There has always been something fascinating about the night sky and how it captivates people. Children are also fascinated by this subject from an early school age and they can learn so much when they are taught to look at the night sky.
A telescope will make a great present for any would-be star gazers but you should be careful when choosing the right one. A lot of telescopes for children sold in toy stores are cheaply made and poor quality and could put them off from their new hobby.
We have spent weeks analyzing all the options on the market so we could put together this buyer’s guide so you can get your child off to the right start. It should be noted that younger children will need parental supervision, it’s important to inform your child about the dangers of pointing a telescope at the sun, they could damage their eyesight or cause a fire with the powerful magnification from the lens.
There are 3 main types of Telescope – Refractor telescopes, Reflector telescopes, and Compound telescopes. If you scroll to the bottom of this guide, you will see we have put together an indepth Buyer’s Guide which will teach you about the differences between the types plus other information you will need to know. We have also put together a FAQ section to help you get up to speed.
Here are a few of the best telescopes that can be used for kids and other beginners looking to get into astronomy.
- 1 Top Picks
- 2 Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
- 3 Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker AZ Telescope
- 4 SOLOMARK 70EQ Refractor Telescope
- 5 Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope
- 6 MaxUSee 70mm Refractor Telescope
- 7 Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope
- 8 TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope
- 9 Meade Instruments Infinity 50mm AZ Refractor Telescope
- 10 Meade Instruments LightBridge Mini 114 Telescope
- 11 Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
- 12 Conclusion
- Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope: This telescope is the perfect option for travelers and it has been designed to make your life easier as a beginner. It comes with a 70mm aperture that will allow celestial viewing.
- Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker AZ Telescope: A little more expensive, but great for kids with a real interest in astronomy. The finder scope and Sky X software should improve your understanding.
- TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope: If you on a tight budget, this scope will be perfect to allow you to get into astronomy.
- Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope: It is a little expensive, but when you are looking to buy the best, you need to be willing to spend. This professional telescope will be ideal for advanced viewing.
Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
At a budget price, the Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope is one of the very best options for kids. The refractor telescope has been constructed from lightweight materials and it features fully coated glass lenses to help ensure that you don’t need to deal with glare coming from the sun during the day or night.
The telescope comes with astronomy software that can help you with identifying up to 10,000 different celestial objects in the night sky. It also features a viewing magnification of 20X, making it possible to see some of your favorite objects up close. Additionally, we found the carry bag to be really durable and it makes it easier to carry around the telescope while keeping it safe.
The aperture is the most important part of the telescope and while this one only features a 70mm aperture, this will be more than enough to absorb additional light and give you clear images. Printable sky maps related to your location has been added, making it much easier for children to actually learn about astronomy.
Even though you have the ability to extend the scope, it does lack some sturdiness. We definitely recommend improving the sturdiness or finding somewhere that will aid you in using the scope if it is fully extended. We have also seen that adjusting to different angles can be a little daunting for many people with limited experience.
This telescope is not the best on the market when looking at overall telescopes, but it definitely serves as an excellent option for children. It is priced reasonably and comes with a decent warranty. We would definitely recommend this telescope to children, especially those looking to carry around the telescope and explore the universe from different locations.
- Lightweight and durable
- 70mm Aperture
- 20X magnification
- Includes the Sky X app
- Reasonably priced
- Flimsy tripod stand
Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker AZ Telescope
Keeping with one of the best brands on the market today, we have the Celestron 21041 60mm PowerSeeker AZ Telescope and this option is also constructed with some of the most durable materials on the market. It is also fairly lightweight and comes with a travel kit that makes it portable and easy to carry around.
With a 60mm aperture, the telescope is ideal for viewing in the nigh times and it can absorb quite a lot of light for your images to be clear. You will also receive a 5X24-finderscope that can be used to scout around the earth during the day times. It is worth noting that the 3X Barlow lens type is one of the best parts and it gives you three times to viewing power.
