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Telescopes for Children

Updated on September 11, 2012

Choosing the Best Telescopes for Children

Are you looking for telescopes for children? Find the best option for you with this quick and easy guide to the best in children's telescopes, with products for both US and UK customers.

It can be confusing choosing a telescope when you are new to astronomy. if your child has taken an interest in the night sky, then encourage them in this worthwhile hobby by selecting the best telescope for their requirements. Learn what to look for and find the right telescope for you.

This work is the copyright of the author (25 January 2012). Please DO NOT copy this elsewhere either in print or online. Photos are Creative Commons or licensed from Fotolia unless otherwise stated.

This page covers telescopes for children - proper starter telescopes for older children with an interest in learning more about the stars and astronomy. If you are looking for toy telescopes for younger children, please visit Toy Telescopes for Children.

Starter Telescopes for Children (UK)

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Infinity 76 Children's Telescope

* Great starter telescope

* Magnification: x30

* Aspherical technology collects 135% more light

* Really easy set-up

* Perfect user-friendly telescope for kids

Celestron PowerSeeker 50 Telescope

* 50mm refractor

* Pre-assembled tripod/accessory tray

* 3x Barlow lens

* Enhanced image brightness/clarity

* The Sky Level 1 planetarium software

Celestron 76 mm Firstscope

* Ideal entry-level astronomical telescope

* Portable, lightweight table-top design

* Official Product of International Year of Astronomy 2009

* Magnification 2:75 x

Saxon 606R Astronomy Sky and Land Telescope with Barlow Lens

* Quick and Easy Setup

* High Quality Bright Lens

* Finder Scope for Better Accuracy

* Accessory Tray

* Heavy-Duty Tripod

National Geographic New 50mm Telescope

* Children can take a closer look at the world around them

* 50X magnification

* Can be used as a hand-held telescope

* Includes aluminium table-top tripod

* 2 eye pieces

National Geographic 30mm Telescope

* 30mm Objective Lens

* Optical Tube

* Movable eyepiece for sharp image

* Aluminium tripod

* Age 8 years +

Starter Telescopes for Children (USA)

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Meade 20218 NG-70SM 70mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope

* Perfect For Land Or Sky Viewing

* Slow Motion Controls On Both Axes

* Precision Controls

* Red Dot Projection Viewfinder

* Solid Tripod

Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope

* Quick and easy setup

* Permanently mounted StarPointer

* Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use

* Pan handle control with clutch - smooth accurate pointing

CELESTRON Powerseeker 50 Refractor Telescope

* Optical Design - Refractor

* Aperture - 50mm

* Focal Length - 600mm

* Finderscope - 5x24

* Portable yet powerful with ample optical performance

Tasco 49TN Refractor Telescope & Microscope

* 50x50mm table telescope

* 900x microscope

* Ideal for land or sky for the young observer

* 19-piece microscope kit includes assorted examination slides, preparation tools & sample slides

Celestron 21024 FirstScope Telescope

* Dobsonian Reflector

* Ideal entry level astronomical telescope

* 76mm aperture reflector optical tube

* Movable tube for ease of navigation

* Lightweight and portable

* Two eyepieces included

* 2-Year Warranty

Edu Science 50mm Telescope - Land & Sky II - Pink

* Magnifies objects up to 90 times

* Refractor technology for land or sky

* 50mm lens with 300mm focal length

* Also includes 14" tripod, mounting hardware, 2 eyepieces, star chart, instructions

Telescopes for Children: Key Features

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Learning about the night sky is a wonderful way to get children interested in astronomy and elements of physics. If they show a keen interest in the stars and planets then a starter telescope suitable for children is a must.

Combined with some books, maps and/or software to educate them, a telescope for children can be a great tool for bringing the whole family together for educational fun and enjoyment. Here are some benefits of getting a starter telescope aimed at children:

  • Easy assembly and set-up to avoid children getting bored or frustrated
  • Lightweight and user-friendly for children
  • Cheaper than other telescopes but with ample quality to see the night sky or details on land
  • Many come with additional accessories, kits or software

Buying Telescopes for Children

Things to Consider

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There are several things to think about when purchasing telescopes for children:

Consider the following:

  • Refractor VS Reflector - the difference between the two is the way in which the telescope captures the light. Refractor telescopes are easier to use for children, however they can make false light appear around sited objects. On the other hand, reflector telescopes are cheaper because they use mirrors instead of lenses.
  • Don't be drawn in by big magnification boasts. Look for 50-125 power, which is ample for seeing moon craters, the rings of Saturn and Jupiter's moons.
  • Size matters when comparing lenses. The bigger the telescope the better the performance. Look for a minimum of a 3" refractor or 4.5" reflector telescope for ample entry-level quality.
  • Consider the eyepiece(s). 1.25" is the standard size.
  • Does it have a solid base? This ensures less movement which means less distortion in the image.
  • Does it come with a tripod and accessories or do you need to buy these separately?
  • Is everything included for immediate use or does it require additional items?
  • Does it feature easy set-up and can it be easily stored?
  • Is it suitable for the whole family to use?

It can be tempting to go for a cheaper option of child's telescope, particularly if you are concerned that it might become a passing fad. However, very cheap telescopes are more likely to be fiddly to set up or have poor magnification and features, which will leave kids bored or frustrated and far more likely to lose interest in what can become a highly worthwhile and educational hobby. So while you don't have to spend a fortune, it is worth spending on a decent quality telescope. After all, many are so good that they are perfect for amateur adults, too!

Your Thoughts on Telescopes for Children? - Leave Your Comments and Feedback Here!

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    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent choices, and I like the fact you included models for both the UK and USA as well. I bought my son a telescope years ago, it wasn't cheap, but you couldn't see anything through it, it was really just a toy, but not at a toy price. I was so disappointed. I always wanted a telescope, but it's not worth it unless we manage to move out of the city, so we can see the stars more clearly.