Even for adults that vast size of space is incredibly interesting. It is no wonder that with inquisitive minds that all children possess that the power of a telescope can open up an entirely new world of questions. The thirst for knowledge of children whether it is trying to find objects in space or see different views of the moon. Finding the best telescope for kids will depend on a variety of factors.
For younger children trying to identify celestial objects and other objects in the sky an easy to use model is required. The last thing anyone wants is a telescope for kids that requires a Ph.D. to operate. Being able to see various constellations on a clear starry night in an area without light pollution can be astonishing. If your child is interested in a telescope it is important to learn about the product far before investing in one.
What is the best telescope to buy for a child?
Children differ in their maturity levels so it is important to take an honest look at the following telescopes to see which would be perfect for your child. These differ in price, durability, and quality so keep this in mind.
Ages 4 to 6
1. Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope
The Talking Telescope is one of the best telescopes for kids under the age of 6. This telescope is a combination of a telescope as well as a slide viewer. The telescope has the capability of 4 times magnification and can be used to focus on relatively close objects. The slides do come with an explanation of what the slide shows and why it is important. This can be the perfect start to getting your child involved with telescopes in an educational and easy to use fashion.
The toy does come with 24 slides but is not rechargeable so a healthy stream of batteries might be required for your young astronomer. Durability is not a concern as this can endure reasonable wear and tear when compared to more advanced telescopes.
Ages 6 to 10
1. Celestron's FirstScope
For children that are a bit too old for the Talking Telescope above Celestron's FirstScope can be a quality next choice for parents. Parents and children will be impressed with the quality of images produced at a reasonably affordable price. A dark location is required and all you have to do is insert one of two eyepieces to get great views of the moon.
The maximum magnification is an impressive 180 times that can help illuminate the night sky. The size and weight of the telescope make it easy to take on any adventure in a comfortable fashion. The telescope comes with two eyepieces but there is a package that can be purchased for an additional charge that will come with even more. This package also comes with astronomy software which will further add depth to the learning experience.
Ages 10 and Up
Children that are aged 10 and up can be trusted to handle more sensitive equipment. These telescopes for kids are going to be a bit more expensive but are still affordable when compared to their capabilities. At this age, it is more than possible that your child knows which telescope that they want you to purchase for them. This can be extremely helpful as your child could understand terms of importance that you are not familiar with.
1. NASA Lunar Telescope
The NASA Lunar Telescope is an easy to assemble model which works well for children ten years of age and older. It features a stable tripod setup and includes two eye pieces – one low and one high power. These are simple to adjust and place in the main telescope. The low power eyepiece is designed to see planets in low detail, including the moon. The high power eyepiece is strong enough to see the details of the moon, and an included handbook provides a thorough guide to the different craters and landmarks children will see on the surface.
2. Meade Polaris 130 EQ
For those kids that are both responsible and want to learn the Meade Polaris 130 EQ is for them. The manual that comes with the telescope can be enough to give a child a solid background in astronomy. The telescope comes with 3 eyepieces that can be used to change the intensity of magnification. The highest-powered eyepiece will be able to allow your child to view bright planets and make out details rather than just seeing it in a blurry fashion.
3. IDS Home Galaxy Tracker
Older children tend to be more responsible and intrigued by the science behind looking at space. For those who fit this bill, the IDS Home Galaxy Tracker is an excellent, high-power telescope designed to give kids a broad overview of the galaxy which surrounds them. It is a 30/60 telescope with a focal length of 50 mm. and an aluminum tripod which stands 15 in. tall. The IDS Home Galaxy Tracker is designed to sit on a desk or table to provide kids a better view out of the windows of their bedrooms.
Each Galaxy Tracker comes with the free download of the STAR WALK 2 app. This award-winning app serves as a virtual guide to using the telescope and viewing the highlights of the universe, including planets, notable constellations, and the surface of the moon. There are two separate eyepieces which change the viewing power of the telescope: 8.3mm and 16.6mm. A diagonal mirror is also included to adjust the viewing angle. One of the main perks of using the IDS Home Galaxy Tracker is the telescope and app can be used in tandem, providing an explanation of what a child is seeing and offering greater details about the solar system.
What is the best telescope for beginners?
The Talking Telescope that is mentioned above is not going to be for a teenager that suddenly has a vested interest in astronomy. There are a few things that need to be kept in mind for beginners using telescopes:
- The budget needs to be defined as it can be very easy to spend a large amount of money in a small time period on a telescope. Telescopes for kids will differ depending on the magnification and whether there is technology integrated. The wifi telescope mentioned above is not going to be for beginners as it is far too expensive.
- The durability of a telescope needs to be considered and you as a parent have to be honest about how responsible your child is. A kid that leaves important bags or books at school or on the bus should probably be bought a very modestly-priced telescope.
- The features of the telescope must be researched thoroughly as there is quite a bit of technical jargon in product descriptions for those without experience.
1. Thames And Kosmos TK1
The Thames and Kosmos TK1 is a great example of a telescope that will be perfect for those just entering into the world of telescopes. This is a reflector telescope that not only brings it when it comes to quality but also is affordable which is a rare combination. The company's website states that other galaxies can be seen along with planets in our solar system. The durable nature of this telescope along with its aluminum tripod will allow the telescope to last for years.
As with all quality products, the astronomy book that is coupled with the telescope can be a perfect flash education in astronomy. The quality of the product will amaze a child and adult alike when beginning the quest to find the best telescopes possible.
2. Blue TwinStar AstroMark 80mm Portable Refractor Telescope
For adults or teenagers that are starting to get into astronomy as a hobby or due to their friends being involved the Blue TwinStar AstroMark 80mm Portable Refractor Telescope is for you. Setting up and assembling this telescope will be a breeze when compared to the other products on the market. The viewer can see the moon and other objects like star clusters.
There is a backpack bundle that Twinstar offers which makes for easy transport to the best night sky viewing spots in the local area. This will be perfect for camping whether it is on the beach or in the mountain. The reduction in light pollution can lead to great views of objects in the sky that you cannot find in the city. Assembly is outlined in a manual as well as a guide with photos online.
A kid's telescope could make them the coolest kid on the block. Children are immensely fascinated by the possibilities that the night sky holds. The telescope could even help them academically as identifying the rings of Saturn or a specific star is commonly done in astrology classes. Guiding your child through a passion of your own or joining them in their passion for astronomy can be exciting and the perfect way to bond. Do not underestimate how exciting it can be to see an especially rare comet or star on an extremely clear night.