Getting kids to venture outside and away from their screens can be a challenge, but a pair of binoculars can be just the thing to get them exploring the great outdoors. We’ve put together this brief guide to help you pick out the right pair.
The magnification is the first thing that comes to mind when most people think about a pair of binoculars. Children will be happy with just a few times magnification (unless they get really into it!) and a smaller magnification makes them less affected by an unsteady hand. All the pairs we have picked out are from 2x to 8x. Other optical characteristics are not a major consideration for kids binoculars, as long as they give a good image.
The two key considerations for children’s binoculars are the distance between the eyepieces, known as the interpupillary distance, and robustness. Obviously children’s eyes are closer together than adults, so the minimum interpupillary distance must be small enough. In terms of robustness, there’s no such thing as fully child proof (or adult proof, for that matter), but we need to consider drops and dirt. A tough case, enclosed moving parts and strong hinges will go a good way to reducing damage. Of course encouraging kids to take good care of their binoculars may also prevent damage, but your mileage may vary!
Our recommended children’s binoculars
Our picks for binoculars cover a number of types. There is no single best option, so have a read and see which ones will work for you.
1National Geographic Child Binoculars
These are a nice child specific pair of binoculars from National Geographic. In fact, these binoculars are manufactured by German optics company Bresser, making these a quality product. The binoculars are 6x magnification with a chunky focus knob between the eyepieces. They are made of robust plastic with an enclosed hinge and no delicate protruding parts. They come with a wrist strap and bag for protection and transportation. These are a great first ‘proper’ pair of binoculars and the option for a zebra print finish will surely get kids excited about using them!
2ATTOL® mini binoculars for children
We’ve included these as an alternative to the National Geographic pair. They don’t have the same manufacturing pedigree, but are nonetheless highly rated. They offer 8x magnification and at a lower price. The build is rugged, like the National Geographic pair, though the focus knob is not quite so child friendly. They come with a carry case and neck strap.
3DFlamepower Mini Compact Binoculars
4Learning Resources GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars
Finally, we’ve got a very basic pair which is great for the youngest of children. They have a 2x magnification with a fixed focus, which means they don’t require any adjustment and they feature rubber ‘goggles’ surrounding the eyepieces, which makes them easier to align with the eyes. Not all children will be able to look through a standard pair of binoculars, but with these they can just put them to their face and go. They also include a neckband with a safety release.
So, that’s our roundup of binoculars for kids. Take a look at the options and with the information here you should be able to decide on the right pair.