Children are small creators. They always try their best to get our attention by coming up with the craziest stories. Our little storytellers often find themselves stargazing. Their creativity is almost boundless for as long as they are interested in something, and they keep coming up with questions about everything they see. To help their creative process, we can give them the best telescope for kids, and with it, they will be one step closer to the boundless universe.
A telescope is not just a tool for our children. It is a way to reach the distant places they imagine. This optical instrument can be an essential part of their imaginary spaceships as long as it is easy to use and move around. The telescope will also be a key to some precious memories when they grow up. If you invest in the best telescope for kids and keep it in good condition, they most likely have something to cherish with their loved ones too.
What You Should Know When You Are Looking For A Telescope
When it comes to finding the best telescope for your kid, the mission can prove to be more difficult than expected. Telescopes are made with curved mirrors or lenses which are used to focus and gather the lights from the sky. To get the best view the optic elements have to be big because the bigger they are the more light can be gathered and focused by the telescope. Also, the optics must be in very good condition, any scratches, spots, or other flaws can blur the image.
There are three types of telescopes:
- Refracting telescopes are made with lenses. They collect less light but they are easier to clean. Also, they don’t always show the best colors because of the focusing capacity of the lens.
- Reflecting telescopes are made with curved mirrors. They collect more light but they are harder to clean. They usually show the best colors. They work by reflecting the light rays through a combination of mirrors.
- Compound telescopes are made with lenses and curved mirrors. They are good at collecting light. Most of the time they weigh less than the others and they are also good at magnifying. However, they have a narrower field of view.
Below, we have dedicated an entire article to help you find the best telescope for kids.
Check out these popular and quality options for your children below.
1. Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
|AVERAGE USER RATING
|15.5 x 17.5 x 50.2
The Orion SkyQuest XT8 Telescope is one of the most praised models online. It is a reflector telescope. Around 85% of customers rate it with 5 stars.
Out of nearly 450 reviews, almost all of them are positive, and happy parents and beginner astronomers alike honestly recommend the Orion SkyQuest XT8 as a good telescope for kids.
It is very inexpensive for the value it offers, and it also comes with free shipping on Amazon.com.
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.
This is a great Dobsonian the entire family can enjoy for years to come and is one of the best telescopes for a teenager.
If you purchase the Orion SkyQuest XT8 telescope on Amazon, you will also receive several accessories:
- a 25mm eyepiece (Sirius Plossl)
- a 2-inch focuser (Crayford – works with 2-inch and 1.25-inch eyepieces)
- a cap for collimation
- EZ Finder II reflex sight
- and specialized software.
These additions and especially the EZ finder II make the scope extremely user friendly. Plus, unlike a refractor telescope, a Dobsonian is very easy to use as long as you align the finder scope right.
Dozens of purchasing customers too note that this telescope is very easy to assemble and even easier to use, so you can understand why it could be the best telescope for your kids.
If you are looking for a very user-friendly telescope for children that can offer an amazing experience, the Orion SkyQuest XT8 Telescope has to be at the top of the list.
But if you are looking for a more versatile and cheap telescope for kids, a refractor telescope will tick all the boxes.
2. Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
|AVERAGE USER RATING
|7 x 18 x 14
Take your family on camping trips and introduce your children to stargazing with this refractor telescope.
Celestron has designed the Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope as one of the best telescopes for kids while on the move, and as a fantastic way to keep educating them on vacations.
The Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Telescope for kids can be your next reason to spend more quality time with your family in the great outdoors.
If you take a look at the Travel Scope on Amazon, you will instantly notice that it is one of the best-selling refracting telescopes.
This very reasonably priced refractor comes with a custom-made backpack, and it only weighs 3.3 pounds, for light traveling. Its portable features make it a great telescope for kids. The package comes with both low and high power eyepieces, as well as astronomy software.
You can also use the Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope for taking some jaw-dropping images if you’re into astrophotography.
We truly recommend this to parents who are looking forward to having memorable adventures outdoors with their kids while not breaking the bank.
