Buying a telescope for your child can introduce them to the joys of stargazing and incite a life-long love for space. Whether you have a budding Galileo or an inquisitive scientist in your family, a kid-friendly telescope makes the perfect gift for building a new hobby of backyard astronomy. However, since children can easily lose interest in a telescope that is too complicated or produces blurry results, it’s important to carefully evaluate beginner telescopes based on their lens size, magnification, eyepiece, and usability. Luckily, below we’ve created a list of the top 10 telescope for kids to take the guesswork out of helping your children study the glories of the night sky.
1. Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope
Featuring an easy no-tool setup and a permanently mounted StarPointer, the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope is designed for both terrestrial and celestial viewing. Atop the pre-assembled tripod with stable steel legs, the telescope has all-coated glass optics to deliver crystal-clear images with 45x magnification. Not only is the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ backed by a two-year warranty, but it also comes with planetarium software for accessing a database of 10,000 celestial objects.
2. Educational Insights Nancy B’s Science Club Moonscope
Designed by scientist Nancy Balter, the Educational Insights Nancy B’s Science Club Moonscope is appropriate for kids ages 8 to 11 to tour the nighttime sky up to 90x magnification with a unique moon filter. As a 2014 Toy of the Year Award finalist, this telescope features built-in red LED light and a pre-aligned finder scope for easy use. Nancy B’s Science Club Moonscope also comes with a 22-page Star Gazers Journal packed with fun observation activities and interesting facts about lunar phases.
3. TwinStar AstroMark Refractor Telescope
With 50 mm achromatic objective lens and a 600 mm focal length, the TwinStar AstroMark Refractor Telescope is ultra-lightweight and easy for children to use as their beginner scope. At up to 75x magnification, the full-featured telescope is ideal for viewing the Moon, counting Saturn’s rings, witnessing the Orion Nebulae, bird watching, and mountain grazing. The TwinStar AstroMark Refractor Telescope features a durable aluminum tripod with an altazimuth mount for simply pointing and shooting within five minutes of opening.
4. iOptron iExplore 50AZ Refractor Telescope
As a beginner’s scope, the iOptron iExplore 50AZ Refractor Telescope is equipped with 50 mm fully coated glass lens and a long 600 mm focal length for increased magnification. When purchasing this telescope, you’ll receive two eyepieces, an easy-to-use finderscope, diagonal lens, and an adjustable aluminum tripod. In addition to producing crisp images of the Moon and stars, but the iOptron iExplore 50AZ Refractor Telescope also can be used for observing birds and animals with no tools necessary.
5. TwinStar AstroMark Refractor Telescope with Kids Pak Bundle
Achieving magnifications from 30x to 75x with two included eyepieces, the TwinStar AstroMark Refractor Telescope has a full-sized tripod and altazimuth mount for quick assembly. Known for its bright pink color, this telescope comes with a step-by-step online assembly guide to quickly begin viewing the night sky. Within the Kids Pak Bundle, children will also enjoy 100 laminated lunar cards, a Star Pilot Space Kit, activity book, and 12 glow-in-the-dark stickers.
6. EduScience Land & Sky 360 Tabletop Refractor Telescope
Made from durable yet lightweight aluminum, the EduScience Land & Sky 360 Tabletop Refractor Telescope offers a 90-degree diagonal eyepiece to allow children to observe at a comfortable angle. Delivered with a tripod base, star chart, instruction manual, and fun educational software, the telescope boasts a long focal length of 360 mm. The EduScience Land & Sky 360 Tabletop Refractor Telescope is the perfect size for young preschool-age children to view objects in the night sky or on land during daytime.
7. My First Lab Stargazer Telescope
Offered exclusively on Amazon, the My First Lab Stargazer Telescope allows for 45x, 90x, 100x, and 150x magnification through high-quality glass optics lens. With a dovetail bar tube attachment for quick release, the telescope stands atop a heavy-duty tripod and accessory plate for ultimate stability. After a relatively quick setup process, the My First Lab Stargazer Telescope is ready for use with children over the age of three years old.
8. Celestron Cosmos FirstScope Telescope
Built with a portable tabletop Dobsonian design for amateur astronomers of all ages, the Celestron Cosmos FirstScope Telescope includes a large 76 mm primary mirror to give the Newtonian reflector telescope plenty of light for crisp detail. Thanks to the StarPointer finderscope and two easy-to-use Kellner eyepieces, kids can start viewing Jupiter and Saturn within minutes. Along with its decorative nebula wrap, buyers receive a Cosmic Calendar wall poster and a free mobile planetarium app.
9. Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope
Outfitted with a German equatorial mount, the Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope has slow motion controls for smooth tracking and 3x Barlow lens to triple magnifying power in each eyepiece. Backed by a two-year warranty, this Newtonian reflector telescope comes with free “The Sky” Level 1 software for use on your computer. With the Celestrong 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope’s 127 mm aperture and 1000 mm focal length, kids will explore terrestrial and astronomical views with enhanced image clarity.
10. Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope
Available in green or black, the Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope is a special limited edition scope equipped with three eyepieces, 3x Barlow lens, a full-sized metal tripod, and an accessory tray for convenient storage. Plus, the scope includes a unique red dot finderscope for easily locating objects in the night sky. Downloading the free SkyPortal mobile app will also enhance the experience of using the Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope’s 175x magnification to explore our solar system.