12 Best Telescopes for Kids in 2021 [Toddlers to Teens]

Your child is interested in astronomy, or there’s a birthday coming up, but you have zero experience in which telescope to choose? You are in the right place.

The best telescope for kids will spark their interest in space and help them grow into it. Here are the best options for every age group at a reasonable price.

We Recommend

Best kit for kids

Orion FunScope

Best for the family

Orion StarBlast 6

Best for teens

Celestron AstroFi 90

Best telescope for kids

1. Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope for Kids

For young kids starting out on a stargazing hobby, the Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope is a great choice. It has a fun, cool design in bright blue and orange. The kids were delighted when we opened the box. 

The scope has a Look, Listen, and Learn approach and talks to the kids. You don’t even need to go outside – built into the telescope are amazing sky images from NASA. This is a great option for families who cannot get away from city lights for real sky viewing. 

The telescope for toddlers features the voice of Emily Calandrelli and offers 240 fun facts and questions about space. Our kids soon learned all about the Solar System and the planets.

It makes a great STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) toy telescope for 4 year old and under. The telescope toy offers 4 languages, English, Spanish, French, and German. It requires 3 AAA batteries, not included. Remember to buy your own, so as not to disappoint the kids. 

What we liked

  • Great STEM toddler telescope
  • Fun design with bold colors
  • Ideal for families who cannot get outdoors 
  • Images from NASA are built into the scope
  • Voice of Emily Calandrelli from Netflix’s show Emily’s Wonder Lab
  • Has 240 fun facts
  • Available in 4 languages

What we didn’t like

  • This is a toy telescope – not a real telescope
  • Does not come with batteries

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: Built-in NASA images
Best for: Families who cannot get outdoors
For age: 6 years and under
How it’s kid friendly: Fun colorful design, talking quiz and fact mode
What can you see with it: Built-in NASA images

2. Discovery Kids Telescope & Microscope Combo Set

If you are not sure whether your kids want to study the stars or study microscopic creatures – the Discovery Kids Telescope & Microscope Combo Set gives the best of both worlds. It is a fabulous combination of a good telescope for kids and a microscope.  

The telescope has a 40mm aperture and comes with 2 eyepieces offering different magnifications. There is also a star diagonal for easy viewing. It has a sturdy easy-mount tripod that our children can use without it tipping over. For help navigating the skies, there is a Star Map. 

The 900x microscope has three levels of magnification and comes with slide trays, lab tools, and collection materials. It has everything kids need to study the soil, insects, plants, human hair, and more. 

These telescopes for 5 year olds come packaged in a sturdy case, making it easy to pack into a car for a weekend trip into the country. My wife really enjoys this scope as it offers a choice of activities.

What we liked

  • Telescope and microscope in one 
  • Ideal for kids and adults 
  • Starter telescope for child with 40mm aperture 
  • Telescope comes with 2 eyepieces, diagonal and Star Map
  • Microscope comes with slide trays, lab tools and collection materials
  • Easy to set up telescope for children
  • Sturdy and portable carry case

What we didn’t like

  • A combination kit may not suit more advanced users
  • Tripod needs to stand on a table

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, diagonal, Star Map, slide trays, lab tools, and collection materials
Best for: Families and kids
For age: 6+ years
How it’s kid friendly: Easy-mount tripod, microscope starter samples
What can you see with it: Night moon gazing, daytime nature watching

3. Levenhuk LabZZ T3 Refractor Telescope

The next model for review is a more advanced junior telescope. The Levenhuk LabZZ T3 Refractor Telescope certainly is impressive. At a very good price, it comes with a basic alt-azimuth mount. 

This mount allows the telescope to move up and down as well as from left to right. It is a great way to start youngsters on a stargazing hobby. These

telescopes for kids have a classic refractor design with an objective lens diameter of 60mm and a focal length of  700mm. The kit includes a 4mm eyepiece, a 12.5mm eyepiece, a 1.5х erecting eyepiece, a 3x Barlow lens, a 5x optical finder, a diagonal mirror, and an aluminum tripod with an accessory tray. 

