Telescopes for kids
Children’s Telescopes – Certainly, one of the most common questions I get is “What kind of telescope is best for children?” Or “I’m looking for an affordable telescope for kids.”
Luckily, I have the answer for you.
Children’s telescopes need to be simple, but they also need to provide the child with a good view of what they are pointing it at. Therefore, we have to look at choosing a kids telescope wisely and make sure it’s going to be easy to use and be enjoyed at the same time.
We also have to think about the adults buying it and helping the child when they want to use it. Surprisingly, many adults need the telescope to be easy to use and be enjoyable too. Not to mention affordable. Telescopes can be complicated, confusing and expensive. The words you don’t want to hear when buying a children’s telescope.
In addition to this, watch out for is the type and quality of the telescope. You don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on a telescope which isn’t going to deliver good views of the Moon and planets and other bright night sky objects. Some kids telescopes aren’t much better than toys, give poor views and the child soon loses interest.
So, what makes a good Children’s Telescope?
- A children’s telescope needs to be small enough for the child to use comfortably.
- Optics and eyepieces etc have to be of a decent quality as well as the telescopes build.
- The telescope has to be affordable.
- Above all else, the Telescope has to be easy and enjoyable to use.
Cheap and nasty usually means the child won’t enjoy using it and it will get thrown away or never used. There’s no point in doing that.
What to Expect From a Kids Telescope – What are the views like?
I am not going to exaggerate like some telescope manufacturers do. Children’s telescopes are usually small and at the lower end of optical quality compared to more costly and advanced telescopes. They are designed to encourage your child’s interest and are not the be all and end all.
The Moon will look fantastic as well as other bright objects such as Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and a few deep sky objects. You may be able to see into the Great Orion Nebula and pick out the fuzzy shape of the Andromeda Galaxy and see many many stars, but that is all.
Don’t expect to see images in children’s telescopes like you do online or in books. These are taken with much bigger telescopes including the Hubble Space Telescope. You are never going to get images like this using your eye with a telescope. The human eye isn’t sensitive enough. You will however see, the disk and moons of Jupiter, The shape of the rings of Saturn, craters on the Moon, the disk of Mars and crescent of Venus as well as other bright objects.
Choosing the right Children’s Telescope
With the above in mind this has narrowed down our search for the right kind of telescopes for kids.
These are children’s telescopes so need to be small, simple to use and fun. Children come in various sizes as do telescopes so I have included various sizes. Please click or tap on the image to be taken to more info and where you can buy each telescope.
Tabletop Mini Dobsonian’s
You can learn more about the benefits of Dobsonian Telescopes here.
Small and Portable Refractor Children’s Telescopes
Larger Children’s Telescopes
Please see my other guides on this website for larger sized telescopes. Below is a small selection of mini Dobsonians suitable for children.
Buying a telescope can be confusing as you navigate the minefield of various types, sizes and specifications. This guide should help make it easier to buy the right telescope for small and large children. Good luck and enjoy your children’s Telescope.