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    Best binoculars for kids 2020

    Boy holding binoculars.

    (Image: © LWA/Getty Images)

    Whether your child is curious enough to start an amateur bird-watching hobby, or they are intent on looking at anything outdoors up-close, the right binoculars will keep them wide-eyed with wonder for days on end. 

    What are the best binoculars for kids?

    The best binoculars for kids, we found, are part of the Explorer Kit for Kids. These binoculars are complemented with a collection of useful educational tools that are perfect for budding biologists everywhere. The 4X magnification isn’t too powerful for young eyeballs (anything over 8X can be tricky for kids to keep in focus), and the included case makes everything feel professional.

    Our second pick for the best binoculars for kids is the Dreamingbox Compact Shock Proof Binoculars for Kids, which comes in 10 different colors. The compact, futuristic design is ergonomically built, and the shockproof construction can take some abuse from small hands. 

    Looking for unplugged playtime aimed at the preschool crowd? We recommend the Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars Extreme. These STEM-friendly focus-free 3X binoculars are intended for ages 5 to 10, and the rounded eyepieces are perfect for exploratory backyard excursions. Its dynamic audio capabilities are an added bonus.

    The best binoculars for kids you can buy today

    Mini Explorer binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: Mini Explorer)

    Explorer Kit for Kids by Mini Explorer

    An all-in-one adventure kit for the great outdoors

    Age range: 4+ | Magnification: 4X | Objective Lens Diameter: 30 millimeters | Field of View: N/A | Color Choices: 1 | Size: 7.5 x 5.2 x 3 inches | Weight: 13.8 ounces

    Diverse set of educational tools

    Binoculars are shockproof

    Includes carrying case

    Limited to 4X magnification

    Are you raising a future survivalist? Then an ordinary set of binoculars just won’t do. For the aspiring Bear Grylls in your life, gift them with the Explorer Kit for Kids — an awesome 9-in-1 outdoorsman set that includes not only 4×30 binoculars, but also a magnifying glass, crank flashlight and handheld fan, all tucked inside a carrying case that looks like a vintage lunchbox. (The included 5-in-1 multitool houses a built-in compass, thermometer, whistle, instant flashlight and mini-magnifying glass.) 

    When it comes to sunshine-soaked excursions with your kid, every walk in the woods is a potential learning experience — when you have the right educational tools on hand, that is. And if birdwatching is only a bullet point on your child’s list of outdoor interests, binoculars are just the beginning. (Trust us.) Turn hours of playtime into days of adventuring with the Explorer Kit for Kids. 


    Dreamingbox Compact Shock Proof Binoculars for Kids

    Dreamingbox binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: Dreamingbox)

    Dreamingbox Compact Shockproof Binoculars for Kids

    These binoculars are as kid-proof as they are kid-friendly.

    Age range: 3+ | Magnification: 8X | Objective Lens Diameter: 21 millimeters | Field of View: 420 feet (128 meters) / 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) | Color Choices: 10 | Size: 4 x 3 x 2 inches | Weight: 5.6 ounces

    Affordable

    8X magnification

    Ergonomic, shockproof design

    Lots of color choices

    Feels flimsy, according to some reviews

    One glance, and you’ll see these binoculars were designed for youngsters. Boasting an impressive 8X magnification, the eyepieces are made of soft rubber, so they won’t accidentally cause a bruise as your kid smooshes them against their face. The ergonomic anti-slip grip was built for a child’s hands, and the shock-resistant coating (the rubber armor around the binocular body) is meant to take a beating.

    All of the lens surfaces are coated with at least one anti-reflective layer, also called “fully-multi-coated,” or FMC. Thanks to this multilayer broadband coating technology, the optics system produces crisp, colorful images that look as realistic up close as they do far away. You can toss these binoculars into a backpack any day, and with 10 colors to choose from, you get an extra layer of customization. 


    Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars Extreme

    Educational Insights binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: Educational Insights)

    Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars Extreme

    Age range: 5+ | Magnification: 3X | Objective Lens Diameter: N/A | Field of View: N/A | Color Choices: 1 | Size: 11.6 x 9.8 x 3.1 inches | Weight: 15.8 ounces

    Inexpensive

    Designed for younger children

    Universally fitting eyepiece 

    STEM-friendly toy

    Only 3X magnification

    Some binoculars are kid-friendly, but as Educational Insights implies with its branding, the GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars Extreme were actually made for kids. Featuring a modest 3X magnification, these focus-free binoculars feature a perfect-fit eyepiece that’s universally comfortable for any child’s face. (Sorry, wide-eyed adults, you’ll have to get your own.) There’s also a breakaway neck strap for on-the-go multitasking. And with the built-in speakers (which hover over the ears sort of like sunglasses), kids get to experience the many sounds of nature from the safety of your backyard. This feature — which the company calls “headset-free audio amplification” — requires 2 AAA batteries.

    For parents interested in STEM-friendly education, this pair of binoculars is more than just a colorful toy; it’s also an introduction to a scientific tool that can help your toddler explore the sights and sounds of their environment. Keep your kids curious with the GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars Extreme. (They’ll be smarter than you in the blink of an eye.)


    Obuby Kids Binoculars

    Obuby binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: Obuby)

    Obuby Kids Binoculars

    Durable binoculars with over a dozen colors to choose from.

    Age range: 3+ | Magnification: 8X | Objective Lens Diameter: 21 millimeters | Field of View: 400 feet (122 meters) / 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) | Color Choices: 13 | Size: 4 x 3.5 x 1.1 inches | Weight: 5.9 ounces

    Good value

    Durable, expandable construction

    Professional-looking design

    Shockproof, waterproof

    Tons of color options

    Poor-quality neck strap, according to some reviews

    If you’re on the lookout for a pair of shockproof, waterproof binoculars that are available in (just about) every color under the sun, look no further than the Obuby Kids Binoculars. Recommended for ages 3 and up, these are more professional looking than the average kiddy binoculars in this tech category.

    Available in 13 different colors, there’s a lot to like about the 5.9-ounce Obuby Kids Binoculars. The wide-angle 8X magnification is excellent for woodland hikes, seaside boat trips and live sporting events, to name a few uses. The compact-yet-expandable design, diopter adjustment — which lets you adjust for differences between vision in each eye — and myriad color choices make these binoculars as useful as they are … well, eye-catching. 


    Promora binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: Promora)

    Promora Binoculars for Kids

    The best binoculars for explorers-in-training.

    Age range: 3+ | Magnification: 8X | Objective Lens Diameter: 21 millimeters | Field of View: 400 feet (122 meters) / 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) | Color Choices: 3 | Size: 4.8 x 4.1 x 2.1 inches | Weight: 7.2 ounces

    Soft eyecups are great for young explorers

    Three different color choices

    Kit includes compass and magnifying glass

    Subpar durability, according to some reviews

    For the naturally curious kid in your household, Promora’s Binoculars for Kids come with a complete explorer’s kit (in miniature, that is). In addition to the preschool-friendly 8X binoculars, your little one also gets a magnifying glass, compass (with clippable carabiner) and a handy carrying bag for their next woodland adventure. 

    From hiking and camping to beginner birdwatching, your kid will feel like a bonafide outdoorsman with the adjustable central axis and central focusing wheel. (Pre-school-friendly models don’t always include this kind of customization.) The comfortable rubber eyepieces include a diopter knob as well, to ensure high-res close-ups for all. 

    Some reviewers reported not-so-kid-resistant build materials, but you’re still sure to get your money’s worth from this nifty, all-inclusive set.


    BESPIN Binoculars for Kids

    BESPIN binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: BESPIN)

    BESPIN Binoculars for Kids

    The best binoculars for budding birdwatchers.