It has a very impressive lifetime warranty, which makes my wife feel very comfortable with the purchase. This kid friendly telescope is portable and lightweight, ideal for taking along on a trip into the country. It is suitable for both astronomical and ground-based observations. 

What we liked

  • Well priced kids first telescope
  • 60mm aperture, 700mm focal length
  • Refractor design with basic alt-azimuth mount
  • Numerous accessories
  • Easy to use 
  • Portable and lightweight 
  • Lifetime warranty

What we didn’t like

  • Needs assembling 
  • No carry case for this kid telescope kit

Smartphone: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, 1.5х erecting eyepiece, 3x Barlow lens, 5x optical finder, diagonal mirror, aluminum tripod with accessory tray
Best for: Families and kids
For age: 6+ years
How it’s kid friendly: Easy to use with basic alt-azimuth mount
What can you see with it: Moon, planets, terrestrial viewing

4. Celestron FirstScope Reflector 76mm Kids Telescope

The Celestron FirstScope Telescope comes as a telescope with a 76mm aperture and no accessories. At a small extra price, you can enhance it to include a Celestron FirstScope Telescope Astronomy Accessory Kit. We did that and it is well worth the money.

This is a great beginner telescope for kids ages 6 years and up. It has a tabletop mount, which makes it very stable, especially for younger children. It has a 76mm aperture reflector optical tube. The scope is very easy to use; our kids simply navigate the night sky by moving the tube in the direction of their desired object. 

The accessories kit offers a 12.5mm eyepiece with 24x magnification for clearer and easier observations. It also has a 6mm eyepiece with 50x magnification for faint deep sky objects. Using the moon filter, we can reduce the brightness of the moon and improve the contrast for amazing views. 

The Finderscope is easy to install with no need for tools. A compatible CD is great for telescopes for children, teaching them about basic astronomy. The compact design of this family telescope makes it easy to take on an outdoor adventure. When it is not in use, my wife enjoys showing it off as a fixture on her study desk.

What we liked

  • Well priced for the features you get
  • High quality reflector best beginner telescope for kids
  • 76mm aperture
  • Sturdy table top mount 
  • Can add numerous accessories in a compact kit
  • Easy to use child telescope
  • Portable and lightweight

What we didn’t like

  • Accessory kit is an added cost
  • Some people prefer a floor-standing mount 
  • No smartphone connectivity

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, moon filter, Finderscope
Best for: Families
For age: 6+ year old
How it’s kid friendly: Easy to use table top mount
What can you see with it: Moon, stars, planets, deep sky objects

5. Celestron AstroFi 90 Children Telescope

When I told my wife that the Celestron AstroFi 90 Telescope works with a smartphone app, she became rather apprehensive. But, I assured her, we have teen kids and they are constantly busy on their phones, so this is no problem! 

This Celestron youth telescope features a 90mm refractor with fully coated glass optics. It has an adjustable height tripod, ideal for smaller children. Included is an accessory tray to hold all the bits and pieces we need. 

The scope comes with two Kellner eyepieces, a 25mm and a 10mm. It also has a mirror star diagonal and an integrated smartphone adapter. For easy viewing, there is a red dot StarPointer Finderscope. 

You control the telescope via integrated WiFi using the free Celestron SkyPortal app for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. You do not need any cell network reception. We took this best telescope for children on a trip to a remote country destination and saw spectacular views of the Moon, planets, star clusters, and deep sky objects.