Much like the previous telescope, this one is also fitted with a tripod stand, the only difference is the sturdiness of the tripod stand. The 700mm focal length is much longer than some of the other scopes and certainly should make life a lot easier for you. If you are doing terrestrial viewing, you should also note that it is Altazimuth mount compatible.
While this is an excellent scope and it can give you a magnification of up to 60X, it is quite distorted and not as focused as some of the high-end telescopes. For kids, they should enjoy the Sky X software that will ensure you can actually detect the celestial objects. As parents, we also find it fun and learn new things.
It could be a little expensive for beginners but will help you find what you are looking for and even see some of the space events that happen each year. This telescope will offer children the perfect learning curve and ensure that they actually see something. We would recommend it to more advanced children of astronomy.
- Durable and sturdy construction
- Altazimuth mount compatible
- 3X Barlow lens type
- Includes a finder scope
- A little expensive
- Little distorted at max magnification
SOLOMARK 70EQ Refractor Telescope
The SOLOMARK 70EQ Refractor Telescope is not one of those telescopes that you constantly see everyone talking about. However it is a good product which offers users a good insight into the stars. It is durably constructed and might be a little heavy, but definitely keeps the scope sturdy and planted in the ground.
One of the best features is the fact that you can easily have it set up and we have included it since children can also set it up if the need to. With fully coated glass optics, your child can even view his or her very first solar eclipse without taking damage to the eyes. This scope also enhances the brightness of celestial objects and can be used for terrestrial viewing as well.
Since you have slow motion control of the telescope, you can control the rate at which you see everything. This makes it possible to study and perhaps even learn something new about the galaxy as you explore. It comes with the Plossl 10mm and Plossl 20mm eye lenses that gives you more viewing functionality to work with.
This scope is rather basic and is by no means one that will get you running to the store. However, it is perfect for children if they are interested in the night sky. It doesn’t come with any fancy software, but with a mobile app that will allow you to see where you need to be looking at. This is ideal for children who all own mobile devices.
As for the price, we believe that it is actually reasonable and you will be getting some great value for your money. The telescope is stylish and it is really easy to set up. We would recommend it for children with a genuine interest in astronomy, but the scope will also be used for much longer and even into adulthood.
- Simple and easy setup
- Includes Plossl 10mm and Plossl 20mm lenses
- Sturdy design
- Reasonably priced
- Might be a little too basic
Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope
Celestron is one of the leading brands as you might have noticed and the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope is one of the very best options that you can buy for your kids. It comes with a massive 127mm aperture and a 1000mm focal length that will ensure the telescope can absorb enough light to ensure you have crystal clear images.
The glass has also been coated, which makes it possible for users to actually use the telescope in the middle of the night and stare directly at the sun. This will definitely block out some of the glare to view events that might be taking place. Additionally, you will receive a 4mm and a 2mm eyepiece for more versatility.
The tripod has been constructed from durable aluminum and should allow you to actually set it up in windy conditions. Compared to many other Celestron telescope, this one is a little heavier and remains firmly planted in the ground. Users also have the ability to use the smartphone mount for a better viewing and finding experience.
The adjustment and alignment of the scope do make it a little harder to actually use and you will find that it is not always aligned. However, once you have this figured out, the rest should be much easier to do. Sky X level 1 software has been included for enhanced images and to help your child find over 10,000 different objects.
As for the price, the scope is affordable and you might find it at a bargain compared to some of the other elite options. It also comes with a limited 2-year warranty that should give you some peace of mind. We would definitely recommend the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope as one of the top options on the market today.
- Durable construction with multicoated optics
- Really easy to set up
- Includes Sky X Level 1 software
- Reasonably priced
- 2-year limited warranty
- It does have a few issues with an alignment that you need to figure out
MaxUSee 70mm Refractor Telescope
The MaxUSee 70mm Refractor Telescope is one of our favorites that is not only ideal for kids but will work for any beginner. It comes with a decent 70mm aperture and the 5×24 finder scope that has been included will make it possible to find your favorite or even unknown objects much faster with limit experience.
