The best binoculars for kids magnify far away objects, bringing birds, stars, and everything in between into view. However, children need binoculars that fit their smaller faces, can withstand a few spills and drops, and offer decent optics. We’ve put together a list of binoculars designed for toddlers up to teens. These binoculars have rugged designs so that parents can breathe easier when kids run outside for a closer view of an airplane or the night sky. The best binoculars for kids are those that fit your child’s age, preferred activities, and your budget.
— Best Overall: THINKPEAK Binoculars for Kids
— Best for Birding: occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars
— Best for Astronomy: Celestron Cometron 7x50 Binoculars
— Best Night Vision: Hike Crew Digital Vision Binoculars
— Best Budget: Scotamalone Kids Binoculars
How We Picked the Best Binoculars for Kids
We considered the binocular’s magnification, objective lens size, durability features, and ease of use.
Magnification: Children do best with a focus somewhere between 2x to 8x. Tweens and teens can handle a higher 10x or potentially a 12x for someone with a steady hand. We looked for binoculars that provided a balance between magnification and ease of use. Kids can have a hard time holding the binoculars still, so lower magnifications make it easier to keep the object in the field of view.
Objective Lens Size: The objective lens size affects the binoculars’ weight and amount of light they let in. In general, a lens size between 20mm to 30mm works best. They provide a clear view without being too heavy. Stargazing is the only exception. You need a larger 40mm to 50mm lens to let in more light for nighttime viewing.
Durability: Features like a rubberized housing or grip are important for kids to keep a good hold on the binoculars.
Ease of Use: Ease of use comes down to the size and weight of the binoculars. Kids need lighter models that are easier for a child’s smaller hands to hold.
The Best Binoculars for Kids: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Binoculars for Kids Overall: THINKPEAK Binoculars for Kids
Why It Made The Cut: These small, lightweight binoculars offer 8x magnification in a sturdy shock-resistant housing that makes them the best binoculars for kids.
— Weight: 8.1 ounces
— Magnification: 8x21
— Shock Resistant: Yes
— Compact and lightweight
— Protective shock-proof rubber coating
— Easy to focus
— 6 color options
— May be too small for children with larger faces
— Somewhat expensive
— May not work for older kids
The THINKPEAK Binoculars for Kids have all the things that kids and parents like when it comes to binoculars. They’re 8x21, which means they have 8x magnification with a 21mm objective lens. That’s a good balance of focus with light so that even younger kids can spot an object and stay with it.
They only weigh 8.1 ounces, reducing the strain on little hands and arms. The THINKPEAK binoculars are also easy to focus, which cuts down on frustration for kids who want to see in a hurry. They come in six kid-friendly colors, including black for those who like to keep things neutral.
The only issue you might have is with their narrow inter-pupillary distance. Older children and those who have wider set eyes or larger heads/faces may find them too narrow. Here are more ideas for the best gifts for kids.
Best Birding Binoculars: occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars
Why It Made The Cut: The occer binoculars offer higher magnification but in a lightweight, compact housing that kids can handle, making them the best birding binoculars for kids.
— Weight: 14.1 ounces
— Magnification: 12 x 25
— Shock Resistant: No
— Small size is easier to hold
— Rubber “armor” offers a secure grip
— Borders on adult binoculars quality
— May be difficult to focus for younger children
— May not work in low light
The occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars are an excellent option as a beginning pair of birding binoculars. Their 12x magnification is on the higher side, but tweens and teens can certainly use them to start spotting birds. They have a wide field of view, making it easier to keep birds in sight.
However, it’s the compact size that makes them a great pick for kids. They won’t weigh down the neck, and smaller hands can easily keep them under control. A rubber “armor” offers protection and a textured grip for added security. Plus, they can be adjusted for kids who wear glasses to keep the fit comfortable.
Best for Astronomy: Celestron Cometron 7x50 Binoculars
Why It Made The Cut: The Celestron binoculars’ 50mm objective lens gathers enough light to see the stars, making them the best astronomy binoculars for kids.
— Weight: 2 pounds
— Magnification: 7x50
— Shock Resistant: No
— 50mm objective lens gathers extra light for better nighttime viewing
— Strong but light aluminum housing
— Rubberized housing offers better grip
— Short-sighted people may still need glasses
— May have limited view compared to other models
Young stargazers get their first up close glimpse of the universe through the Celestron Cometron 7x50 Binoculars. Their 7x magnification is perfect for kids to be able to get a clear, crisp view but helps them keep the object within view.
A wide 50mm objective lens gathers extra light to provide clear views in the dark of night. However, that wide lens adds weight that makes these heavier than the average pair of binoculars.
The manufacturer cuts down a little on weight with an aluminum housing. Aluminum is also incredibly strong for its light weight. The binoculars are further protected from bumps and drops with a rubberized housing that covers portions of the binoculars to add texture and grip.
Best Night Vision Binoculars: Hike Crew Digital Night Vision Binoculars
Why It Made The Cut: Optical zoom and the option to take video make these a fun choice for kids who want to see in the night.
— Weight: 1.5 pounds
— Magnification: 2x with 7x optical zoom
— Shock Resistant: No
— 2x magnification with 7x optical zoom
— 7 levels of infrared brightness
— Integrated camera for photos and video
— Limited field of vision
It’s every kid’s dream to be able to see in the dark, and these binoculars are akin to some of the best night vision goggles. They have seven levels of infrared brightness to adjust to changing light levels.
Plus, kids can take photos or videos using the integrated camera. When not using the camera, the Hike Crew Digital Vision Binoculars have a 2x magnification. However, the camera adds an additional digital 7x zoom. They also feature a bright LCD screen, making it easier to see detail and find the object in low light.