What we liked

  • 90mm refractor telescope
  • Control via integrated WiFi using the free Celestron SkyPortal app
  • Works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices
  • No need for cell phone reception
  • 25mm and 10mm eyepieces
  • Red Dot StarPointer Finderscope
  • Adjustable height tripod with accessory tray

What we didn’t like

  • More expensive children telescope
  • Smartphone connectivity may not suit younger children
  • Learning curve needed for this best kids telescope

Smartphone connection: Yes
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, Red Dot StarPointer Finderscope, Celestron SkyPortal app
Best for: Families, great celestial viewing
For age: Great telescope for 10 year old
How it’s kid friendly: Has Smartphone connectivity
What can you see with it: Planets, nebulae, moon, stars, deep sky objects

6. Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Equatorial Reflector Telescope

The next best children’s telescope to impress the family was the powerful reflector Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ telescope. This is a great scope for serious astronomy beginners. 

It features fully-coated glass optics and comes with two 1.25” eyepieces, a 25mm and a 10mm. It also has a StarPointer red dot Finderscope. The scope has a 130mm aperture, ideal for getting great views of fainter deep sky objects. We could see Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings, and craters on the Moon. 

The AstroMaster German Equatorial Mount features two slow-motion control knobs that allow you to make precision adjustments. We easily tracked objects as they moved across the sky. The tripod of this best telescope for teens is designed for travel and is lightweight, sturdy, and adjustable. 

This is a must-have for our family, as we have kids of different ages and heights. Setting up the scope is quick and easy and you don’t need any tools for the assembly. Accessories also include a free download of the Starry Night astronomy software program.

What we liked

  • Well priced telescope for teens
  • 130mm aperture
  • Two 1.25” eyepieces, a 25mm and a 10mm
  • German Equatorial AstroMaster mount with slow-motion control knob
  • Sturdy lightweight, travel tripod
  • Easy set up kid friendly telescopes, no tools required
  • Starry Night astronomy software program

What we didn’t like

  • No smartphone connectivity
  • Hand controlled mount may not suit more experienced viewers

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, StarPointer red dot Finderscope, Starry Night astronomy software
Best for: Families for viewing moon, planets, deep sky objects, serious beginners
For age: 8+ years
How it’s kid friendly: Easy to set up, no tools required
What can you see with it: Moon craters, Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings

7. Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope for Children

Now that the kids are finding their way around telescopes and the sky, we look at a more advanced scope that will take them into their teenage years. The Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope is a very capable, simple point-and-view reflector telescope. 

It has a tabletop mount that we really enjoy as it makes it so easy to set up in the back garden. With the ease of use and versatility, this is the best telescope for teenager, beginners, and seasoned astronomers.

It offers a substantial 6″ aperture that gives amazing views of planets, the Moon, as well as bright deep-sky objects such as star clusters, 

nebulas, and galaxies. Weighing only 23.5 lbs, it is easy to take along on an outing away from city lights. The scope comes pre-assembled in a box. My wife loves this, as she gets so frustrated watching me struggle to build equipment. 

For best viewing at different magnifications, there are two Sirius Plossl 1.25″ eyepieces, a 25mm and 10mm. This telescope for teenagers also comes with an EZ Finder II aiming device, an eyepiece rack, and Starry Night software.

What we liked

  • Large 150mm aperture 
  • Two 1.25” eyepieces, a 25mm and a 10mm
  • EZ Finder II aiming device, an eyepiece rack
  • Table top mount 
  • Weighs only 23.5 lbs for easy travel 
  • Comes pre-assembled
  • Great telescope for kids with Starry Night astronomy software program

What we didn’t like

  • Some users prefer a floor mount 
  • No smartphone connectivity

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, EZ Finder II aiming device, Starry Night astronomy software
Best for: More advanced young viewers
For age: 12+ years, teens
How it’s kid friendly: Table top mount, easy to use
What can you see with it: Moon, planets, nebulae, star clusters, stars

8. Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Refractor Telescope

The Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Refractor Telescope Package version is only available from Opticsplanet. It is an exclusive kid telescope known for its equatorial mount design and motorized drive. 

This eliminates the possibility of bumping or shaking while focusing. Using the slow-motion controls, we are able to do smooth tracking of any object and follow it across the sky. 