The 45-degree diagonal prism gives you clear and erect images that are easier to analyze and understand. The 2 Kellner eyepieces are perfect for versatility and they come in 2 different sizes as well. However, the trusty Barlow 3X lens that has been included will give you the ability to take your magnification all the way to 132X.
Since it can fit into a backpack and most of the parts are fairly durable, it makes for the perfect traveling telescope. You have the ability to fully adjust the tripod to meet all your needs when it comes to comfort, while the universal smartphone adapter is ideal for capturing some of the images and even sharing them on social media.
The tripod is once again the ultimate downfall and with its legs fully extended it can be tricky to focus and have those clear images of whatever you are looking at. We have found that placing the telescope on a secure table is the best way to ensure you have maximum stability and focus in on your target for the best image.
Since it includes all these accessories and it is really functional and easy to travel with, this telescope is ideal for beginners. The affordable price tag makes it one of the top options for anyone that needs something to follow celestial events. We would recommend it as the perfect telescope that beginners can actually use for traveling.
- Durable and rugged design
- Comes with a multitude of accessories
- 132X magnification
- Reasonably priced
- The tripod is not as sturdy as expected
Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope
Orion is one of the leading brands when it comes to telescope technology and while most of their scopes are fairly expensive, the Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope is ideal for beginners. Much like the other top scopes, it also comes with a 70mm aperture that allows a lot of light to be captured.
Additionally, it also includes the traditional 5×24 finder scope that makes finding new planets and objects in the universe much easier. It can be used during the day for bird watching and should work wonders at night time when you are using the 40X magnification to zoom into your targets and get the best images.
While the design is rugged and the telescope is light enough to be carried around in a backpack, it was a breath of fresh air to actually use the tripod. It is constructed from top quality aluminum and since it is a little heavier, it does not react so much to0 touch. This will certainly make focus a little easier for you as an astronomer.
While every feature on this scope does seem perfect, it is mostly designed for looking at the moon. The aperture can be a little small, allowing you to faintly see things like the rings of Saturn. However, you might want to invest in a larger aperture if needed. It also comes with the MoonMap 260, teaching you and your kids all about the moon.
As we have already mentioned, Orion is one of those really expensive brands, but not this telescope. The telescope is fairly unique and the features are definitely designed for beginners to help learn and understand the solar system. We would once again like to recommend it to beginners and kids from a really reputable brand.
- Really easy to set up and assemble
- Decent tripod
- Includes a 5×24 finder scope
- Reasonably priced
- The aperture seems to be a little small for celestial viewing
TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope
If you don’t have a large budget for your telescope, the TwinStar AstroMark 50mm 75x Power Refractor Telescope should be one of the top options that you can generally choose to buy. It is designed with a 50mm aperture and a decent 400mm focal length for longer ranges.
The telescope is really lightweight and should not take too much time or effort for you to actually set up. Once again, 2 eyepieces have been included (H20mm & H12.5mm), maki9ng it easier for you to view whatever you need to. The maximum magnification of 48X is ideal for beginners that are starting out by looking at the moon and nearby objects.
The telescope also comes with the altazimuth mount and this makes it possible for the user to simply point it in the direction and start looking at your target. We love the fact that you can actually look at distant objects and events and this does include the rings of Saturn and even the Beehive clusters that are impossible to see with the naked eye.
While the company does put a lot of emphasis on the tripod and the fact that you can adjust it to numerous lengths to make it comfortable for everyone, we have also noticed it to be a little flimsy and sensitive to touch. You might be better off actually placing it on a sturdy table or finding another way to ensure some stability.
As for the price, it is one of the most affordable options that we have seen so far and this is definitely ideal for those strapped to a budget. The telescope itself seems expensive out of the box and it should make the perfect gift for any child. We would recommend it to the avid astronomer kids that are strapped to a budget.
