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Binoculars are a great way to open up the eyes of your children for the wonders of Nature. They can help your kids scope out nesting birds, deer, and even a hive of bees from a good, safe distance.
The trouble is that you want to provide your kids with a quality picture, but it’s also pretty risky to entrust good binoculars to children prone to dropping them.
Fortunately, there are a few different kinds of binoculars suitable for the little ones. The market might seem a bit thick, but we think our reviews will make picking out the best binoculars for a child easy!
|Best Overall||Celestron 71330||
|Best Budget Buy||Skygenius Small Kids||
|Educational Insights Jr.||
Celestron’s 71330 Nature DX 8×32 binoculars walked away with our pick for the top binoculars for kids. It wasn’t even close. We’d rank these pretty high compared to choices for adults.
This is a good, all-weather set of binoculars with all the top-shelf features designed for producing clean images, but in a compact and indestructible frame. Your kid can take these into the woods for a day of exploring, and you won’t have to worry about them getting smashed by an inadvertent drop.
Peace of mind costs money, and compared to its competition, this one might break your budget. If you just want a basic set and are okay with the idea of them getting lost, you might want to look for something a bit simpler.
The High Resolution 8×21 from Thinkspeak Toys Binoculars for Kids is a perfect second choice if you’re looking for something to let your children see nature up close. They are intuitive to use, ruggedly constructed, and produce high-quality images.
One thing we especially liked was that the center focus knob was big enough for small fingers not quite adapted for small motor control. If you’re an adult, they might feel a little hokey, but you’re buying these for kids, right?
They’re much more affordable than the Celestron 71330s. That’s a good thing. They’re also more expensive than the rest of the competition. That’s not such a good thing. Plus, compared to the Celestron, they aren’t as rugged and don’t produce quite the same images.
If you read what Skygenius markets as its 8×21 Small Binoculars’ capabilities, you’d reckon that you could practically see the pores on the Man in the Moon’s face. We’ll get to that in a second, but one indisputable thing is that these are easily the best budget buy we reviewed.
What we really like about them is their price. If you get these for your kid, and they get dropped or lost, you won’t feel all that bad about replacing them, even if you have to do it twice. They are also great for small hands to manipulate.
They’re also good toy binoculars. No, you won’t see details on the Moon. Your child can watch nesting robins from their bedroom window, or a herd of deer at the back of your property. For a kid, that’s probably as good as perfect. Just don’t get them wet, because these have very little weather protection.
Dreamingbox’s Compact Shock Proof Binoculars are designed specifically for kids to hold on to and adjust easily, with a unique, almost science fiction-like appearance. The handles even come with built-in finger-holding ridges to promote a tight hand grip.
We’d call these almost a perfect first set of binoculars. They’re fun and functional and come at a pretty reasonable price.
When we say first set, we mean that, too. These aren’t designed to take any kind of beating, and kids will give a serious beating to binoculars. They also don’t focus with any real precision. You’ll get a good picture, but it won’t have a lot of clear details.
Educational Insights’ GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars have a very limited age range. For kids ages three to maybe five, these are a great introduction to the concepts of size and imaging. They can look at things through a fitted facepiece, which helps kids who can’t hold still, and see that they are a little bit bigger than with the naked eye.
We also like the price. As a toy that will last a kid maybe a year, maybe a little more before they need something more advanced, it’s a pretty good investment.
Kids who are a little older probably won’t show a lot of interest in these. While some of the binoculars we looked at have magnifications in the range of eight, this one has two. That’s good for learning a concept, but not good if you want details at range.
In a world without competition, the Vanstarry Kids Binoculars would rank much higher. They produce adequate imaging and can withstand the rigors of children dropping them on concrete and rock. They are easy to adjust and for small hands to grasp.
The problem is that almost every other set of kids’ binoculars does the same thing, except for less money. We get that these are supposed to be a gift set, and if you want to pay extra for a cute little box and carrying case, it might be worth the money. We’re concerned only with how the binoculars themselves work, not with whether they have value as a gift.
The neck strap is of poor quality. We don’t like to judge binoculars based on things like the neck strap, but for the money you’re paying for this, they ought to give you something better to hang it around your neck with.
The Cobiz Kids Binoculars are marketed as entry-level binoculars for aspiring sports folks. The company says this set’s compact, lightweight, produces high-quality images, and even comes with its own neck strap and cleaning cloth. It is at least one of those things.
It’s lightweight, which is a pretty important thing when talking about binoculars used by kids. The way to kill a child’s interest in the outdoors really quickly is to introduce them to gear that fatigues them. So, when it is lightweight and portable, that can’t be undersold.
One other thing these are is expensive. You can get similar imaging for quite a bit less money. While these are compact, that is a drawback because they’re compact enough that for many kids, they’re too small. They’re also hard to get focused in properly.
On paper, Efast’s Folding Kids Binoculars look like they ought to be a contender. They’re lightweight and compact, with good imaging features and a design that is easily portable for children just getting started on using optical equipment. On paper, communism also looks good.
One drawback to this design of binoculars is that they’re almost always too small for smooth operations in the field. The two lenses get pushed together all the time and require resetting. In the case of these binoculars, they are also hard to adjust.
On the other hand, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg to buy.
Let’s get right out ahead of the bad and say that the GeoSafari Compass Binoculars from Educational Insights is a starter set of binoculars. They are not intended to be pinpoint accurate. They are intended to introduce children to the concepts behind using binoculars.
They also have a pretty limited field of view. Both of those qualities are baked into the design. Not baked into the design is that these have a habit of falling out of focus. People who use them constantly need to adjust it.
If you’re running late for a birthday party for a kid whose parents you don’t like and find a set of Scotamalone’s Kid Binoculars along the way, pick those up. You’ll feel satisfied with your purchase.
One reason is the price. Out of all the binoculars we looked at, these are the most affordable. There is a difference, of course, between being affordable in price and terrible value.
These are poorly constructed. They fall apart quickly. The silver lining to that is that the lenses are plastic, so they were never going to produce quality images. They also have very little magnification.
•10 Toy Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired
We hope you found some clarity in our reviews to help you buy the best binoculars for kids. We really liked the Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Binocular as an indestructible, high-quality top pick, but only if you’ve got the money.
The Thinkspeak Toys Binoculars for Kids High Resolution 8×21 binoculars are a close second, especially based on price. They’re more expensive than the rest of the field, but still priced much more kid-friendly than the Celestron 71330s. They just didn’t produce the same quality images.
As a budget model, you can’t get any better than the Skygenius 8×21 Small Binoculars. They’re super affordable and great for children’s small hands. They don’t live up to the company’s hype, however, and they are barely water-resistant.
Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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