There are very few things more interesting than outer space, which is one of the most beautiful sights we get to witness every night. Filled with endless stars, galaxies, moons, and planets, there’s so much to explore that you will be occupied for hours.
What could be better than some good old-fashioned family time spent exploring the endless beauty of the cosmos? Most children love everything to do with space, and by investing in a telescope, you can open a whole new world of possibilities for your children.
There are many highly-developed telescopes which have been specially designed for use with children. Whether you’re looking for your child’s first telescope or for a new telescope to upgrade the last, I’ve handpicked my favorite child-friendly telescopes.
Telescopes are packed with features which I explain in my comprehensive step-by-step buying guide, which will help you make the best decision for you and your child.
My Handpicked List of Telescopes for Little Space Explorers
To help introduce you to the wonderful world of astronomy, here are eight of my favorite child-friendly telescopes that can last your child a lifetime.
Table of Contents
- My Handpicked List of Telescopes for Little Space Explorers
- 1. Celestron 21036 PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope
- 2. TwinStar AstroMark 50mm Refractor Telescope Kids Pak Bundle
- 3. Black TwinStar 60mm Compact Kids Telescope
- 4. Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope
- 5. Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope
- 6. Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm AZ Refractor Telescope
- 7. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope
- 8. Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
- My Definitive Buying Guide on Telescopes for Your Little Astronauts
1. Celestron 21036 PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope
This telescope is ideal for beginners of all ages, so you will be able to learn with your child. To set it up, simply screw the scope to the base and you’re ready to go. This telescope has been designed for easy use for children under 6 years, and comes with a wide range of features.
The slow-motion controls allow your child to smoothly track objects as they fly through space. The image quality of this telescope is enhanced using the fully-coated glass optics which boasts high transmission coatings to add clarity and brightness to your images. There are three magnifying Barlow lenses in the eyepiece, and a custom accessories tray to store all space related equipment.
What’s Great About It: This telescope comes with a software package known as TheSkyX – First Light Edition, which is compatible with Windows or Mac computers. It grants you access to a database of over 10,000 astronomical objects, sky maps and enhanced images that can be printed.
2. TwinStar AstroMark 50mm Refractor Telescope Kids Pak Bundle
The TwinStar AstroMark is great value for money with plenty of features. Boasting a traditional design, this telescope sports a 50mm wide Achromatic objective lens complimented by a 600mm focal length, so your child can clearly view celestial objects with pure crystal-clear clarity.
This scope has 30x and 48x magnification thanks to the H20mm and the H12mm eyepieces. Both the mount and the full size tripod are including in the Kids Pak Bundle as well as a selection of child-friendly maps, computer software and glow-in-the-dark stickers.
What’s Great About It: This telescope is perfectly designed for beginners who love to use their own initiative. It comes with a full-color assembly guide that helps with the setup, and the entire kit is one of the most lightweight units on my list, making it ideal for kids to carry around and set up where they want it.
3. Black TwinStar 60mm Compact Kids Telescope
The sleek, lightweight and compact design of the TwinStar 60mm is the ideal traveling telescope for children who want to take their stargazing tool with them wherever they go. The scope has padded 6mm and 20mm eyepieces, so your child will be comfortable as they discover the universe.
Along with the two Barlow lenses and the 1.5x zoom eyepiece, you and your children can enjoy 15x and 50x magnification zoom levels, giving you crystal clear views of space.
What’s Great About It: This scope is lightweight and compact. Set up is as simple as attaching the scope to the tripod and the eyepiece to the scope.
4. Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope
The Celestron NexStar is well-suited for older children, and prides itself on its crystal-clear, high-definition lens that has an aperture of 130mm, and a focal length of 650mm. The internal lenses boast a field of view of up to 1.7° and a linear view of 91 feet.
The magnification scale starts at 19x and goes up to 307x, giving you unbelievable images that are bright and full of clarity. The mount from the scope to the base is motorized, giving you full, steady, flawless control over the movement of the scope.
What’s Great About It: Perhaps the best feature of this scope is the built-in SkyAlign software and markings, which allow you to align up to three bright celestial objects so you can easily find constellations.
5. Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope
This model is aimed at older children and teenagers. Sporting a traditional large diameter scope body, the PowerSeeker houses three high-quality Barlow lenses which provide 127mm aperture and a 1000mm focal length. The simple design can be setup for use within a couple of minutes.
