm aperture, and it’s a good telescope for kids because of its ease of use.
The FirstScope, a reflecting Newtonian telescope, was inspired by Galileo Galilei. It will serve as an intriguing history lesson for your kids, as well. Just like the Travel Scope, the Celestron FirstScope Telescope is also an excellent choice for traveling to remote areas to observe in the best conditions. Pack up your scope, gather the family and take a drive towards an unforgettable observing experience. It’s one of the best telescopes for kids when you know you’ll have an open field with a broad view.
5. Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope Moon Kit
One of the greatest issues that come up when looking for telescopes for kids is that they take up a lot of space. We already know how difficult observing can be in urban areas, especially those with light or air pollution. Sometimes, we have to travel to some areas where there are as little buildings, lights and all-around pollution as possible just to enjoy the night skies. This is where the Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope Moon Kit comes in. It’s a good kids telescope that will fit comfortably in their room or the car.
This compact, portable and trusted telescope is precisely what you need to create a family vacation to remember. You will be thrilled to see how easily it can fit into the trunk of your car, especially thanks to its useful backpack. It only weighs 3.5 pounds and is 14.5 inches long, 11 inches wide and 20 inches tall. The scope is one of the top 5 best-selling refracting telescopes on Amazon, partly owing to the fact that to its $89.99 price tag. It is designed and manufactured by Orion, one of the most respected companies in the telescope industry. Therefore, it’s a perfect telescope for kids that’s both affordable and high-quality.
You also get a finder scope (5 by 24), one 25 mm eyepiece (for 16 power magnification), and a 10 mm eyepiece (for 40 power magnification). In addition, it comes with free shipping for your package and a free Orion Moon Map 260 (valued at $13), so you really have all the reasons to purchase it as the first telescope for your kids and, frankly, the entire family.
6. TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope
The TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope is one of the best telescopes for your kid. For just $49.99 on Amazon (plus free shipping) you can enjoy one of the most popular beginner telescopes in the refractor category. It’s really easy to set up and use. All you have to do is point and shoot to get some amazing images.
The TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope has an achromatic objective lens (50 mm), a focal length of 600 mm and it comes with a wide range of goodies. That includes a tripod (full size), Altazimuth mount, a 30x magnification eyepiece (H20 mm), and a 48x magnification eyepiece (H12.5mm – both eyepieces have a diameter of .965 inches). In addition, this kids telescope offers access to an online guide for the assembly that takes you through all of the necessary steps.
Amazon customers gladly state that it is an excellent idea for gifts for children. Most importantly, you get decent value for the price you pay. Please keep in mind that this is a telescope for beginners and a telescope for kids in particular. Therefore, do not expect to get a top-notch professional telescope. However, it is one of the best telescopes for kids around age 10, so keep that in mind while you’re deciding.
7. Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope
As we explained in our Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope review, it’s hard to find a telescope that can fit into a tight budget that still offers great value. The great part about the Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope is that it is exceptional from this point of view and an excellent as a kid telescope. It is one of the most celebrated and praised telescopes for kids and beginners on the market. The Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope is a delightful choice if you want to travel with your family and still benefit from a quality product that is worth your money. It’s a refractor telescope, which means that it is simple to set up and use. That’s yet another reason why it’s a good telescope for kids.
One of the perks of buying the Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope on Amazon is that you also get a 3X Barlow lens. That takes the magnification of each eyepiece and triples the power. Your order also comes with a 5 x 24 finder scope, astronomy software and two 1.25 inch eyepieces. You can use it to observe both terrestrial objects, as well as celestial ones, so you get the best of both worlds. It’s one of the best telescopes for kids who want to explore everything around them.
At the moment, the Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker Telescope is just $49.99, with no shipping fee included. The majority of customer reviews recommend this scope for beginners. It can help them ease into the world of astronomy at a nice pace. It might just be the best first telescope for kids due to the effortless access. One of the greatest advantages that this scope has against others is that you get an abundance of accessories just by ordering. Most of them usually come with the instrument itself and an eyepiece or two. This is a lovely opportunity to save money and get a good telescope for your kid.
How to Teach Kids to Use a Telescope: Tips & Tricks
Like with any other activity, teaching your kid to use a telescope can be a bit challenging. It depends quite a lot on their personality and passions. Above all, the key is to make it as attractive as possible. Emphasize the fun part and include the educational aspect as a side note. Here are a few tips and tips to use when teaching your kids about how to use a telescope.
You don’t always have to offer your child all of the instructions from the beginning. Sometimes, the most exciting part of the entire process is to allow them to learn themselves. You can let your kid play around with the telescope and find out what each part and piece does by experimenting. Encourage them to view the night skies and describe what they see. A good kid telescope will be easy for them to use. This way, you will help them develop their vocabulary, descriptive skills, imagination, and knowledge all at the same time.
Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
The younger you are, the more attracted you are to visual learning and seeing information, rather than reading it in words. This situation is the same for astronomy. Charts, diagrams and all sorts of pictures can aid you in the teaching process. By showing your child images of what they are about to witness, they will be more engaged in this activity. Even if you’re using a beginner telescope for kids, it can still provide spectacular views.
Depending on what type of telescope you have, setting it up can be both easy or difficult. This is the reason why we recommend products that do not require collimation for beginners and children. You should walk your child through all of the necessary steps to set up their first kids telescope. In addition, work with focusing, aiming, spotting, and moving the scope to observe various objects.
You can consult our complete guide on How to Use a Telescope for detailed instructions for different types of scopes. In the end, you should make observing an entertaining and informative activity. The best telescopes for kids will offer you just that. Never forget to have fun and enjoy the quality time spent with your little one.