    Age range: 6+ | Magnification: 8X | Objective Lens Diameter: 21 millimeters | Field of View: 400 feet (122 meters) / 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) | Color Choices: 2 | Size: 4.1 x 3.8 x 1.4 inches | Weight: 7.5 ounces

    Inexpensive

    Aluminum-and-rubber construction

    Ergonomic design

    Bird map not included (according to Amazon reviews), though marketing materials imply otherwise

    For a little extra magnification than you’ll find in many kid-friendly binoculars, the BESPIN Binoculars for Kids are a solid choice for most youngsters. The grip is ergonomically designed for smaller hands, and the sturdy aluminum construction should last a while; it’s easy to focus on distant objects by turning the central adjustment wheel. (A nylon case and neck strap are also included.)

    At an entry-level price, these 8×21 binoculars still use premium blue-coated optics for crisp, colorful imagery; a shock-resistant rubber casing for extra durability; and a wider 7.2-degree viewing angle for aspiring bird-watchers. (Or squirrel-watchers. Any animal watching, really.)


    POLDR 8×21 Small Compact Lightweight Binoculars

    POLDR binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: POLDR)

    POLDR 8×21 Small Compact Lightweight Binoculars

    Value-priced binoculars for kids of all ages

    Age range: 10+ | Magnification: 8X | Objective Lens Diameter: 21 millimeters | Field of View: 430 feet (131 meters) / 3,280 feet (1000 meters) | Color Choices: 1 | Size: 3.6 x 2.4 x 1.2 inches | Weight: 6.2 ounces

    Lightweight

    Super compact

    Powerful 8X optics

    Good entry-level binoculars

    So-so imaging quality in low light, according to some reviews

    Not waterproof/shockproof

    Your kid will feel all grown up with the POLDR 8×21 Small Compact Lightweight Binoculars, a pair of portable specs that unfold from just 2.4 inches wide up to 4.1 inches when in use. (That’s perfect for their next zoo trip, or any other outdoor hike, for that matter.) With 8X magnification and an objective lens diameter of 21 millimeters, they’ll get a large field of view for spotting all sorts of flora and fauna. 

    Unlike some competing models, which suffer from blurrier imaging and dull colors, these binoculars utilize a BAK4 prism for additional light reflection. Combined with the center focusing wheel and diopter adjustment, the end result is better-than-average imaging the whole family can enjoy.


    Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars

    Occer binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: Occer)

    Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision

    The best entry-level binoculars for low-light conditions

    Age range: 6+ | Magnification: 12X | Objective Lens Diameter: 25 millimeters | Field of View: 896 feet (273 meters) / 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) | Color Choices: 1 | Size: 4.4 x 4 x 1.9 inches | Weight: 7.2 ounces

    Powerful 12X magnification

    Great for low-light environments

    Wide FOV

    Water-resistant

    More expensive than other children’s binoculars

    Too much magnification for younger children

    Not fully waterproof

    Looking for a pair of powerful binoculars that you can share with your kid? The Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision are an impressive piece of hardware for the price, boasting 12X magnification (the highest offered on this list) in an ultra-compact package. 

    The plastic and rubber construction is (mostly) waterproof, and the 15mm eyepiece is easy to adjust. The FMC multilayer broadband film and BAK4 prisms are designed for exceptional low-light performance, which is great for watching sunsets. (Or sunrises, if your youngster is an early bird.) In short, these deceivingly powerful binoculars are the perfect pocket companion for outdoor excursions, no matter the time of day.


    TASCO Essentials Roof Prism Roof MC Box Binoculars

    Tasco binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: Tasco)

    TASCO Essentials Roof Prism Roof MC Box Binoculars

    Take your eyes to the skies with these inexpensive binoculars

    Age range: 8+ | Magnification: 10X | Objective Lens Diameter: 25 millimeters | Field of View: 945 feet (288 meters) / 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) | Color Choices: 5 | Size: 4.4 x 4 x 1.9 inches | Weight: 9.2 ounces

    Very budget-friendly

    Water-resistant

    Compact design

    Cheap build materials

    The TASCO Essentials Roof Prism Roof MC Box Binoculars aren’t pulling any punches. These 10X specs utilize a dual-hinge bridge design to keep the whole package pocket-friendly (4.4 x 4 x 1.9 inches), and wide viewing angles to keep your eyes on the treeline. 

