It can be challenging to choose a telescope for someone else, especially if it is for children. There are various brands, models, and kinds of telescopes that are labeled for kids or beginners. However, not all of them are suitable for all kids. To help you out, there are vital factors that you need to consider when buying telescopes for your children. These factors can help you choose the best telescope that is suitable for your child’s age and his ability.
Maybe your child dreamed of becoming an astronomer and expressed his interest in getting a telescope, or you’re just passionate about astronomy. You probably want to share it with them. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide in choosing the best telescope for your child.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A TELESCOPE FOR YOUR CHILD
Here are some of the critical things you need to consider before you go out or order a telescope online:
Do not choose a toy telescope.
When you go to stores, most of the telescopes for kids you will find are only suitable for children under six. These are available in toy shops and other similar stores but are of low quality. Those kinds of telescopes are pretty tricky to use and won’t stand up to use.
However, they can be fun to use for little kids. Cut if your child wants to see something in the night sky, then getting a telescope from an optical brand known for making good-quality optics is better. Additionally, don’t worry because you don’t need to spend a lot to get a good telescope for your children.
In the meantime, you may engage them with non-optical astronomical resources. Books, publications, DVDs, and, in particular, a star atlas and a planisphere are among them (tools to learn the sky). These are the fundamentals of astronomy education. Even if you have a telescope, pointing it towards the night sky will reveal just isolated spots of light. The greatest place to start for early astronomers was with their own eyes and genuine curiosity.
Avoid spending too much, and select a telescope that your child can use as they grow up.
For parents, when a child expresses their interest in learning about something, it’s difficult to determine if it’s just a fad or they wanted it seriously. When your children tell you they want a telescope as they wish to be astronomers someday, it’s better to get them a mid-priced telescope. It is affordable, and the quality is good as well.
If your child is six years and older, you should get him a fully functional telescope that will work well enough for them to enjoy stargazing.
The best thing about mid-priced telescopes is that they are made to be compatible with higher quality telescopes. This means that if your child still enjoys astronomy growing up, you can keep on upgrading his telescope rather than buying a new one.
When upgrading, always think about the cost of mounts. Many telescopes come with tripods or mounts, while some smaller scopes only have a mounting block that allows them to be placed above a camera tripod with a single screw. (Warning: A camera tripod might not be stable enough for astronomy). If possible, avoid single-screw attachment blocks and choose more durable rings or plates on mounts made exclusively for telescopes.
Take into consideration the features offered by the telescope you will buy.
It is also essential to consider the basics when it comes to buying your child’s telescope.
There are three basic types of telescopes – refractor, reflector, and compound. Each type is tailored for specific use. For example, to make distant objects appear more prominent and closer to the eye, all three designs use somewhat different optic approaches.
Refractor telescopes are perhaps the most frequent variety you’ll encounter. They have a front tube that is built with a large lens. The lens reflects light directly into the back mirror and into the eyepiece. This kind of design is particularly well-suited to focusing on earthly objects. They are also appropriate for beginners because of their easy and maintenance-free design. On the contrary, this telescope may become cumbersome and ineffective when focusing on faint things.
Meanwhile, reflectors have a mirror at the back end of the main tube, as the name implies. The rear mirror draws light and puts it into the eyepiece via another mirror. Unlike refractors, telescopes excel at observing faint objects while also producing high-quality images. However, despite their lightweight and small size, they will need to be maintained regularly.
Lastly, compound telescopes are telescopes that have multiple lenses. These are hybrid models, meaning they combine lenses and mirrors. They’re great for focusing on dim celestial objects and distant geographical details when they’re in use.
When buying a telescope for your kid, you need to decide if they would be best suited to a refractor, reflector, or compound telescope. Aside from that, you also need to look into the aperture size and the type of mount and tripod. If you are not very familiar with these things, you can read our Telescope Buying Guide for more information.
Select a scope that your child can use with a bit of initial guidance.
It’s also great if you can choose a scope that will challenge your child’s skill, as well as their patience and intellect, like the World Gadgets refractor telescope. Pick one that will help them learn and is not so difficult to use. This way, your child will not require constant help from you or give up on their new hobby. Therefore, it’s essential to know your child well to see the level of complexity that they will be able to handle well.
You need to be ready to offer a hand to your child.
No matter how old your child is and his ability, you need to be prepared to lend a hand when it comes to setting up and using his telescope. If you haven’t used a telescope before, you can find plenty of guides online or buy some books about them so both of you and your child can learn together. As a parent, you certainly want your child’s first telescope or stargazing experience to be rewarding and enjoyable.
TOP TELESCOPES FOR CHILDREN
Now that you know the important aspects to consider when looking for a good telescope for your child, here are some of the best ones we can recommend to further help you.
This telescope is easy to use and suitable for kids and beginners. It features high-quality optics that can make your view brighter, clearer and can deliver crisp images. It has a focal length of a 400mm refractor telescope with a 5×18 finder scope that makes locating objects easier and faster. It also has two interchangeable eyepieces, and it comes with a moon mirror and compass built-in the telescope tube. It can be assembled easily and quickly. It also comes with a stars map and a moon map.
This refractor telescope will let your child view all the details of the craters on the moon with this 18X wide-view and 90X close-up eyepieces. This telescope is very easy to use and is also portable. It is perfect for beginning astronomers. It also comes with a tripod and that you can set up in less than a minute.
This telescope will enable your child to see the moon in incredible detail. It is easy to use and comes with finder scope, low power, and high-power eyepieces. It will allow your child to quickly locate the moon and then zoom in for a close-up view. It also comes with a tabletop tripod to keep the telescope steady. It is easy to assemble and use, making it perfect for young children aspiring to be astronomers.
This telescope for kids features quality optics. It has a 400mm focal length and 70mm aperture. It has a fully coated optics glass lens with a high transmission coating that creates stunning images and protects the eyes simultaneously. It has two replaceable eyepieces and one 3x Barlow lens. It also has a 5×24 finderscope with a mounting bracket and cross-hair lines inside, making locating objects easier. You can also connect it to a smartphone to explore the night sky through the screen easily.
This telescope has a 360mm focal length and magnification. It is perfect for kids and beginners to explore the sky, stars, and moon. It has two different magnification eyepieces and a 1.5X Barlow lens. It is a portable and foldable tripod design that ensures a steady base with a quick and easy no-tool setup of different observation angles. This telescope is made of premium materials, and it is a perfect gift for kids who are into astronomy.
These are some of the best telescopes we can recommend for children. We hope the information we shared here will help you find the perfect telescope for your child. If you are looking for more recommendations, you can also check our list of the Best Telescopes for Kids.