The Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Best Telescopes for Kids

Father and daughter observing the sky with a telescope.

Gazing through a telescope can spark a child’s imagination and set them on a path of STEM learning fueled by a closer look at the cosmos. Whether children are interested in stargazing or viewing different landscapes in daylight, parents or teachers shopping for a telescope for kids should consider looking for an easy-to-use design with durable parts, including a sturdy tripod. Here are a few top telescopes to consider purchasing for their quality parts and impressive magnification.

This telescope has a stunning exterior with black and white details. Users can attach a smartphone to the telescope to view 3x the magnifying power on each Barlow lens to ensure they can get a clear picture of the moon and stars. The various viewing positions offer added convenience. The aluminum legs are sturdy and can be folded so the telescope can be transported in the included carrying bag. The parts and settings are also easy to adjust to help kids use them independently. The telescope is easy enough for older children to assemble with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. Kids can even save and share the images they see through the lens by taking screenshots on their phone.

The Celestron Travel Scope 70 has a full-height tripod, and the frame is light to ensure kids 7 and older can assemble and transport it without the assistance of an adult. Despite its lightweight design, it’s sturdy enough to ensure it holds up well to frequent use. With a simple design, this telescope is ideal for beginners, who will be able to learn to use it quickly and even take pictures through the lens. This telescope is perfect for viewing wildlife because it’s easy to take on the go while exploring the great outdoors. An added moon filter offers a clear view and prevents glare.

The MaxUSee Telescope is an entry-level option that will pique children’s interest in stargazing and planetary exploration. With different levels of magnification, children can decide how close of a view they want when taking a close look at the moon or stars. The telescope is easy to assemble, letting kids be independent while using it. The lightweight design of both the telescope and tripod makes it convenient to take on the go. It’s ideal for kids ages 6 to 12 who already know the basics of using telescopes.

This high-quality telescope is a great choice for beginning astronomers. It’s easy to set up, with a portable tripod that’s sturdy but still lightweight. The telescope comes with a 360mm focal length and two eyepieces: one with 18x magnification and one with 90x magnification. Great for youngsters over 5 who are fascinated by the moon, it will give kids the ability to look at the moon’s different features in great detail while allowing them to practice using a real telescope.

This telescope includes interchangeable eyepieces for a boost in viewing power. Various objects on the ground or in the sky are easy to locate with the 5×24 finderscope with mounting bracket and two bigger focus eyepieces. It comes with instructions for use, as well as a helpful map of the stars to introduce children to the constellations. The dark blue telescope is made with quality parts and looks sleek when paired with the aluminum tripod. It’s ideal for beginners and can teach kids how to adjust the focus and use a viewfinder. It’s a great product for getting kids’ feet wet with using a telescope before investing in a more advanced model. This telescope is high-powered, but its compact design makes it easy to use. Children can easily handle all of the parts and won’t feel intimidated by its size.

Expert Commentary

“Telescopes are more than just a tool to learn about science and faraway objects — they are a gateway to the larger universe that Earth is a part of. Engaging with a telescope is a simple way to increase a child’s understanding of many subjects in math and science at the same time. With younger children, I recommend starting with objects on land or sea prior to searching the sky for planets or constellations.”

Our Expert Consultant

Jill Goodwin

Jill Goodwin is an environmental scientist and working mother of one. She and her husband, an archaeologist, reside in Florida and have deep expertise around things outside of the house that you and your child may encounter. From taking their daughter to find reptiles and amphibians in the swamps to testing the chemical impact of the top sunscreens, Jill is here to help you find the best for your child.