What’s the Best Telescope For Kids?

Buying a telescope for a child can be challenging for a number of reasons. To help you in this process, we did a thorough investigation of the telescopes available on the UK market.

As a result, we consider that Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope is the best option, offering high quality, easy setup and use, while also being appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, at a medium price.

If you are searching for a portable telescope, the best one is INTEY Ultra-Clear Portable Astronomy Telescope, great for both beginners of any age and children, flexible and easy to use.

However, if you are on a budget, but still look for high quality, we recommend the Celestron 76 mm Firstscope, which is also the most compact and lightweight among the three.

Why Some Telescopes Are Better for Kids Than Others

Telescopes can be great instruments to teach your kids how to appreciate the complexities of the Universe, while observing the other planets and our solar system, the stars, and galaxies.

When searching for a kids telescope, you may want to strike a balance between not spending too much and not buying low-quality equipment because after all you want them to end up loving astronomy.

Having said this, you should consider that computerized telescopes are not recommended for children between the ages of 6-10, as they are more difficult to use.

When it comes to young kids, you need to remember they need instant gratification and are liable to get easily bored with any activity. Furthermore, their lack of appreciation for the value of money may cause them to treat the equipment rather harshly and with negligence.

For young children, the ideal telescope would be small, cheap and easy to use. They can use it to observe the Moon’s craters, as well as the brightest stars and planets.

What Key Features to Look for When Purchasing a Telescope for Kids

Overall, the main features of a kids telescope should be: durable, easy to use, with a compact size, lightweight, and capable of providing a clear view of the moon and the nearby planets. It should also be affordable because your child can break something by accident and will definitely outgrow it in the following years.

To this end, you should look at models with height adjustable tripods so that your kid can use it for several years in a row. Similarly, you should look at finder scopes – these will make it a little easier to pinpoint objects in the sky.

After all, older children feel best when treated as adults, so consider choosing a model with higher quality optics for them.

Where Should You Buy Your Telescope From?

You may initially ask yourself where to buy the telescope from. Although you could get something cheap from a department store, our recommendation is to go for entry-level telescopes sold by established brands.

Having said this, we believe that once you’ve decided to invest in a telescope, you’d benefit more if you bought from a trusted manufacturer that can guarantee more precise and higher-quality equipment.

A Brief Review of The Best Telescopes for Kids

1. BEST OVERALL: Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope

Pros

  • Dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing
  • Easy no-tool assembly
  • Easy to use
  • Deluxe tray for your accessories
  • Free app (Celestron’s free SkyPortal app for iOS and Android devices)

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a battery – it requires one Lithium-ion battery
  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case
  • The tripod can be a bit wobbly and the mount can suffer vibrations

Overview

The Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope is a good-quality starter telescope for any age, designed for both terrestrial and celestial viewing. This is due to its all-coated, glass, erect image optics and its permanently mounted StarPointer finderscope.

Its Optical Tube Length is 914 mm and the Optical Lens Diameter is 70mm. It has a simple no-tools setup, and it’s easy to use. It also has a preassembled sturdy steel tripod with 3.17 cm diameter steel tube legs, which create a rigid viewing platform for a much-improved image.

This scope also comes with a deluxe accessory tray for convenient storage of all your accessories, with two eyepieces, and a 90-degree elbow to turn refracted imagery right-side up.

What It Does Best

Due to its 70mm aperture, it accurately locates and tracks sky objects and gives accurate views of the land. Its erect image diagonal makes it possible to have a great day viewing experience as well. You will be able to see the moon in great detail, with all its craters, Jupiter’s moons and Saturn rings, and other celestial objects that are relatively close, as well as some star clusters and nebulae.

It’s great for kids due to its ease of use, the sturdiness of its stand and the clear images it provides. It can be a great learning tool, complete with an enormous 10.000 object database software, with 75 enhanced images and maps that you can print for your child.

Flaws but Not Deal Breakers

Some users found it very long. So if you are planning to take it somewhere with you, make sure to get a large enough case (with padding).

You may also find that it’s a bit difficult to balance the eyepieces. The tripod and mount may be quite wobbly and shaky.

Although it provides an accurate detailed view of the moon, it can be more difficult to see the stars and farther planets with it.

For older and keener kids, who may want to explore more, you may need to buy some extra accessories, such as lenses, doublers, filters.

What Other Customers Think

Overall, the customers are satisfied with the quality of this telescope for the price it’s listed under. As they claim, it’s very good for kids, as it’s easy to assemble and use, offering great images of the Moon and some closer planets and galaxies. Despite its minor inconveniences, many customers were pretty happy with their purchase.

Should You Buy It?

If you’re looking for a good entry-level telescope that can be used for both celestial and terrestrial viewing, this one is well worth your attention. It’s actually the most popular beginners’ telescope on the market and certainly very child-friendly. Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ comes with important benefits that will definitely serve as an important learning tool for the young astronomers out there.


