Top kid’s telescopes reviewed & buying guide
If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best telescope for kids, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our research the Celestron 21061 AstroMaster is the best since it is extremely easy to setup without the use of tools. Even though every aspect of this telescope is designed to be easy for children to operate, it is still capable of providing exceptional views. It comes with a 70mm aperture so even distant planets appear bright under high magnification. The pan handle style altazimuth mount ensures that kids can enjoy smooth and accurate pointing. If the the Celestron 21061 AstroMaster is not available your second option should be the Orion 10033 FunScope.
Our Top Choice
The 21061 can be used with ease both by children and adults. It only takes a few minutes to set up this telescope, which is why you’ll be able to get it up and running in a timely fashion. The aperture makes this Celestron model great for watching the Moon and various other planets. The model is also quite budget-friendly compared to others.
Since this model comes without a case, you will have to buy one separately, or look for one that comes with a protective case.
As it offers good value for the money, the 21061 AstroMaster deserves your consideration.
The 10033 is not great just for kids but can also be used by the entire family to test the waters of stargazing. Its affordable price makes it a must-have instrument. The 76mm diameter optics can collect a lot of light to let you get a better view of the night’s sky. It has a portable design that allows it to be used on field trips and while camping under the stars.
This telescope is quite easy to use by children. However, kids under the age of 8 years old might find this model a bit difficult to handle.
This versatile alternative manages to offer some great features and performance for a very low price point.
Also To Consider
The 21024 is one of the most lightweight and compact options we have come across, which means you can use it in a variety of places and configurations. The 76mm aperture of the FirstScope enables you to visualize both the Moon and the rest of the planets in our galaxy conveniently and efficiently. You can comfortably place the telescope on your desk and use it.
Compared to other products in this line, this model does not seem to have a very sturdy construction, which might turn off possible buyers.
Since it doesn’t cost a fortune, the 21024 might be worth investing in, especially as it is geared toward beginners.
The best telescope for children will be durable, easy to use and capable of providing kids with a clear view of the moon and nearby stars. It will also come at an affordable price since chances are your child will outgrow it in a few years. Deciding between the various makes and models can be overwhelming, which is why we included the following tips in this helpful buying guide.
Ease of use
According to the best telescope reviews the first and most important aspect to consider is how easy it is to setup and use. If it takes too long to setup or is difficult to operate chances are kids will become bored and the telescope will simply be a waste of your money, that is if you don’t intend to get a Dobsonian telescope, so check this out to find out more. Models that do not require any tools for assembly are always recommended, along with ones that are simple to focus and adjust. To keep kids interested and make it easier for them to find nearby stars and planets you might want to consider paying a little extra for a telescope that comes with informative software. These models generally come with a helpful owner’s guide that can make the telescope even easier to use.
Aperture and magnification
Even the best telescope for beginners can provide you with amazing views of the night sky, as long as it comes with high quality optics. This is also true regarding ones designed for kids, and it is something you might want to consider if you want the telescope to be able to “grow” with your child. If the kids telescope already comes with powerful optics chances are you won’t have to replace it as your child’s skills and interest in astronomy grows.
A telescope with a larger aperture is always recommended since this ensures that even distant planets, nebulas and star clusters are bright and clear. Since a larger aperture is capable of gathering more light, you can use a high magnification eyepiece without worrying about losing image clarity. Some telescopes also come with an erecting eyepiece so you can even use it for terrestrial viewing, but try to use a borescope inspection camera, as described here, for pipes and other tight spots. This can not only help kids from becoming bored, it might even get them interested in nature.
Models that come with height adjustable tripods are always an advantage, though you do want to make sure that it is sturdy enough to support the weight of the telescope. Models that come with finder scopes make it a little easier to pinpoint objects in the sky, and this is something that even experienced astronomers can appreciate. Some telescopes come with altazimuth mounts so you can enjoy smooth tracking and panning, while others allow you to simply move the optical tube manually. Since the telescope will be used by children you will probably want it to be lightweight and durable. Most models geared for kids are designed to be lightweight so they are easy to carry, but this is still something that you might want to consider.
5 Best Telescopes for Kids (Reviews) in 2021
Getting kids interested in astronomy early is easy if you have the right telescope. While we can’t choose the model for you we can help you make an informed decision, which is why we have the best telescope for kids showcased below.
1. Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope
Not only is this a great telescope for kids, it can also be enjoyed by adults. Thanks to the “quick release” dovetail mount it is a breeze to setup without the use of tools.
