A telescope opens up a whole new world to children. However, not all children’s telescopes are created equal. When looking to purchasing the best telescope for your kids, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, you should aim to purchase a relatively inexpensive telescope until you know how long the child’s interest will last. Second, you should consider how easy to use a telescope for kids really is. Third, you should consider the quality of the telescope. Factors such as the size and type of the eyepiece can affect the quality of the scope. Finally, you should consider the scope’s flexibility. Your child will likely get more use out of a telescope they can use to explore both the world and outer space. Following are five inexpensive, reliable, easy to use, and versatile telescope ideal for introducing a child to the wonders of the nighttime sky.
|PRODUCT||SUGGESTED AGES||APERTURE SIZE (mm)||PRICE||QUALITY|
|Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ||6 - 18+ Years||70 mm||$$||5 / 5|
|TwinStar AstroMark 50mm||4 - 14 Years||50 mm||$||4 / 5|
|Educational Insights Set||8 - 12 Years||50 mm||$$||3.5 / 5|
|My First Lab Stargazer||4 - 12 Years||45 mm||$$$||4 / 5|
|TwinStar AstroMark Portable 80mm||6 - 18+ Years||80 mm||$$$||4 / 5|
Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ
Despite being an affordable telescope, the Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ is not cheap in construction or performance by any means. In fact, although it is often recommended as a telescope for children, it’s rarely marketed as such. Celestron is known for quality, and even though this scope is at the lower end of the products they offer, it is within the price range of most quality kid’s telescopes AND it is good enough to be used well past just the “beginner” stage of astronomy and even into intermediate celestial observing. Its 70mm aperture, 700mm focal length, and 3x Barlow lens lend both children and adults a detailed view of the nighttime sky. Using this telescope, the craters on the moon or the rings on Saturn should be clearly visible. The included SkyX Planetarium software offers children the ability to locate and learn about any one of 10,000 nighttime objects, while its notool setup makes it fast and easy to get the telescope working right out of the box. To make it even easier to use, consumers can align the scope in the daytime and boasts an altazimuth instead of an equatorial mount. The addition of a two year warranty helps to give consumers the confidence that they are purchasing a quality product. The only downside to the PowerSeeker is its inability to follow the objects being observed automatically, requiring the user to manually follow them in order to keep them from disappearing from sight.
TwinStar AstroMark 50mm
The TwinStar AstroMark telescope is an excellent choice for introducing children to astronomy because it is simple to use. This telescope boasts an altazimuth mount and regular-sized tripod that allows the scope to be set up within five minutes of the box being opened. In addition, the telescope works on a point and shoot basis, allowing even children to easily operate the telescope without the frustration of using a more complicated telescope. Besides its simplicity of use, the AstroMark offers good magnification in two eyepieces, from 30x to 75x. This telescope also makes a good choice for children because it can be used not only to observe the nighttime sky but also to explore terrestrial objects such as mountains and trees. Its design makes it comfortable to use for most children and adults, while it also makes a good choice for anyone living in an apartment and needing a lightweight, easy to use, and soundlyperforming scope.
Educational Insights Telescope and Microscope Set
The Educational Insights Telescope and Microscope Set combines a telescope and microscope into a single set. The set is designed to offer an introduction to astronomy and microbiology to children 8 and up. The telescope boasts magnification from 20x to 80x and comes with two eyepieces. Its tabletop design make it portable and easy for children to use. The microscope magnifies up to 600x and comes with pre-prepared slides as well as the option for children to create their own slides to explore. Consumers report that the set is occasionally difficult to set up, but that it is capable of capturing the interest of children and therefore offering a fun window into the world of astronomy and of microscopes.
My First Lab Stargazer
The My First Lab Stargazer is a quality telescope built to last. Its durable construction distinguish it from other children’s telescopes, which sometimes receive criticism for feeling too flimsy. This scope rests on a metal tripod which can be adjusted based on the height of the child using the tool. Its glass optics and stable, steel tripod base guarantee that it will survive use even by children who can sometimes be rough with their belongings. In addition, the Stargazer performs well. The telescope offers four levels of magnification (45x, m90x, 100x, and 150x), along with a 2x barlow lens and 9mm and 20mm eyepieces. The result is a tool that allows children to enjoy their very first views of objects such as the moon, stars, or other planets. Other appealing features of the scope include an altazimuth mount and ability to swivel for even easier operation. Consumers report having an easy time setting up the scope and enjoying relatively detailed views of the nighttime sky, such as the rings on Saturn.
TwinStar AstroMark Portable 80 mm Refractor
The TwinStar AstroMark portable refractor telescope is an excellent choice for children because of its versatility. First, the scope can be used to enjoy a wide array of terrestrial views, from birds and animals to faroff city views. These views are made possible by the scope’s refractor setup and 45 degree prism that automatically provides views right side up. In addition, kids can use the telescope to explore nebulae, enjoy deep space views, and gain detailed looks at objects such as the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. These views are made possible by the 16x and 40x magnification, 400mm focal length, and 80mm lens. In addition to these views, the AstroMark is portable and easy to use, with a miniature tripod. Its accessories, such as Kellner eyepieces and finder scope round out its powerful capabilities, enjoyable views, and child-friendly size and ease of use. Consumers in particular praise the finder scope for being easy to use. The only downside to the telescope is that the optics themselves may not always be as good as they are in more expensive or advanced telescopes, though they should still provide engaging and detailed views for children and beginner stargazers.
Affordability and quality are possible in a telescope, even when purchasing one suitable for use by a child. The right beginning telescope for a child will usually cost less than $200, but will also be easy to use, versatile, and fun. The result will be a tool that will introduce the child to the world of astronomy, pique their interest in the world, and outer space around them, and perhaps spark an interest that will last a lifetime. In addition, the right first telescope for a child can possess not only the features that make it fun and easy to use for a child but also features, such as quality eyepieces and stunning views, that will make observing the nighttime sky enjoyable for adults as well.