The Top 12 Telescopes For Your Little Astronomer

Feed Your Little Dreamer’s Want To See The Universe With These Awesome Stargazers!

Top 12 Telescopes

Fact is kids find the universe a source of wonder and amazement whether they dream of being astronomers or not. From simple stargazing to using telescopes to get a closer look at the heavenly bodies, sky-watching is one fun hobby.

These said, pique your child’s interest in astronomy. Develop his love for this science by getting him the tool he needs for his explorations — a telescope. Pick one up from this year’s roost of top 12 telescopes for little astronomers!

Check the table for a briefer version of the article and its featured products:

Product NameImageAge RecommendationPriceFeaturesRating
6" Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box - Pirate Navigation (India Overseas Trading Corp.)4 years old and up$One great telescope for little beginners who fancy themselves pirates (great accessory for a pirate Halloween costume!).
GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope (Educational Insights)5 to 8 years old (but children as young as 3 will find this a fun toy to play with.)$$A telescope, a slide viewer and a talking animals and planets facts machine all rolled into one.
FirstScope Telescope (Celestron)5-6 years old and up$$Introduce your little entry-level astronomers to the wonders of the science with this tabletop telescope.
GoScope III 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope (Orion)5-6 years old and up$$$The telescope on-the-go, the GoScope is ideal for all-day use --- nature or bird watching during the day and casual star or moon gazing at night.
Infinity 60mm AZ Refractor Telescope (Meade Instruments)6 years old to 10 years old$$A great telescope to get your child who's just beginning to discover the beauty and wonder of the skies above and the nature surrounding him.
31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope (Celestron)7 years old and up$$$$Get your whole family addicted to the beauty of astronomy with this powerful telescope. You might even get your child interested in the astrophotography hobby with this piece.
Strike 80 NG Telescope (Levenhuk)7 years old and up$$$$Many hail this as the "perfect telescope for astronomy beginners and amateurs".
Galileoscope Kit (Arbor Scientific)School-aged kids$$Learn a few bits of astronomy history, get to assemble your own telescope like how Galileo did some 400 years ago --- this one's truly an educational kit ideal for starting astronomers.
Nancy B's Science Club MoonScope & Sky Gazers 22-page Activity Journal (Educational Insights)7 to 12 years old$The MoonScope is one awesome gift you can give your preschooler who has discovered the wonders of space and the universe for the first time.
AstroMark 50mm Refractor Telescope (Twin Star)8 years old and up$Basically a "point and go" telescope, this piece is ideal not just for night sky watching but mountain gazing, bird watching and even scanning the mysteries lurking within your city's streets and corners (provided you're housed in a high-rise).
Telescope, Travel Scope, 70mm Astronomical Refracter Telescope (Emarth)8 years old and up$$A powerful beginner's telescope that your kid and the whole family can take with when on the go.
DIY Kids' Telescope for Beginners (ToyerBee)8 years old and up$Allow your kid to build his own telescope with this kit. Teach him the lesson that astronomy is more than just observing heavenly bodies, one needs to break a little sweat from time to time, too!

Get To Know Your Telescope

There are three main types of telescopes. While all of them are designed to give their users a good look at the stars and other heavenly bodies, they do so in varying ways. Get to know their differences, their advantages and disadvantages below.

The Refractor Telescope

The most common type of telescope, the refracting or dioptric telescope is generally used to observe bright images such as the sun, moon, stars and other planets as it gives off high-contrast images. And it’s not just for far objects either. You can use it to view objects from your surroundings. This kind of telescope is best for beginners.

Pros
  • Its design is simple making it easy to use.
  • It has a sealed tube, so its lenses or optics are safe.
  • It maintenance needs are low.
Cons
  • It doesn’t take crisp images of faint objects.
  • Its build is a little heavy and bulky compared to the other telescope types.

The Reflector Telescope

The reflecting telescope is also known in these names — the mirror telescope and the Newton telescope (after its inventor, Isaac Newton). It was developed as an upgrade to the refracting telescope. It gives clearer pictures compared to the former.