The scope has an 80mm aperture and a 900 mm focal length. Included are two 1.25” eyepieces, a 20mm (45x), and a 4mm (225x). Also included is a 3x Barlow lens that triples the magnifying power of each eyepiece to offer amazing views. Our kids love the bonus astronomy software guide that comes with the scope. It contains a database of 10,000 celestial objects as well as printable maps.

The children telescope is easy to set up and requires no tools. The large aperture and great light-gathering power resolve the faintest details of far away deep-sky objects as well as closer objects like the Moon. We also use the scope for terrestrial viewing and have great fun observing ships on our annual seaside vacation.

What we liked

  • 80mm aperture, 900 mm focal length
  • Two 1.25” eyepieces, 20mm and 4mm 
  • 3x Barlow lens that triples the magnifying power
  • Quick and easy no-tool set up
  • Equatorial mount design
  • Motorized drive eliminates bumping or shaking while focusing
  • First Light Edition astronomy software 10,000 objects for easy kids viewing

What we didn’t like

  • No smartphone connectivity
  • Some users find the Finderscope hard to adjust

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, First Light Edition astronomy software
Best for: Families
For age: 8+ years and whole family
How it’s kid friendly: Motorized drive for no bumping or shaking
What can you see with it: Planets, nebulae, moon, terrestrial objects

9. Orion StarBlast II 4.5 EQ Reflector Telescope Kit

This is the best family telescope for families who are serious about stargazing and want a long-lasting device. It is easy for younger kids to use and gives high-quality images that more advanced users appreciate. 

It has a 4.5″ aperture reflector and shorter 450mm focal length, giving enough aperture and light collection for great views of the Moon, planets, and bright deep-sky objects. 

The scope comes with two eyepieces, a 25mm Sirius Plossl with 18x magnification, and a 10mm Sirius Plossl with a massive 45x magnification. Also in the kit is a Shorty 2x Barlow. This device doubles the magnification of the eyepieces. 

We found that the Orion Telescope Observer’s Guide book got the kids’ attention and guided them to over sixty interesting objects to explore. We also used the Star Target Planisphere and MoonMap 260 to plan stargazing sessions. 

As an added bonus, the kit with these best kids telescopes includes a handy RedBeam Mini LED flashlight. We can see in the dark without disrupting our dark-adapted vision. A great perk when far from city lights! 

What we liked

  • 4.5″ aperture and shorter 450mm focal
  • Two 1.25” eyepieces, 25mm and10mm 
  • 2x Barlow lens that doubles the magnifying power
  • Easy to use for beginners and good images for advanced stargazers
  • Equatorial mount design
  • Handy RedBeam Mini LED flashlight
  • Orion Telescope Observer’s Guide, Star Target Planisphere and MoonMap 260

What we didn’t like

  • Manually controlled mount
  • No smartphone connectivity

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, 2x Barlow, Orion Telescope Observer’s Guide
Best for: Families
For age: Whole family
How it’s kid friendly: Comes with Orion Telescope Observer’s Guide
What can you see with it: Moon, planets, nebulae, deep sky objects, stars

10. Orion 10012 SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector Telescope

The Orion 10012 SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector Telescope is a great choice for family telescopes. It is an entry-level model but offers amazing views with its 100mm parabolic primary mirror optics. 

My family enjoys the tabletop mount, as we can stand it on a table in the yard and not worry about the dogs knocking it over. The kids are blown away by the images of craters on the Moon, the detail of Jupiter’s moons, and Saturn’s rings. 

With a small and compact shape, you can keep the scope on your desk as a great show-off piece when not in use. It comes with two 1.25 inch eyepieces, a 20mm (20x magnification), and a 10mm (40x magnification). 

Also included is an EZ Finder II aiming device that makes locating sky objects exceptionally easy. After a simple alignment procedure, simply place the EZ Finder II red-dot on top of the object you want to see, and it appears in your field of view. 

The small size makes this best kid telescope a great grab-and-go device to take along on a stargazing trip. The Starry Night astronomy software is ideal for getting younger viewers interested and focused on what to look at. 