3. Meade Instruments Infinity 60mm AZ Refractor Telescope
|AVERAGE USER RATING
|52 x 39 x 39
|> 6 years
Why not teach your young child how to observe both the day and night skies? The Meade Instruments 209002 Infinity 60 AZ Refractor Telescope is the ideal choice in this case.
It’s clearly the best telescope for small kids when it comes to price according to multiple users. It can offer your child quality, fun, and interactive education throughout the day.
And because this scope is a refractor, it can be used for observing distant objects both in space and on land.
You can try activities such as observing ships sailing the ocean or doing some bird-watching during the day, and then move on to discovering the stars and planets at night.
It comes with a 2.4-inch aperture (60mm) and a focal length of 800mm. You get two eyepieces with your package for different types of viewing: a low magnification eyepiece at 26mm and a high magnification eyepiece at 9mm. Additionally, this scope 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 to satisfy their curious minds.
All you have to do is unpack the scope, assemble it, and start learning. Its easy functionality makes it a strong contender to the title of best telescope for kids.
One of the best perks of this telescope 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).
Customer reviews show that the assembly is very straightforward. In fact, the only step that might take a bit of time and experience is focusing the red dot viewfinder. Regardless of that, it’s an excellent kid’s telescope that comes at an unbeatable price.
4. Celestron 21024 FirstScope Telescope
|AVERAGE USER RATING
|16 x 9 x 9
|> 6 years
This is an extry-level reflector telescope. It’s no wonder that 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 mentioned that this 2009 model received several awards. In addition, it’s highly appreciated by all customers across the United States, and not just as a kids’ telescope.
Almost half of the user reviews on Amazon offer the Celestron FirstScope 5-star positive feedback. Customers state that they are highly pleased with their purchase.
Given customer feedback, this one is clearly one of the best-selling scopes in its class.
The product itself is extremely affordable (around $50 without the accessory kit), and also benefits from free shipping on Amazon.
The main tube can be moved, so you can easily navigate. The package also includes two eyepieces. At just 4.5 pounds, the FirstScope is incredibly lightweight which makes it another great portable option when traveling. It is 9 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 16 inches tall. The reflector optical tube has a 76mm aperture and the entire system’s ease of use makes it one of the best choices for kids.
The FirstScope, a reflecting Newtonian telescope, has been reportedly inspired by Galileo Galilei’s story. It can also serve as an intriguing history lesson for your kids.
Just like the Travel Scope, the Celestron FirstScope Telescope is an excellent choice when traveling to remote areas. Pack up your scope, gather the family, and take a ride toward an unforgettable experience. It is a perfect choice when you know you’ll have an open field with a broad view to observe.
For more info, you can check out our Celestron FirstScope Telescope full review.
5. Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope
|AVERAGE USER RATING
|20 x 11 x 14.5
|> 9 years
One of the greatest issues that come up when looking for the best telescope for kids is that telescopes usually take up a lot of space. We already know how difficult observing can be in urban areas, especially in those with light or air pollution.
Sometimes, to stargaze and enjoy the night skies, we have to travel to places where there are not a lot of buildings surrounding us, not too many lights, and as little pollution as possible.
This is where the Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope Moon Kit comes in. It’s a good kid’s telescope that will fit comfortably in their room or in the car. Also, it only weighs 3.5 pounds, and it is 14.5 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 20 inches tall.
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.
In the package, you also get a finder scope (5 by 24), one 25mm eyepiece (for 16-power magnification), and a 10mm 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 have all the reasons to purchase it as the first telescope for your kids and, why not, for the entire family.
The scope is one of the top best-selling refracting telescopes on Amazon, partly owing to its accessible 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.
6. TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope
|AVERAGE USER RATING
|32 x 7 x 4
The TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope is one of the best telescopes for your kid. One of its advantages is that it is very easy to set up and use.
All you have to do is point and shoot to get some amazing images.
Accessories and Details
The TwinStar telescope has an achromatic objective lens (50mm), a focal length of 600mm, and it comes with a wide range of goodies. That includes a tripod (full size), Altazimuth mount, a 30x magnification eyepiece (H20mm), and a 48x magnification eyepiece (H12.5mm).