In most cases it only takes a couple of minutes then it is ready to provide you with amazing views of the sky.
Since it also comes with an erect image optic the AstroMaster can even be used for most terrestrial viewing applications.
The 70mm aperture is what makes this telescope a good choice for kids and adults. It also ensures that it is a good value for your money since children can enjoy this telescope for years.
The large object lens ensures that plenty of light is gathered so even distant galaxies and planets are crisp and clear. To make it a little easier to locate stars and other celestial objects it comes with a permanently mounted finder scope. It also comes with Celestron’s top rate planetarium software.
This makes a great means of getting your children started on the science of astronomy, as it is quite easy to use even for those who have no idea how to view nighttime sky objects through a telescope.
The revolutionary equatorial mount facilitates the easy tracking of objects in the sky, keeping them centered as you follow them across the sky.
This is a dual-purpose device that doubles as a long-range spotting scope as well, perfect for use in birdwatching, hunting, or golf.
Able to deliver clear, vivid images, the telescope enables you to view fine details in objects that you look at, so you can study them more intensively.
With the purchase of this product, you get free access to downloadable material such as the SkyPortal app for iOS and Android devices, which enables you to identify countless celestial objects.
The device doesn’t come with a case and this makes it difficult to transport and carry to your favorite celestial observation spot.
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2. Orion 10033 FunScope 76mm TableTop Reflector Telescope Moon Kit
Don’t let the name of this product mislead you; while this telescope is very fun to use, it is not a toy and it boasts a high-quality polished spherical mirror with a diameter of 3 inches. Thus, the instrument is capable of capturing a lot of light, especially when compared to the typical beginner kids’ telescopes.
This will allow it to get images that are brighter and clearer so that you can get breathtaking pictures of the night’s sky. You also get a set of useful accessories including a 20mm eyepiece capable of giving a 15x magnification and an even more powerful 10mm eyepiece which will magnify your view up to 30x.
Simplicity is another key factor with this model which is why the reflector telescope comes pre-assembled and with a sturdy table-top base. You may also mount it on a tripod if you wish since the unit comes with a built-in tripod adapter.
It comes with the Orion MoonMap 260 which will let you identify the craters and lunar features so that you can learn new things while observing the moon’s surface.
The FunScope is very portable and it weighs less than 4 pounds which means that you should have no problem taking it with you on field trips, camping, or for a quick adventure in your backyard.
We noticed that customers were also quick to praise the sleek design of the telescope which will look great in your kid’s bedroom.
While the unit comes with a built-in table-top tripod, you can still attach a tripod of your choosing if you want to take it outside.
The unit is ready to use out of the box – all you will need to do is remove the dust cover and put the eyepieces on.
As is expected from its low price point, this option comes with only the bare accessories.
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3. Celestron 76 mm Firstscope
Priced to fit almost any parents’ budget and incredibly easy to use, there is very little not to like about this telescope.
Its compact design and lightweight construction ensure that it is easily portable so your child can take it to astronomy club or along on vacations for a different view of the night sky.
Its small size also makes it a breeze to store, though its stylish design ensures that it will look great sitting out on a desk.
Tracking objects and scanning the night sky is easy with the moveable optic tube. Since it doesn’t come with a mount setup is a breeze.
The 76mm aperture ensures that distant planets, stars and nebulas are bright and clear, and since it comes with two eyepieces your child can get started scanning the sky right out of the box.
Perfect for building a new generation of deep-sky explorers, this telescope comes with a 76mm aperture reflector optical tube that is unaffected by chromatic aberration for clear, fuzz-free images.
You and your child can enjoy easy navigation and handling when viewing celestial objects together thanks to the movable design of the tube.
The telescope is equipped with a rotating tabletop stand that facilitates the effortless viewing of the night sky. Simply adjust the tube based on the object’s direction and look through the eyepiece.
Lightweight and portable, the scope can be carried easily to your favorite celestial viewing spot because it will not weigh you down.
When not in use, the instrument makes a great decorative fixture on any desk or bookshelf.
Some customers prefer to get their own set of eyepieces but it should be remembered that this product is not marketed as a professional scope and is more geared toward the uninitiated in astronomy.
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4. Outnowtech Titan 16×40 High Powered Monocular Telescope
Kids and adults will enjoy using this high powered monocular. Its lightweight build and compact size make it easy to take with you almost anywhere, and it is durable enough to withstand rugged outdoor conditions.
The tough rubber casing is also textured to provide you with a secure and comfortable grip.