Pros
  • This type of telescope can view faint objects unlike the refracting telescope.
  • It gives off high-quality images.
  • The mirror telescope also has a more compact build and is lighter.
Cons
  • Its open-tube design could collect dust over time.
  • You can’t use it to view objects that are just in your surroundings.

The Compound Telescope

The compound or catadioptric telescope is a combination of the refracting and reflecting telescopes. That is, it combines the best features of the two. It’s the to-go-to telescopes for astrophotographers (photographers who specializes in shooting the sky and heavenly bodies).

Pros
  • You can use it to view faint subject matters or objects that are found in your surroundings.
  • It has a sealed tube, so its lenses or optics are quite safe from dust.
Cons
  • This type of telescope is pricey compared to the other two.
  • It also has a bulkier build.

The Top 12 Telescopes For Little Astronomers

6″ Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box – Pirate Navigation (India Overseas Trading Corp.)

Top Telescopes

One great telescope for little beginners who fancy themselves pirates (great accessory for a pirate Halloween costume!).

Type: Not specified (Most Likely A Refracting Telescope)

Magnification: 3x

Age Recommendation: 4 years old and up

Pros
  • The telescope is a fully functional one with a magnitude up to 3 times.
  • It has a lovely brass finish and comes in a wooden box, really a pirate’s piece worth collecting.
  • It’s very affordable.
Cons
  • Its leather part emits a slightly strong offensive smell that many buyers complained about.


GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope (Educational Insights)

A telescope, a slide viewer and a talking animals and planets facts machine all rolled into one.

Type: Toy Telescope

Magnification: 4x

Age Recommendation: 5 to 8 years old (but children as young as 3 will find this a fun toy to play with.)

Pros
  • It’s a telescope, a slide viewer (product package includes 20 slides) and talking facts machine — three abilities in one toy.
  • The telescope promotes STEM learning to kids as young as 3.
  • An ideal telescope to get a child who just discovered the wonders of the sky above him and the planet he’s living in.
Cons
  • Needs batteries to fully function (double A batteries not included).


FirstScope Telescope (Celestron)

Introduce your little entry-level astronomers to the wonders of the science with this tabletop telescope.

Type: Refractor Telescope

Magnification: 11x

Age Recommendation: 5-6 years old and up

Pros
  • It is portable, lightweight and of tabletop design, meaning, you can lug it around easily.
  • The telescope is very easy to use; just move the tube towards the direction of the object you want to observe.
  • It’s a great decorative fixture to any shelf when not in use.
Cons
  • You have to buy additional lenses if you want more magnification.


GoScope III 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope (Orion)

The telescope on-the-go, the GoScope is ideal for all-day use — nature or bird watching during the day and casual star or moon gazing at night.

Type: Refractor Telescope

Magnification: 20x to 44x

Age Recommendation: 5-6 years old and up

Pros
  • A versatile refracting telescope that your kid and the whole family can use both day and night.
  • Product comes with a backpack for easy transport
  • Package includes a MoonMap, so you’ll get to go through facts about the moon and whatever lunar features you see when watching the moon.
Cons
  • Some buyers complain about the telescope’s pieces being loose-fitting.


Infinity 60mm AZ Refractor Telescope (Meade Instruments)

A great telescope to get your child who’s just beginning to discover the beauty and wonder of the skies above and the nature surrounding him.

Type: Refractor Telescope

Magnification: 23x to 95x (three magnification settings: low, medium and high)

Age Recommendation: 6 years old to 10 years old

Pros
  • This is the ideal telescope for astronomy novices.
  • You can use it for both daytime and nighttime observations.
  • One of the features its buyers love is it’s easy to assemble.
Cons
  • Focusing the red dot viewfinder can be a little difficult and needs getting used to.


31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope (Celestron)

Get your whole family addicted to the beauty of astronomy with this powerful telescope. You might even get your child interested in the astrophotography hobby with this piece.