- Stylish and rugged design
- Decent 48X magnification
- Allows for distant viewing
- Easy and simple setup
- Altazimuth mount included
- Flimsy tripod
Meade Instruments Infinity 50mm AZ Refractor Telescope
The Meade Instruments Infinity 50mm AZ Refractor Telescope is another small, but functional telescope that will enable you to view the galaxy as a beginner. It comes with a massive 600mm focal length and a 50mm aperture that is enough to allow light to penetrate and ensure that you actually have the ability to see what is needed.
As with many of the top options, we regularly see the finder scope and this one also includes a 5×24 Viewfinder that enables you to find the objects with much greater ease. 3 different magnification eyepieces are included, making it possible to increase the magnification to your specific needs and ensure you can see everything.
Astronomical software has also been added and this will teach you all about the different celestial objects and allow you to understand what you are looking at. Having the Altazimuth mount is also really sufficient and will ensure that the telescope can simply be mounted and you have the ability to easily point it in the right direction.
While the telescope itself is really functional, the controls are a little clunky and this could make it harder to actually see your target and change the settings. It also comes with a flimsy tripod that is really sensitive to touch and you might need to have it mounted on a sturdy table that will give you more functionality.
The telescope itself is mostly designed for beginners and won’t allow you to use it for major astronomical purposes. It is really affordable and should offer you some great value for your money. We recommend it for children and beginners that like to start in the world of astronomy and learn some of the basics.
- Includes 3 different eyepieces
- Altazimuth mount
- 5×24 finder scope
- Includes instructional software
- Really affordable
- Controls are a little clunky
- Flimsy tripod
Meade Instruments LightBridge Mini 114 Telescope
If you don’t have space in your home, why do you need to buy a massive telescope? The Meade Instruments LightBridge Mini 114 Telescope is one of the smaller telescopes that will make it much easier for you to see your targets. It can absorb a lot of light and co0mes with a large 114mm aperture for better images.
One of the best features is the weight. Since it is only around 10.8-pounds, the telescope is really easy to move around. It also does not come with a tripod and while this can be negative, we have seen that it is positive when placed on a sturdy table instead. You don’t need to worry about having troubles with focus.
Once again, the telescope includes 2 different eyepieces and when using the larger one, you will be able to reach magnifications in the range of 50X. The 360-degree swivel mount makes it possible to turn the scope around and simply point it in the right direction. It is worth noting that there is no real assembly that needs to be done.
As we have mentioned, the tripod could be an issue and many people might like to have a tripod added for more portability. Unfortunately, this telescope is designed without a tripod. The upside is that you have more stability when it is placed on a solid table and the telescope will not be as much affected by touch.
As for the price, we do believe that it can be a little expensive to buy. It is mostly designed for professional use and to use on the go, but children can still use it with ease. We would certainly recommend it to beginners, especially adults looking for something small to start their life as an astronomer.
- Lightweight and portable
- No assembly needed
- Can reach 50X magnification
- Includes a 360-degree swivel
- A little pricey
Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
If you are looking for the best on the market, the Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope is certainly one of the top options that you need to consider. It comes with a solid 254mm aperture that is sure to give you optimal light and ensure that you can see some of the best images of space possible.
The telescope also does not come with a tripod and can be placed virtually anywhere that you need it for viewing the stars. It is really stable and lightweight, which does make it functional for traveling and will ensure an excellent view of space. The swivel offers you the full 360-degrees to move the scope around and point in different directions.
As with many of the others, 2 eyepieces have been included and the larger 25mm will give you a massive zoom that brings you up close and personal with many of the nebulae and galaxy cluster. This is not even to mention the crisp images that we have seen from the moon when actually using this scope for closer planets.
It does not really have any negatives that you need to worry about aside from the price. The telescope can be a little expensive and this will make it frustrating to beginners. We also had some issues with the assembly. It might not really be designed for beginners, but will certainly help advanced astronomers explore the universe.
- Massive 254mm aperture
- Solid and sturdy
- Crisp and clear images
- Full 360-degree swivel
- Needs assembly
We would like to thank you for reading this article and encourage you to share some of your thoughts. Let us know in the comment section which of these telescopes you prefer and if we might have missed any of your favorites for children.