Children are often fascinated with the night sky. From a young age, many are interested in learning more about the moon and the stars, which is one reason a telescope can make a great gift.
When you go looking for telescopes for children, price is often a good indication of what kind of real viewing power you’ll get, though it’s important to check out actual magnification power and lens sizes. Some scopes, on the lower end of the price range, are decorative toys to tantalize the imagination, while higher end instruments can actually function as real learning tools. Below is a spectrum of some popular telescopes for children.
1. 6″ Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box from ITDC
Ahoy, matey! The 6″ Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box from ITDC is every little pirate’s dream. This small and affordable telescope looks like a pirate’s spy glass and makes a terrific novelty or pirate party item, but it actually functions as a telescope that can magnify at about a 3x rate. Still, it primarily works to inspire a child’s imagination. It has a brass finish and comes in a decorative wooden box.
2. My First Lab Stargazer Telescope by My First Lab
The My First Lab Stargazer Telescope is made by My First Lab and is sold exclusively at Amazon. It comes with a tripod base to give it more stability, and the lens has several magnification ranges from 45x on up to 150x. It also comes with two differently sized eyepieces, 9 mm and 20 mm. It arrives with everything you need to set it up and is intended for children of all ages, though due to some small parts it is not recommended for children under 3.
3. 15″ Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box: Nautical Pirate Scope
The 15″ Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box: Nautical Pirate Scope is another toy telescope that will be enjoyed by young pirate enthusiasts. Its brass and leather detailing give it an authentic mariner look; it’s extendable and it also comes in an attractive wooden box. While it does function, it’s meant more as a cool decorative toy than high quality optics. Some customers mention that it can make a distinctive theater prop!
4. TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope
If your child is interested in astronomy and you’re looking for a good scope for beginning stargazing, you might want to take a look at the TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope. It has a full sized tripod and both 30x and 48x magnification. Twin Star calls this their “best value” scope, citing its 50 mm objective lens and 600 mm focal length. Birdwatching and city gazing are other activities kids can enjoy with this scope.
5. Black Twinstar 60mm Compact Kids Refractor Telescope
Another scope by Twin Star is the Black Twinstar 60mm Compact Kids Refractor Telescope. This small but elegant looking telescope comes with two eyepieces, 6 mm and 50 mm, and can magnify at 15x and 50x. Parents will appreciate its light weight and ease of assembly. It has a 2X Barlow Lens and 1.5x Erecting Eyepiece and is recommended for children 6 and older.
6. NSI Telescope by Smithsonian
The slim tabletop NSI Telescope by Smithsonian is a compact refractor telescope with interchangeable 25x and 125x eyepiece lenses. It weighs in at just two pounds and is recommended for children from 5-10 years old. It has a sleek metal tube and can be used for backyard and sports viewing as well as star gazing.
7. TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope
The TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope, already referenced above, appropriately comes in a shiny silver as well as plain white. In addition to the features already mentioned, this scope has an easy to use altazimuth mount. Parents will also appreciate the online assembly guide they’re given access to, which will make set up easy.
8. Scientific Explorer Terra Sky Explorer Kit
A fun and affordable gift for young scientists is the Scientific Explorer Terra Sky Explorer Kit. Recommended for kids 8 and up, this kit has a magnifying glass and microscope as well as a 12x magnification telescope. The kit is travel-sized so it can be tucked into a backpack and taken on outdoor scientific adventures. The microscope is handheld and zooms up to 40x, so young scientists can see small things close-up. The magnifying glass magnifies at 2x and 4x.
9. TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope
If you didn’t like it in white or silver, you can find the TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope in a cool midnight blue. Folks apparently just can’t get enough of this refractor telescope for kids, which is what makes it show up repeatedly on a list of popular choices. Recommended for kids 6 and up, it has an aluminum tripod and can be set up quickly and easily. The manufacturer claims you can see the moon, Saturn’s rings, and other objects in the night sky. The magnification power will allow children to identify stars and constellations.
10. TwinStar 60mm Compact Refractor AstroVenture Telescope
Light-weight, portable, and easy to assemble — what’s not to like about the TwinStar 60mm Compact Refractor AstroVenture Telescope in silver? It has strong enough magnification that kids 6 and up will be able to see the moon, Saturn’s rings, and some binary stars. The easy to assemble part is due to the fact that it has only four parts: the telescope itself, the tripod, the finder scope and the eyepiece.