2. BEST PORTABLE: INTEY Ultra-Clear Portable Astronomy Telescope

Pros

  • It’s compact and lightweight
  • Stable and adjustable tripod
  • Adjustable height
  • Easy to assemble
  • High magnification and bright images
  • Offers an omnidirectional observation of the land and the sky
  • It comes with a portable backpack

Cons

  • The stand can be a little bit flimsy

Overview

The INTEY Ultra-Clear Portable telescope was designed specifically for beginners, offering the possibility of omnidirectional 360 exploration of the land and the sky, thanks to its handle. It has a 70mm aperture, a 5X24 finderscope and the latest generation of Kellner eyepiece(K), which ensures a good image quality. It has a high 5X magnification feature, providing a K6mm eyepiece for 67X, K25mm eyepiece for 16X, with a focal length of 400mm.

It has a scalability aluminum tripod, whose height can be adjusted from about 40.6 cm to 1m 41 cm. The tripod, together with the universal wheel, provide a more stable base.

It also comes with a dust shield and dust cap, which protect the telescope from fogging of its primary mirror.

It’s compact, as well as easy to assemble and disassemble. It comes with a backpack that allows you to store it, carry it anywhere, while also enabling you to protect it from havoc-wreaking elements such as wind, excessive sunlight, and dust.

What It Does Best

This telescope can be great for kids to discover the Moon, as well as the nearby planets and some nebulae. Its high magnification offers the possibility of observing the habits of animals and small insects. Many customers were satisfied with the quality of the lenses and the telescope’s good focus, which ensure a clear viewing experience.

Flaws but Not Deal Breakers

It’s a good telescope for beginners, but more advanced users will want something with improved optical zoom in order to explore the sky in more depth.

Lastly, according to some users, the stand can be a little flimsy, making it difficult to keep the telescope perfectly aligned.

What Other Customers Think

Most reviewers seem to love the product for its portability, easiness of setup and use, its clear focus, high magnification and adjustability. They also seem to like that it’s made of qualitative materials, that it comes with a backpack and clear instructions, while also being reasonably priced.

It seems that most customers’ kids were also enthusiastic about this telescope, having great learning experiences in the process. It also has some small flaws, but overall it’s a pretty good choice for beginner astronomers.

Should You Buy It?

INTEY Ultra-Clear Portable is a great choice if you’re looking for something that will allow your kid the possibility of exploring the sky. Its adjustable height, as well as the flexibility of its handle make it easy to use for both children and adults. Overall, the telescope comes with pretty high-quality materials and will spark your child’s curiosity for astronomy.


3. BEST BUDGET: Celestron 76 mm Firstscope

Pros

  • 76 mm aperture reflector optical tube
  • Lightweight and compact, which makes it portable and easy to store
  • Easy to use
  • Has a stylish and decorative design

Cons

  • You may need to buy an extra accessories kit
  • Its instructions are not very detailed
  • Comes with no finder scope
  • It has a lower light gathering ability

Overview

The Celestron 76 mm Firstscope telescope is an astronomical telescope, designed for the entry-level users out there. It has a 76 mm reflector optical tube and 2 eyepieces: a 15 mm one (15 power) and a 4mm one (75 power). It has a 300 mm focal length and a focal ratio of 3.95. Its highest useful magnification is 180 x and lowest useful magnification 11 x. The limiting stellar magnitude of this telescope is of 11.9.

Having said said, the FirstScope telescope is compact, easy to store and carry around. Its construction also makes it easy to use – you can navigate the night sky by simply moving the tube in the direction of the desired object.

This telescope has a stylish Dobsonian design, its looks constituting a tribute to all of history’s most notable astronomers and their contributions to the field. Besides its utility, this telescope can also be a great decorative item for a child’s bookshelf or desk.

What It Does Best

The FirstScope telescope is a good instrument for first-timers, allowing them to see a clear detailed image of the moon and to get a great perspective on other planets and stars in our Solar System. Its stable construction ensures that it’s a child-friendly and easy-to-use option, and despite its small size, it is a fully functioning telescope, making it a great purchase for anyone.

Flaws but Not Deal Breakers

Some customers found that the optics of this telescope are not high enough to explore in great detail any celestial objects that are farther than the moon. In order to have a better view of these objects, they recommend buying an extra accessories kit, with higher quality lenses.

Also, some users would have liked to have more detailed instructions, a finder scope to more easily locate the planets and stars.

Also, because of its lower light-gathering ability, it can be used only when there is no light pollution.

What Other Customers Think

Most of the customers bought this product either for their kids or for themselves, as beginners. The great majority of them are happy with it, asserting that it offers good value at a decent price, it’s really easy to use and their children enjoyed it. Although it has some minor flaws, the telescope can be improved by buying some higher quality lenses. All in all, this is a great deal for anyone looking to initiate their kids into the field of astronomy.

Should You Buy It?

If you are on a budget and are looking for something compact, portable, easy to use, child-friendly and stylish, this scope would be a great choice. It’s great for children of any age (especially for younger ones), providing them some autonomy while using it, as its construction makes it stable and safe. While it may not provide detailed images of faraway stars, this telescope will show kids how great the exploration of the sky can be, leading them to want to see more and more and gain further knowledge.

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