The universe has always inspired the imagination of the people. What kind of secrets is the universe hiding? Will we ever be able to travel to far away planets? Especially children are fascinated by the almost infinite vastness of the universe and its great secrets. A good telescope for kids may encourage them in their desire to explore the world around them and may spark an interest in science.
However, it is not always easy to find the best telescope for kids and often mistakes are made. I think that children are not to be inspired by the most expensive telescope around that needs to be handled with great care. But rather with a good telescope for kids with which they can experiment, modify and try different ideas. As long as the kids can experiment with it, they enjoy it.
If the child has learned to see and discover and shows growing curiosity towards astronomy, then you can consider whether to upgrade the telescope. Maybe a larger Dobsonian or perhaps an equatorially mounted mirror telescope would be a sensible investment.
The below recommendations are the perfect beginner telescopes for children. Focal length and aperture are sufficient to observe the moon, our neighboring, double stars and some of the brighter galaxies like the Andromeda galaxy. They are easy to set up saving a difficult assembly of the telescope. They are very affordable and therefore particularly suitable for beginners and children.
One of the most important features is a proper and stable telescope mount that allows wobble-free rotation and adjustment. Nothing is worse than a wobbly tripod. Exact positioning is impossible with such devices.
Furthermore, it is important that the focal length of the telescope is large enough to allow some magnification power to see at least some details on the moon, but also stars. Especially watching the moon with all its craters is an absolute highlight for children.
The aperture is the most significant factor of any telescope. It determines the instruments light gathering power. So the larger the aperture the more detailed, brighter and sharper the images will appear.
To make sure that kids are having fun operating the telescope, it should be easy to set up and easy to adjust. If a telescope comes with too many small parts, which still have to be assembled following a complicated manual, children may lose patience, as well as one or the other adults. Better are telescopes that are already assembled and ready to use.
Most high-quality telescopes have removable parts that enthusiasts can replace with higher end ones. This means that if your child wants to replace certain parts of your telescope or if they accidentally break it then a telescope with removable accessories would be convenient.
If you decide to buy a good telescope for kids you need to know the basics about telescopes and what important features to consider. Read about the different kinds of telescopes for amateurs and learn about their advantages and disadvantages.
Decide on an amount what you want to spend on a telescope. Prices for telescopes range from quite low and affordable for beginners or children. Then there is a price range that easily matches the cost of a car and the serious hobby astronomer is glad to spend that on a telescope with the top of the line optics. There is virtually no end of the scale of telescope costs when you look at the very large telescopes that are operated by science institutes or international science consortiums.
When you have decided what kind of telescope build you want to buy, then choose a maximum you are willing to spend. One fact is true with optical instruments from reputable manufacturers. The more you spend the better they are. This may not always be so obvious as the difference hides in the quality of the lenses, mirrors and the mechanics of the mount.
For a beginner, it is easy to get mislead by advertising and promises about things that can be seen with a telescope. You have to keep in mind that the glossy color photos of celestial objects are taken with telescopes and instruments that are not affordable for most hobby astronomers. Looking to a telescope and appreciating the viewed objects require knowing or the desire to know what one is looking at. Understanding and knowing what objects you are viewing will make you at look at them in awe.
Galileo Galilei was one of the first to point a telescope at the sky. His best telescope produced blurry and fuzzy images and a maximum magnification power of 30x. Nevertheless, his discoveries changed the view of our world.