Type: Reflector Telescope

Magnification: 307x

Age Recommendation: 7 years old and up

Pros
  • Easy to set up, minimum to no assembly required.
  • Powered with high magnification for crisp, high-resolution images.
  • Has German Equatorial Mount for more accuracy in finding desired objects.
  • Can be attached to cameras for picture takings.
Cons
  • Pricey


Strike 80 NG Telescope (Levenhuk)

Many hail this as the “perfect telescope for astronomy beginners and amateurs”.

Type: Refractor Telescope

Magnification: 360x

Age Recommendation: 7 years old and up

Pros
  • Despite being a highly advanced telescope, the Strike 80 NG is easy to set up and use.
  • Its high magnification power lets its users see even binary stars (limiting stellar magnitude of 11.5).
  • Its package has a lot of inclusions, accessories that the whole family will find useful when learning about the wonders of the sky.
Cons
  • Users might need some time to get used to its red dot FinderScope.
  • Pricey


Galileoscope Kit (Arbor Scientific)

Learn a few bits of astronomy history, get to assemble your own telescope like how Galileo did some 400 years ago — this one’s truly an educational kit ideal for starting astronomers.

Type: Refractor Telescope

Magnification: 25x to 50x

Age Recommendation: School-aged kids and up

Pros
  • This kit was developed by scientists, engineers and educators. You’re sure to get quality and accuracy with this one.
  • A little assembly puts the fun in learning astronomy. It’s easy to do, though, so you won’t break a sweat.
  • With teaching guides and activities available at www.TeachingWithTelescopes.org.
Cons
  • Smaller school-aged kids might have difficulty assembling the kit, adult supervision is required.


Nancy B’s Science Club MoonScope & Sky Gazers 22-page Activity Journal (Educational Insights)

The MoonScope is one awesome gift you can give your preschooler who has discovered the wonders of space and the universe for the first time.

Type: Not Specified (Most Possibly A Refractor Telescope)

Magnification: 90x

Age Recommendation: 7 to 12 years old

Pros
  • This set comes with a 22-page activity guide that will help your child’s astronomical navigation easier.
  • It supports STEM learning.
  • The journal encourages your child’s inner scientist. Let him record his observations and pique his love for science.
Cons
  • Buyers complain of focus difficulties.


AstroMark 50mm Refractor Telescope (Twin Star)

Basically a “point and go” telescope, this piece is ideal not just for night sky watching but mountain gazing, bird watching and even scanning the mysteries lurking within your city’s streets and corners (provided you’re housed in a high-rise).

Type: Refractor Telescope

Magnification: 30x to 48x

Age Recommendation: 8 years old and up

Pros
  • Good to use for both day watching and nighttime star, moon and planet gazing.
  • Easy to assemble and set up. Basically a “point and go” piece.
  • The telescope and its accessories are compact and lightweight.
Cons
  • Tripod is a little flimsy and unstable.


Telescope, Travel Scope, 70mm Astronomical Refracter Telescope (Emarth)

A powerful beginner’s telescope that your kid and the whole family can take with when on the go.

Type: Refractor Telescope

Magnification: 14.4x and 60x (upgradable)

Age Recommendation: 8 years old and up

Pros
  • Made of very light material (aluminum alloy) with a compact design, lugging the telescope around is not a hassle.
  • It is designed to view near and far objects, both terrestrial and astronomical subject matters.
  • Quite easy to set up, even small kids can do it.
Cons
  • Focus can be a problem for smaller kids and might need adult supervision.


DIY Kids’ Telescope for Beginners (ToyerBee)

Allow your kid to build his own telescope with this kit. Teach him the lesson that astronomy is more than just observing heavenly bodies, one needs to break a little sweat from time to time, too!

Type: Reflector Telescope

Magnification: 20x, 30x, and 40x

Age Recommendation: 8 years old and up

Pros
  • This DIY telescope comes in three magnifying settings — 20x, 30x, and 40x.
  • Though it’s DIY, it’s easy to assemble. It also comes with a user manual. Manufacturers advise buyers to read through the manual first before putting up the telescope.
  • The set is made of recyclable materials. Go green with this one!
Cons
  • It’s a basic telescope. If you’re looking for something more extensive, this is not it.


Kid’s Not Into Astronomy? Check The Articles Below For More Gift Ideas For Kids:

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