    These binoculars weren’t designed for kids per se, but at this price, the stakes are pretty low whenever you toss them into a backpack, and the black rubber armor is meant to take some abuse. They’re one of the best budget-priced binoculars you’ll find on the market today, and they’re a great pick for grade-schoolers.


    Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Binoculars

    Celestron nature binoculars for kids.

    (Image credit: Celestron)

    Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Binoculars

    The best premium binoculars for kids

    Age range: 10+ | Magnification: 8X to 12X | Objective Lens Diameter: 32 to 56 millimeters | Field of View: 1,273 feet (88 meters) / 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) | Color Choices: 1 | Size: 5 x 4.9 x 1.8 inches | Weight: 1.3 pounds

    Multiple models with different magnification options

    Excellent for birdwatching

    Carrying bag included

    Waterproof and fogproof

    Includes built-in tripod mount

    Wide FOV

    Not built for small children’s hands (or eyeballs)

    More expensive than competing models

    Think your child’s outdoor hobbies might turn into a career? The Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Binoculars are a great premium choice for older kids with steadier hands; they’ll definitely appreciate the enhanced optics of a quality pair. If you’ve got a semi-seasoned bird-watching enthusiast in your family already, these binoculars pack impressive specs for the price. 

    The multi-coated 8×32 lenses ensure bright imagery, but if you want more power, you can upgrade all the way to a 12×56 model. You get the perfect combination of magnification, field of view and close focus distance for most nature scenes. They’re even eyeglass-friendly, for those of us who are already bespectacled, and come with a nifty built-in tripod mount for long periods of steady observations. 

    Bonus: For a few extra bucks, you can splurge for the extra smartphone adapter, which lets you take pictures through the binoculars’ viewfinder.


    How to choose the best binoculars for kids

    The best binoculars for kids aren’t just toys — they’re also potential tools for your child’s personal growth. Here are a few factors to consider before introducing your children to the wonderful world of wilderness watching: 

    Budget – Most kid-centric binoculars have a price point of $30 or less, but if your offspring are old enough for the investment, there are plenty of premium picks that cost $50 or more. Nowadays, you can get a decent pair of (expendable) binoculars for under $15; these models usually have lower magnifications, cheaper build quality and a smaller field of view.

    Magnification – The more magnification, the better, right? Not so fast. For small, fidgety humans with shaky hands, overly powerful optics might actually be counterproductive. When it comes to young explorers, here’s a rule of thumb: The younger the child, the lower the magnification. Magnifications between 2X and 8X are the most common recommendation for kids under the age of 10.

    Size and shape – Some binoculars are specifically built for tiny fingers, while others can be used by explorers of all ages. For children under the age of 5, look for extra kid-friendly features, like rounded edges, rubberized (shockproof) construction, breakaway lanyards, padded eyepieces, lightweight construction and focus-free lens options. For older adventurers, look for pocket-friendly binoculars that feature more powerful optics in a more professional package. 

    Interpupillary distance (IPD) – One reason to spring for smaller binoculars has to do with interpupillary distance: the measurement between the center of your pupils. If the ocular lenses don’t line up properly with the middle of your eyeballs, the end result is a dark halo around the image (and partially obscured scenery). Your youngster will get bored fast if they can’t see anything through the eyepiece, so make sure the binoculars can be adjusted accordingly.

    Field of view (FOV) – This refers to the width of the image you can see through a given binoculars’ optics. The wider the FOV, the easier it will be for your kid to find what they’re looking for when they raise the eyepiece to their face. This is of particular importance for grade-schoolers and pre-teens, who may be pickier than your typical toddler. 

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