What we liked

  • 100mm aperture
  • Two 1.25” eyepieces, 20mm and10mm
  • EZ Finder II aiming device
  • Sturdy table top mount 
  • Easy to use for beginners and great images for advanced stargazers
  • Light and compact at only 6.2 lbs, ideal for travel
  • Starry Night Astronomy Software

What we didn’t like

  • Manually controlled mount
  • No smartphone connectivity
  • Some users prefer a floor standing mount

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, Starry Night Astronomy Software
Best for: Families
For age: 8+ year and whole family
How it’s kid friendly: Easy to use, sturdy table top model
What can you see with it: Moon, planets, nebulae, deep sky objects, stars

11. Orion GoScope III 70mm Refractor Telescope Kit

My teens love this telescope because it comes with a handy backpack case that holds everything they need. They take it along on hiking trips, simply slung over their back. 

The Orion GoScope III is a refractor scope with a 70mm aperture and a 400ml focal length. It comes with a 5×24 finder scope for easy aiming at any sky object we choose to look at. It has two 1.25″ Kellner telescope eyepieces, a  20mm with 20x magnification and a 9mm with 44x magnification. 

The telescope stands on a sturdy aluminum Altazimuth mount that is quick and easy to set up. Also included is the Orion Exploring the Cosmos Book, packed with beautiful illustrations and educational information about the sky. 

The Star Target planisphere gives current info on which constellations are visible on any night of the year. This is a well-priced scope that will get older kids and the whole family hooked on stargazing. 

What we liked

  • Comes with a handy backpack 
  • 70mm aperture, 400ml focal 
  • Two 1.25” eyepieces, 20mm and 9mm 
  • Sturdy aluminum Altazimuth mount 
  • Easy to use for beginners and good images for advanced stargazers
  • Light and compact at only 4.2 lbs, ideal for travel
  • Orion Exploring the Cosmos book

What we didn’t like

  • No smartphone connectivity
  • Manually controlled mount
  • Some users prefer a more conventional carry case

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, Orion Exploring the Cosmos book, Star Target planisphere
Best for: Teens and families
For age: 10+ year
How it’s kid friendly: Comes with a handy backpack for carrying
What can you see with it: Moon, planets, nebulae, deep sky objects, stars

12. FunScope 76mm Reflector Telescope for Kids Kit

This is the perfect kids’ telescope to offer as a birthday gift. You will also get the whole family intrigued and stargazing on their weekend trips away. The FunScope 76mm Reflector Telescope Kids Kit has a 76mm aperture and comes with two eyepieces. It has a 20mm with a 15x magnification, and a 6mm that gives a more powerful, 50x magnification. 

As the first telescope for a child, the FunScope’s 76mm diameter reflecting optics collect 60% more light than the usual 60mm beginner telescopes that we have reviewed and offer far more value for money. 

The Red Dot Finder makes for easy locating of any sky object. Simply point, and the celestial object you want appears in your field of view. Also included is a MoonMap 260 with fabulous info about how to view the craters on the Moon. There is a Star Target Planisphere and an Exploring the Cosmos book.

The FunScope telescope weighs only 4 lbs and is easy to take along on vacation. As a family, we love viewing the Moon, bright planets in our Solar System, and amazing star clusters. Being so simple to set up, the kids are always out in the yard stargazing. 

What we liked

  • Great value for money 
  • 76mm aperture 
  • Two 1.25” eyepieces, 20mm and 6mm 
  • Table top mount 
  • Easy to use for beginners and good images for advanced stargazers
  • Light and compact at only 4 lbs, ideal for travel
  • MoonMap 260, Star Target Planisphere, Exploring the Cosmos book

What we didn’t like

  • No smartphone connectivity
  • Manually controlled mount
  • May be too small for more advanced users

Smartphone connection: No
Accessories: 2 eyepieces, MoonMap 260, Star Target Planisphere, Exploring the Cosmos book
Best for: Beginners and families
For age: 6+ year, whole family
How it’s kid friendly: Easy to set up, light and portable
What can you see with it: Moon, planets, nebulae, deep sky objects, stars

How to choose a telescope for kids?