The rechargeable battery can last up to six hours of nighttime use (10 hours daytime). However, at over $100, these binoculars are expensive.
Best Budget: Scotamalone Kids Binoculars
Why It Made The Cut: These low-cost binoculars offer young children the chance to get a closer look at the world, making them the best cheap kids’ binoculars.
— Weight: 3.63 ounces
— Magnification: 4x30
— Shock Resistant: Yes
— Extremely lightweight and easy to carry
— Good magnification for the price
— Break easily
— Not sized for older children
It’s hard to beat the price of the Scotamalone Kids Binoculars. These 4x magnification binoculars only weigh 3.63 ounces. Their soft eyecups work well for younger kids who might be sensitive or who aren’t used to anything being near their eyes.
Kids also get the chance to learn how to use binoculars, adjusting the focus and inter-pupillary distance. However, parents can breathe easy if these binoculars happen to get broken because they’re highly affordable. You also have to keep in mind that, at this price, all it takes is one hard drop and the binoculars might break.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Binoculars for Kids
Size and Weight
Children have small hands and heads compared to adults. Look for binoculars that a child can easily hold without straining their hands. A binocular’s adjustable inter-pupillary distance — the distance between the eyes — is also important to get the best views and fit.
Binoculars that weigh around or less than a pound will also be easier for kids to handle. Lightweight binoculars won’t wear out their hand muscles or hurt the child’s neck if worn on a strap.
Kids aren’t as strong, nor do they have the dexterity to hold binoculars as still as an adult. Consequently, a magnification between 2x to 8x is often enough for kids. Younger children, those under six, will probably be happy with a magnification of around 4x, while older children can handle 6x to 8x. Teens and kids with a steady hand may be able to handle a great 10x magnification.
Durability and Water Resistance
Rubberized and plastic construction offer the kind of durability that a child needs. Kids drop things or bump them on tables or trees, and these kinds of shock-resistant features can let kids be kids without breaking the binoculars. Water-resistance falls into that category too. If the child will use the binoculars while camping or for long periods of time outside, a pair that are water-resistant will probably last longer.
Objective Lens Size
You’ll see binocular specs that look like 7x20 or 8x25. The first number is the magnification, and the second is the objective lens size. A larger lens size lets in more light, creating a clearer object with truer colors. When it comes to kids, an objective lens that large, over 30mm, might be too heavy for them to handle.
Kids do well with an objective lens size of 20mm to 30mm. That gives them a good view without adding too much weight. The exception is stargazing. You’ll need a larger 50mm lens to capture enough light to see the moon or stars.
Q: What resolution is best for kids’ binoculars?
Good resolutions for kids’ binoculars are 2x to 8x by 20mm to 30mm. That will keep the binoculars lightweight and provide good magnification and field of view. It will also make it easier for the child to keep the object they’re looking at within their sight.
Q: What are the best children’s binoculars?
We think the THINKPEAK Binoculars for Kids are the best binoculars for kids. These binoculars combine a good magnification and weight with a durable build. They can withstand a few tumbles and still provide crisp images.
Q: What age can a child use binoculars?
Most children are able to use binoculars by about age three. It depends on the child and their motor skills, of course. There are several pairs of binoculars designed for children this young. They tend to have a magnification between 2x and 4x with a plastic or rubberized housing to prevent breaking them when dropped.
Q: Can a two-year-old use binoculars?
A two-year-old should only use binoculars rated for someone that young. Most binoculars are rated for age three or four and older. Two-year-olds typically don’t have the dexterity to hold the binoculars still enough for viewing.
Q: How do I pick out binoculars for kids?
Pick out the binoculars based on the child’s age, interests, temperament, and the binocular’s specs. A 5-year-old may think a standard pair of binoculars are great, but adult-size models will be too heavy to hold and may have such high magnification that they can’t hold them steady enough to get a good view. Additionally, the inter-pupillary distance might be too big.
Consider what the child wants to look at — birds, planes, the night sky. Astronomy binoculars are typically larger than those meant for bird watching, where you may need to pull the binoculars out quickly. Most children do best with a magnification between 2x and 8x and a small, lightweight design. For more sky-high fun, check out the from the best drones for kids.
Q: What to look for when buying binoculars for kids?
Look for binoculars that are rugged enough to take a rough and tumble kid and magnification between 2x and 8x that allows kids to get a good view.
Q: Can a 4-year-old use binoculars?
Many 4-year-olds can successfully use binoculars. Keep the magnification lower so that their lack of strength and dexterity won’t prevent them from keeping the object within the field of view.
Also, consider the weight. A child that young will need lightweight binoculars that aren’t too heavy when worn by a strap around their neck. Last, consider the durability. The chances are that a 4-year-old will drop the binoculars once in a while. A pair that can take a tumble will keep parents and kids happier.
Q: What is a good magnification for kids’ binoculars?
A 2x to 8x magnification is good for kids’ binoculars. Older kids around 10 to 12 might be able to hold a higher magnification model steady. The higher the magnification, the harder it becomes to hold the binoculars steady for a good view. Consequently, kids in the single digits will be happier and feel more successful if they don’t have to work so hard to keep the binoculars still.
Kids who are ready to explore with the grownups will love the THINKPEAK Binoculars for Kids. These binoculars offer great magnification, have a housing that’s easy to hold, and feature a design that’s shock-resistant. If you’re on a budget or you have kids around 3 or 4 years old, the Scotamalone Kids Binoculars are great starter binoculars to teach kids how to focus and use the binoculars. They come at a price that won’t make you cry if they happen to get dropped or lost.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.