When you need to focus simply twist the eyepiece to bring objects sharply into view. It also comes with a 40mm aperture so you can enjoy bright clear views during the day and in low light settings.
With 16x magnification even distant objects will appear clearly defined, which makes these monocular a great choice for birders and hunters.
When you want to see clear views of the night sky you can easily purchase the necessary electronics. Best of all the TITAN comes at a price that almost anyone can afford.
This high-powered monocular telescope delivers spectacular images with bright and vivid detail even in low light conditions aside from providing good daylight performance.
Allowing you to perform easy focus using just one moving component, the telescope offers one-handed operation that anyone can do by themselves, whether child or adult.
The device comes with a durable and solid construction, from the rubber outer shell to the contoured surface that provides a secure grip and the replaceable wrist strap that helps prevent unintended dropping.
The scope offers versatile functionality as it can be used for birdwatching, wildlife observations, and watching sports action from a distance.
Lighter and even smaller than a pair of binoculars, this telescope can be easily carried anywhere in your briefcase or purse for convenience and easy access.
Designed as a handy tool for on-the-road functionality, this product is not intended to replace a professional astronomy observation device for tackling large science projects.
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5. Geertop 90X Portable Astronomical Refractor Tabletop High Quality
Priced to fit almost any budget and easy for kids and adults to use, this portable telescope from Geertop might be the best choice for you.
It comes with everything budding astronomers need to get started, and the erecting image eyepiece makes this telescope a good choice for viewing objects on land. It also comes with an altazimuth mount so you can track and scan vertically and horizontally.
With a 50mm aperture distant objects will appear bright and clear with almost any magnification.
The 360mm focal length is ideal for focusing on a single planet or to enjoy wider views of the night sky. Since it comes with two eyepieces, you can use this telescope as soon as it is setup.
You will also appreciate the lightweight aluminum tripod that is still capable of providing you with a stable base. Not only does this make it easy to set the telescope up at home, but also at astronomy club or out in a field.
Engineered as a portable refractor tabletop telescope, this piece of equipment makes a great gift for kids and amateur astronomers to give them an opportunity to enjoy great observation performance during celestial exploration or studies.
This device doubles as a long-range spotting scope for birdwatching, adding to its versatility and flexibility.
The scope ships with a 1.5X erect image eyepiece that serves to raise the instrument’s magnification capability and also corrects the orientation of the image for effortless viewing.
The altitude- azimuth mounting system provides trouble-free adjustment on both the horizontal and vertical axes so you can follow celestial objects as they dance or move from one end of the sky to the other.
This telescope accommodates a variety of magnification eyepieces for a variety of observation options at different distances and for different object sizes.
Young astronomy enthusiasts may need assistance adjusting the focuser at the onset until they can do it by themselves.
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Discover with Dr. Cool Lunar
If you are looking for a telescope for your young budding astronomer this affordable model by Discover with Dr. Cool might be just what you and your child need.
The company has received over 100 awards for quality, value and educational content and it also backs the telescope with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. This assures you that the Lunar telescope is a good value for your money.
Even though this is considered a “toy” telescope it is still capable of providing your child with amazing views of the Moon and nearby stars, thanks to its high quality glass optics.
You will appreciate the fact that it only takes less than a minute to setup, and it is just as easy to store. Since it comes with low and high magnification eyepieces your child can immediately start scanning the lunar surface.
As an added bonus the telescope comes with a fun activity book, along with an easy to read educational guide. To help keep your child excited about learning the telescope even comes with an authentic meteorite.
Perfect for the beginner astronomer, this lunar telescope science kit comes with the scope, an aluminum tabletop tripod, an actual meteorite from space, 18x and 90x eyepieces, a full-color teacher-written educational adventure guide, and an activity booklet with plenty to offer for the young astronomer.
The lunar telescope features high-quality optical glass lenses that enable the viewing of fine detail in celestial objects including the moon craters.
The scope itself is easy to use, with less than a minute of work for setup and simple horizontal and vertical adjustments that simplify celestial exploration.
The scope is kept stable thanks to the supplied tabletop tripod that holds the device steady and also allows you to do celestial viewing with your friends and family.
Because the adventure guide was written by teachers, it offers much information on the moon and space, which nicely supplements the activity booklet that contains puzzles, fun activities, and interesting challenges.
This is pretty much designed for younger kids who can really appreciate using a starter type of device without too many expectations on such a product.
One user says the photo makes the actual product look bigger than it really is.