Here are some points to consider when choosing best telescopes for kids.

Age

Up to 4 years

For this age group, buying toy telescopes is a great idea. You can use them indoors and there is no concern about breaking the glass optics. The toys have built-in authentic NASA images, allowing kids to see realistic sky views. As a “my first telescope,” the toy telescopes talk to the kids, exciting them with quizzes and facts.

5 to 7 years

At this age, you can look for a real telescope with an aperture of 40mm to 60mm.  A telescope for 7 year old should be easy to set up, lightweight and have an adjustable tripod.

8 to 10 years

Increased apertures of 76ml, 80ml, and upwards will give far better images for older children. Choose scopes with Red Dot Finders for ease of use.

10 years upwards and teens

Teens love mobile Apps. Choose a scope that operates with a Smartphone. Look for apertures of 120ml, 130ml, and upwards for great views.

Purpose

If you want to get kids hooked on astronomy, start with a smaller 40ml to 100ml aperture, a good quality scope that gives meaningful images. It must be easy to locate objects. You don’t want kids becoming frustrated and giving up.

For more advanced users, choose a scope with larger apertures of 100ml and over for high-quality views. Invest in a telescope that will last for a lifetime.

Smartphone compatibility

Smartphone compatibility is a must-have for the teen generation. Teens are on their phones all the time and have experience downloading and using apps. A telescope that links to a smartphone app is definitely a plus.

Accessories

Telescopes that offer loads of accessories make the stargazing experience far more exciting.

  • Look for telescopes with multiple eyepieces with different magnifications for detailed views.
  • Telescopes with Barlow eyepieces also offer extra magnification.
  • Red Dot Finders allow easy locating of celestial objects.
  • Mounts with slow-motion controls are easier to operate and keep the object in view. 
  • Learning materials help new stargazers to know what to look for and when to look.
  • Star maps, info on celestial objects, Moon maps, and easy Astronomy Software Downloads enhance the experience.
  • These learning tools also get parents involved and help them to guide the kids.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best telescope to buy for a child?

For under $100, the Discovery Kids Telescope & Microscope Combo Set  is a great option. It has a 40mm aperture, 2 eye-pieces and a sturdy easy-mount tripod. It includes a microscope kit as an added feature.

What is a good telescope for beginners?

For beginners. The FunScope 76mm Reflector Telescope Kids Kit comes with a larger 76mm aperture and a Red Dot Finder. It only weighs 4 lbs, making it easy to take along on a stargazing outing. 

What is the best inexpensive telescope?

The Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Refractor Telescope Package is exclusively available from Opticsplanet. It costs under $150 and is a quality device that will last for many years. The scope features a unique equatorial mount design and motorized drive. 

What telescope is good for viewing planets?

The Orion GoScope III 70mm Refractor Telescope Kit is a well priced telescope for the family. It offers great views of planets, such as Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings.

What is the best telescope for a 10 year old?

Older kids love anything electronic with an app. The Celestron AstroFi 90 Telescope connects to a smartphone and is a great choice for telescopes for teens. It will last them for years and offers spectacular views.

What is the best telescope for a 8 year old?

The Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Equatorial Reflector Telescope is a best telescope for 8 year old. It comes with two eyepieces and has a 130mm aperture, offering great views of fainter deep sky objects.

What is the best telescope for a 7 year old?

I would recommend the Levenhuk LabZZ T3 Refractor Telescope. It features a 60mm aperture for great views. Also in the kit are a 4mm eyepiece, a 12.5mm eyepiece, a 3x Barlow lens, and a 5x optical finder.

What is the best telescope for a 4 year old?

The Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope is a great way to start astronomy for toddlers. 4 year olds will enjoy this interactive telescope that talks to them.

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