Best telescopes for kids: Top picks for seeing the moon, stars, planets & more

If you’re looking for the best telescopes for kids, you’re in luck as we’ve got a selection of them in this handy guide. Another great bit of news is you won’t have to spend a great sum of money to get your hands on them either, as it’s possible to find a perfectly suitable instrument for under $100. There are options that are robust and portable, that can withstand minor knocks and be taken on camping trips. A lot of the best telescopes for kids come ready-to-use and are easy to set up, which you’ll see if you read on below. And if you want to grab a bargain, check out our Amazon Prime Day page where we’ll be tracking the best telescope deals and the best deals on dozens of other stargazing equipment ahead of its start next week.

Telescope glossary

Aperture: Diameter of the primary mirror or lens, which allows a telescope to collect light.
Field of view: Area of sky visible through the eyepiece.
Focal length: A telescope’s tube length. Short focal lengths offer a wide field of view and a small image.
Focal ratio: Also known as the telescope’s speed. Small focal ratios provide lower magnifications, wide field of view and a brighter image.
Magnification: Relationship between the telescope’s optical system and the eyepiece. 

When searching for the best telescopes for kids there are a few aspects we need to consider. First off, we need to establish what kind of subject our budding young astronomers want to observe — this will allow us to determine what kind of telescope to purchase, whether it be a refractor, reflector or catadioptric telescope. Catadioptrics (a hybrid between refractor and reflector telescopes) come in two forms: Schmidt-Cassegrain and Maksutov-Cassegrain. 

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