Finding The Right Kid’s Telescope

 

A telescope is one of the best powerful tools that you can own if you are really interested to see beyond the place we live in.  However, it would also take a little more skill, enthusiasm, and maybe a little more money on the pocket to have one that is powerful enough to look for those far-off stars and bodies beyond our galaxy.

 

And if you are buying one for your kid, there would be more considerations added on the list: your kid’s enthusiasm about looking for “things”, his adeptness to learn new things, his patience (it would not be very easy at first to learn how to focus and it also depends on the type of telescope you get).  

 

At best, make sure that your child has an interest in the use of the telescope.  Then consider his skill level at learning to operate new things. It might be good that at first, you consider buying a telescope that is easy to operate (which would not necessarily mean he will be able to see all things he wants to see).  If his confidence to operate one is achieved (and this takes a while), then maybe you can consider an upgrade.

 

Choosing the Best Telescope for Kids

 

So, based on what we have discussed earlier, it definitely doesn’t mean that expensive is better for your child.  If your child is having a hard time using the telescope, then his interest on the outside world might just fizzle out.  But once he learns to operate one, and see “things” then, you could be on the right track. The following are the things that you should consider in determining which telescope is best for your kids:

 

  • Ease of  operation
  • Features of the telescope
  • Quality
  • Limitations
  • Your child’s ability to learn new things
  • Your child’s interest

 

Ease of Operation

 

Alright, you were able to assemble the telescope, was able to see through your initial peer at the lenses.  Question is, what happens when it is your child’s turn to use it and no one is available to help him tinker with it: will he be able to find his way through things?  So your first consideration is the ease with which your child is able to operate the telescope. If he can easily do this, and even if initially he does not see very well, he will be motivated to try harder and find things on his own.

 

Features of the Telescope

 

Yes, it would be very fancy to have a high tech telescope with all the bells and whistles, but is it really what you need?  Remember that the eventual user is your kid so when it comes to the buying decision, you would have to ask him why in the first place he wants a telescope.  Maybe, you could consider first buying one that could give a clear view first of the bodies in the solar system-or maybe ask your kid what it is he would like to discover using his telescope.  Consider this: you would want to find a telescope that you can easily set up and use: no long hours of setting up and learning how to use. So in this case, just top whet you appetite for the stars, consider one with a big mirror.

 

Quality

 

When talking about telescopes, quality for me is the ability to stand the elements with regular use.  With a telescope this is most often used outside, so I believe, it would have to have a sturdy tripod (at the very least).  If possible, except for the camera itself, the mounts should be of metal.

 

Limitations

 

Again, for a first telescope (and for kids) set up should be hassle free.  At best, the first telescope should easily operated so as to be able to see heavenly bodies near the earth. Other farther suns and stars may be located on more high-grade telescopes later as the facility of the kid to use one is honed.

 

Your Child’s Ability to Learn New Things

 

Remember, keep pace with your child.  Make sure you give him something that he is able to learn rather than  one that creates fear or frustration. That telescope you saw might seem to be a bargain but can your child handle it?

 

Your Child’s Interest

 

Because you feel that teaching your child how to use a telescope would be a breeze, don’t rub it in if he isn’t showing any interest.  Ask, don’t push.

 

The  Best Telescopes for Your Kids

 

Having gone this far, you could be one of those lucky parents who found out their shared love to explore the skies with their child.  And now, you have to decide which of the available child’s telescopes you are to pick as your kid’s first telescope. Read on to see which one you should pick.

 

  1.  Black Twinstar Compact Kids Telescope

 

This telescope includes a full-sized tripod, a 6mm and 20mm eye-piece, 2 Barlow lenses, 1.5x erecting eye-piece, and 15x and 50x magnification.  A good starter telescope where kids can enjoy viewing the solar system and other stars

 

Weight:  4.1 lbs.

Suitable for ages 6 and up

 

Pros:  

  • easy to assemble
  • comes with 2 lenses that produces clear images

Cons:

  • it comes knocked-down but there are no assembly instructions
  • tripod is hollow and will fold with medium winds
  • the focus knob is not smooth and cannot be easily adjusted

 

What Buyers Say:

  • hard to focus
  • the tripod, though it looks sturdy is actually flimsy
  • side-mounted viewing scope did not align with telescope
  • tripod is flimsy but you can set it on a table

 

  1.  Discover with Dr. Cool: Lunar Telescope  for Kids

 

This starter telescope is specifically made to view and discover the moon, its area and its craters.  It has 2 lenses: the 18x magnification gives one a wide view of the moon while the 90x magnification gives you a close-up view of the moon with its craters.

 

Make:  Telescope-plastic; Tripod aluminum

Weight:  2.35 lbs.

Table-top tripod

Pros:

    • Easy to assemble and lightweight
    • Made to specifically get clear images of the moon

 

Cons:

    • Hard to focus: knob is tight so that you have to start over when you adjust
    • Better at viewing objects than bodies in the sky

 

What Buyers Say:

    • Can’t see anything through the eyepiece
    • Really just a toy for kids and doesn’t work as claimed
    • Looking through the lens is like taking a look with your naked eye

 

  1.  Ya Bei Shangmao Telescope for Children

 

This beginner’s telescope is easy to set up.  Kids will enjoy using this telescope bird-watching, mountain gazing, or skyline gazing for those high-rise city dwellers.  This telescope is a good beginner scope which kids could learn to focus on objects.

 

Weight:  1.55 lbs.