Each PowerSeeker comes with its own aluminium tripod and accessory tray. You can download the exclusive Celestron StarBase mobile app, available for smartphones or tablets, to learn more about the bright objects in the night sky.
What’s Great About It: Setup takes a few minutes and you can purchase extra lenses to increase your magnification range and your quality.
6. Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm AZ Refractor Telescope
If you’re looking for something a little bit more specialized and customizable, the Infinity Refractor Telescope may be the perfect choice for you. This telescope has a 70mm aperture, a 700mm focal length, and a Rack and Pinion focus system, so your child can enjoy high-quality, high-resolution images.
The base of the scope connects to the tripod using an Altazimuth mount, which has a control rod for precise tracking of moving objects. There are two eyepieces which offer a range from 6.3mm to 26mm.
What’s Great About It: This scope is one of the more affordable mid-range telescopes, which can be used by beginners. Each kit comes with a software disc and instructional video, allowing you to make full use of this telescope.
7. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope
If you’re looking for something for your teenager, look no further than the Orion SpaceProbe Telescope. It is the most fully-featured telescope on my list, boasting an incredible 5.1-inch aperture, so you can get crystal clear images of the planets and stars.
The scope is only 24-inches long, making it extremely portable, so it is the perfect choice for stargazers who want to have the freedom of movement. Each telescope comes with a telescope mount and adjustable tripod that prides itself on its slow-motion control rod, allowing you to precisely track moving objects.
What’s Great About It: The quality of the images is high enough that even seasoned professionals can enjoy using this device, while still being easy enough to use for the whole family.
8. Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
This is one of the most portable child-friendly telescopes, giving you the ability to use this scope wherever you go. You can enjoy clear, high-quality images due to the glass coated optics, and all images are steady as a result of the erect image diagonal markings, which allow you to line up and focus each shot.
The scope is easy and fast to setup, and requires no tools. The custom travel backpack allows you to safely store your telescope when it’s not in use.
What’s Great About It: The full access to TheSkyX – First Light Edition database, a database that houses over 10,000 objects found in space, means you can look up all the information you need to successfully enjoy stargazing.
My Definitive Buying Guide on Telescopes for Your Little Astronauts
It doesn’t matter whether you’re shopping online or at a local store, telescopes are packed with plenty of features, which can make it extremely difficult to know which one to get. To give you the best helping hand possible, scroll down for my complete buying guide to help you on your way.
Reflector or Refractor
There are three types of telescope to choose from; a reflector, refractor or compound. Compound telescopes are for professional use, so you will likely not choose this model.
Reflector telescopes are designed to only look into space. These telescopes are normally smaller and more compact, but will give great image quality when used for stargazing.
Refractor telescopes are typically longer and thinner, but can be used to view both intergalactic and earth-based objects. I recommend a refractor telescope to give your child the diversity of both views.
Aperture is a vital feature of any telescope, and it describes how much light the telescope lenses are able to capture. The higher your aperture figure, the clearer and brighter your images will be. It’s worth noting that the higher your aperture, the larger your telescope will be.
Magnification describes the amount a lens can zoom an image, allowing you to see it more up close.
For most telescopes, the eyepieces are removable and can be upgraded, so if your child needs a better magnification, you can simply get the next one up.
The focal length refers to the distance between your mirrors or lenses found inside the scope. The longer this distance is, the larger your image will be. When shopping for your child, always buy the largest possible focal length so your child can see clearly.
This feature is dependent on personal preference. Some telescopes can come with a built-in computerized system that you can control from using a remote, smartphone or tablet. It causes the telescope to automatically track any stars or planets you want it to. This is ideal for beginners, but it can increase the price tag quite drastically.
Telescopes are specialist pieces of equipment, and only a few models exist that are aimed specifically for young children, which are built a bit more durably. However, most telescopes are built to an extremely high-quality and must be treated with care.
There are a lot of fragile parts on a telescope and if used carelessly, your telescope may break. Make sure that your child is aware that the telescope is to be handled with care, and that they should move slowly and carefully when walking near it.
Telescopes can be a big investment into your child’s future. It’s an amazing hobby that is practiced all over the world, and is great for the whole family. Astronomy is an amazing hobby that will allow your child to explore the corners of space as well as their imagination.
With positive encouragement and investing in the right telescope for your child, you could spark a hobby that lasts a lifetime.