Both eyepieces have a diameter of .965 inches. In addition, this kid’s telescope offers access to an online guide for assembly that takes you through all of the necessary steps.
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.
Amazon customers state that it is an excellent gift idea for children. Most importantly, you get a decent value for the price you pay.
Nonetheless, it is the best telescope for kids around age 10, according to many users, so keep that in mind while making a purchase decision.
7. Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker AZ Telescope
|AVERAGE USER RATING
|29.5 x 10 x 16.5
|> 6 years
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 and offer great value.
Celestron 21041 is exceptional from this point of view, and excellent as a kid’s 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 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 strong contender to the title of best telescope for kids.
One of the perks of buying this telescope on Amazon is that it comes along with a 3X Barlow lens. That takes the magnification of each eyepiece and triples the power. Your order also comes with an astronomy software and two eyepieces (4mm and 20mm). You can use it to observe both terrestrial and celestial objects, so you get the best of both worlds.
One of the greatest advantages that this scope has is that you get an abundance of accessories by just ordering it. Most telescopes usually come with the instrument itself, and an eyepiece or two.
Most customer reviews recommend this scope for beginners. It can help one 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.
It’s one of the best telescopes for kids who want to explore everything around them, and this is a lovely opportunity to save money and get a good telescope for your kid.
BONUS SCOPE: Orion 10033 FunScope 76mm Reflector Telescope
|AVERAGE USER RATING
|8 x 8 x 13.5
|> 4 years
This one is a great reflector telescope for complete beginners as young as 4 years old.
The Orion 10033 FunScope is a sturdy tabletop reflector that will enable you to introduce your kid to the wonders of stargazing while not breaking the bank. Unlike standard (60 mm) beginner telescopes, the Fun Scope has a 76 mm polished mirror, which boosts the amount of light it can capture by up to 60% by comparison. This means that the views of celestial objects will be crisper than those captured with telescopes with smaller diameters.
Even though it is marketed as a ‘moon scope’ don’t expect the lunar views to be super crisp with the telescope as it is. If you want to capture every detail and the contours of the Moon’s eerie craters and seas, we recommend installing a standard sized moon filter. This way you’ll be able to enjoy the Moon in a more detailed way. This advice can be applied to all types of telescopes (reflector, refractor, or compound).
Although the Fun Scope is visibly superior to its cheap department-store counterparts, don’t purchase it for intermediate to advanced users.It has some serious drawbacks, such as a fixed primary mirror and fairly poor magnification. But if you consider the reasonable price and nice perks, such as the free Moon Map included in the box, the FunScope is a great buy overall.
This telescope for kids comes pre-assembled, due to this you do not need to worry about which piece goes where. The scope is great because you can just get it out of the box and start the observation of dimmer celestial targets like bright planets, such as Venus or Jupiter, or bright Messier objects and other deep space objects.
You can get cozier with this scope by checking out our Orion FunScope full review.
Easy to find Constellations
Even if you decided or not which is the best telescope for kids, there are some constellations that can be easily spotted.
- Some people say that they look like nets. One of the differences between them is that Ursa Major is bigger than Ursa Minor, yet they mostly look the same. Ursa Minor also ends with the polar star which makes it easier to be found.
- Orion or “The Hunter” is located on the celestial equator. The stars are bright, form an hourglass shape, and they appear to be equally distant. Also, in the proximity of the Constellation Mars can be found.
- Taurus or “The Bull” is located somewhere above Orion. A part of it looks like the letter “Y”, and it is easy to spot.
- Gemini or “The Twins” can be found next to Orion, their heads are made from the two stars called Castor and Pollux. They look like two stickmen holding hands.
While stargazing with your little one, you can also tell them the stories from the Greek or Roman mythology.
We hope this search for the best telescope for kids helped you find an appropriate telescope for your kid. Remember that, in the end, you should make star gazing an entertaining and informative activity. The best telescope for kids will help you do just that. Never forget to have fun and enjoy the quality time spent with your little one.
You can also consult our Complete Guide on How to Use a Telescope for detailed instructions for different types of scopes.