The best telescope for kids will be easy to set up, easy to use, durable and, most of all, fun!

A telescope can make a great present for a child. It can stimulate interest in the sciences and the wider world and also give a parent something they can do as a family.

Below is a list of the best five telescopes for kids. They are not toys but are suitable for children (with links provided to check the up-to-date prices and reviews on Amazon).

1. Best telescopes for children – summary table

Last update on 2019-02-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Best telescopes for kids – detailed reviews

1. Celestron Cometron FirstScope Telescope

Celestron Signature Series Moon by Robert Reeves Features A Superb Moon Astronomical Telescope, Black (22016)

This is a great little telescope that is intended as a first telescope for beginners and children (hence “Firstscope”). It is lightweight, portable and can be set up without tools. It is capable of providing views of planets and detail on the moon.

Note that there are two versions of the Firstscope but we recommend to go for the option linked here that is a little more expensive but includes better accessories (a finderscope, red dot finder and two 3-element eyepieces) which will be worthwhile in the long run.

There is also a limited edition version available (pictured) that was released in 2018 with the stylish moon imagery printed on the telescope.

Specifications: 76mm aperture, 300mm focal length, Newtonian reflector telescope.

Check prices for the Celestron Cometron FirstScope

2. Meade Day and Night Telescope

Meade Day and Night Telescope - EclipseView 82mm Reflecting with Removable Filter (227000)

Similar to the Celestron Firstscope above and Orion Funscope below in terms of performance, it is very easy to pick up and suitable for beginners and children. It is a tabletop telescope, and so is easy to just pick up and play with.

It comes with some accessories like a Barlow lens and a red dot finder which are really necessary for telescopes with this short of a focal length.

Specifications: 82mm aperture, 300mm focal length, Newtonian reflector telescope.

Check prices for the Meade Lightbridge Mini 82

3. Orion Funscope Telescope


Orion FunScope Astro Dazzle 4.5 Inch Reflector Telescope

You can probably gather from the name Funscope that this telescope is made for children. It is easy to use as well as being small and light.

This and the two models above are all pretty similar in terms of performance, size and price and so shop around for the best deal if you think this type of tabletop telescope would fit your needs.

This model includes useful a red dot finder and you’ll probably want to add some accessories later – like a tripod and Barlow lens to make the most of it. (If you want information on telescope accessories see our guide on what to look for when buying a telescope).

Specifications: 76mm aperture, 300mm focal length, Newtonian reflector telescope.

Check prices for the Orion Funscope 10033

4. Celestron 70mm Travel Scope

Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope

This telescope is designed to be highly portable and comes with a backpack so that it can be packed away easily and taken on trips. No tools are needed for setup, but a small child would need a bit of help getting the tripod up properly.

It’s not specifically aimed at children but it ticks all the boxes in being easy to use, easy to transport and store, and not too expensive.

Specifications: 70mm aperture, refractor telescope.

Check prices for the Celestron 70mm Travel Scope

5. Gskyer 70mm AZ Refractor Telescope


Telescope, Travel Scope, 70mm Aperture 400mm AZ Mount Astronomical Refractor Telescope for Kids Beginners - Portable Travel Telescope with Carry Bag, Smartphone Adapter and Bluetooth Camera Remote

This telescope is very highly rated by users as a model for beginners and children and comes with a travel bag which is extremely useful for storage and transportation.

It is a small step up in challenge from the options above and so more suitable for children ages 10+. It includes a number of accessories which will need to be taken care of, including a tripod and a smartphone adapter so you can take photos with your phone’s camera.

Specifications: 70mm aperture, AZ refractor telescope.

Check prices for the Gskyer 60mm AZ Refractor

3. Overall – what is the best telescope for kids?

For younger children, I would recommend one of the first three options on this list – the Celestron Cometron FirstScope, Meade Day & Night, or the Orion Funscope. These are simple to use, lightweight and relatively cheap.

If your child is a bit older (say, 10+) then we would definitely recommend the Gskyer 70mm AZ Refractor telescope or the Celestron 70mm Travel Scope. They are simple enough to get going with but also enough of a challenge that kid who enjoys it will be able to learn how to make the most of it and experiment with the different eyepieces and accessories. 

If your budget goes higher, then computerized telescopes provide a different option. With a computerized telescope, a computer is in-built into the telescope and it locates the planets and objects in space for you. This contrasts to a regular telescope where you need to locate the objects manually. This can save a lot of time and make stargazing much easier, but are more expensive and so would only suit those with a higher budget, or for an adult to use together with a child. For some options, see the best computerized telescopes.

If you need some guidance as to the differences between telescopes (for example, reflector vs refractor telescopes) then see our article on the best overall telescopes in 2018/19, which includes a guide to all the specifics and terminology around buying telescopes.