Make:  Environmentally friendly plastic

Magnification: 20x, 30x, 40x

Objective lens diameter: 60mm

Focal length: 170mm

Drawtube

 

Pros:

  • Altitude-Azimuth mounting: telescope may be moved vertically of horizontally (360 degrees)
  • no tool-assembly
  • lightweight  so easy to carry

Cons:

  • not made for star-viewing
  • is not as stable on the tripod:  should be placed atop a flat surface for ease of use

 

What Buyers Say:

  • okay with viewing things that are far away but not fitted for star gazing
  • lightweight causes it to be unstable
  • acceptable as a starter telescope although it would not give a clear image of items in space
  1.  Emarth Telescope, Travel Scope

 

This 70mm astronomical refracter telescope  has a focal length of 360mm and a 70 mm aperture, fully coated optical glass to create stunning images, and  interchangeable eye-pieces. This is a good starter telescope for kids to explore the stars.

 

Weight:  2.87 lbs.

Mount: Altazimuth

Eyepieces: K6mm:60X; K25mm:14.4X

Finderscope: 5×24 with Mounting Bracket
Prism: 90°Correct Image Prisms Diagonal
Tripod: 40cm Height Aluminum Tripod

 

Pros:

  • high magnification
  • can be set up without the use of tools
  • interchangeable eye pieces allow for better viewing
  • adjustable aluminum tripod
  • accompanying telescope set-up manual is very helpful
  • compact carrying case allows for easy and convenient transport of telescope for kids always on the go

 

Cons:

  • may be a bit too complex for operation by young kids
  • there is some set-up to be done: may need the help of an adult
  • tripod is short: may have to be mounted on top of a table

 

What Buyers Say:

  • Very compact and easy to carry anywhere
  • A good telescope for beginners as the magnifications provide better images that would want children to see more
  • Telescope is a bit more than a children’s toy so that even adults have a good time enjoying this with the kids
  • A bit small although this makes it convenient for the telescope to be carried around

 

  1.  ToyerBee Telescope for Kids

This kid’s telescope  has a focal adjuster with a focal length of 170 mm.  It has three different

magnifications: 20 x, 30x, and 40x.  Its objective diameter is 60mm. This telescope gives the children a better perspective of their surroundings as they explore nature and the skies.

 

Make:  Plastic

Weight: 1.28 lbs.

Draw tube

Lightweight tabletop tripod

Suitable for ages 8 and up

 

Pros:

  • easy set-up
  • good starter telescope as kids can focus easily as they develop more interest on things in space
  • easy on the pocket

Cons:  

  • the light weight makes the telescope sensitive to the slightest touch so it  either loses its focus or is toppled down

 

What Buyers Say:

  • a good starter telescope that can create excitement for kids aged 7.  Don’t expect to see much though
  • small investment to whet children’s curiosity for  outer space
  • usually banged around or dropped
  • very good distraction from Ipad
  • no instructions on how to set up

 

  1.  ToyBee Kids Telescope, DIY kids Telescope for Beginners

 

This do-it-yourself telescope allows children to be hands-on doing simple projects, outcome of which he could later make use of. This will help build confidence of the child and prepare him for more complex tasks.

 

Weight:  1.4 lbs.

Make:  Plastic

Do-it-yourself

Definitely just a beginner’s telescope

Can be used to observe things around clearly

 

Pros:  

  • a good toy to encourage creativity for kids
  • value for money
  • encourages interest in the kid’s surroundings

Cons:

  • might not be so powerful as to clearly see images in space
  • tripod is short so telescope  had to be put on top of a mount or table

 

What Buyers Say:

  • tripod is flimsy and is easily knocked over
  • screws are a bit long: may have to be shortened so they don’t stick out
  • has the basic features to view objects
  • a good toy that allows kids to be hands-on
  • the DIY concept is a good learning experience for kids

 

So what is the best telescope for Kids?

 

Based on the features and what the telescopes can offer, the best telescope for kids is the  ToyBee Kids Telescope, DIY kids Telescope for Beginners.  This telescope was chosen as the best for kids for the following reasons:

 

  • the DIY telescope enables kids to do simple projects by following instructions (e.g. setting-up of telescope)
  • assembling the telescope develops creativity and it also gives the child appreciation of each of the different parts of the telescope
  • Child learns on his own and this develops the child’s confidence
  • Having “built” the telescope on his own, he will be interested to “make it work” and discover new things operating the telescope
  • The whole process also develops the child’s patience.  

 

The DIY telescope may not be able to see through the stars but it is a good starter telescope that the child can learn to,operate and admire even just using it in his surroundings.  Maybe, as the child has developed the skills on focusing, then it will be time to upgrade to one that can “see “ through the stars.

 

Wrap-up

 

Most parents would hope that their children would have a leaning towards the sciences and giving a telescope as a gift would really be great.  However, parents should take note that the eventual user is the child and complex gifts as telescopes should be easily operable for them to appreciate it.  Otherwise, you might just end up with an expensive telescope that sits on your storage cabinet because your child gave up on it as he is not able to understand how to use it.  This was very evident with the customer reviews of all the 6 telescopes reviewed here. While parents rated some of the telescopes a low rate because it did not meet their expectations, the user or the child rated otherwise.  It is because the children have discovered something that they haven’t seen before. Pre-empting this discovery stage by giving your kid a complex telescope at the onset may only dampen his appetite to learn if he is not able to understand the device’s operation.  Remember: your child’s expectations and needs are different from yours.