Best Binoculars For Kids & Children That’s Worth Your Money But Won’t Break The Bank

little girl birdwatching

Last Updated on November 1, 2020

Without a doubt:

Kids love to explore and discover new objects, steady avian visitors to a tree or bird feeder, or bugs and butterflies in their surroundings. This is a great way to spend some time outdoors rather than glued in front of the TV or surfing the internet all day. 

And… 

Sometimes, kids just decide to embrace the “Dora The Explorer” in them and long for a nature tour. Just like you thought, they’d ask for a pair of binoculars on instinct, and if they don’t, you know better now.

I’ve compiled a list of the best binoculars for kids so you don’t have to stress over finding a fitting pair for your little, or not so little one. You don’t want to get 12th-grade volunteer at a high school nature club with a pair of binoculars that’s meant for no more than a preschooler. 

Regardless of your kid’s age, you’ll find an appropriate option that’s not only functional but also durable and affordable. The last thing you’d want to do is to get flimsy binoculars that kids would find hard to use and give up interest. That’s why I also included a buyer’s guide to give some insights on shopping binoculars for kids.  

Top 5 Binoculars For Kids 

1. Nikon Prostaff 16000 7S – Overall Best

Nikon 16000 PROSTAFF 7S 8x30 Inches Compact Binocular (Black)

Key Features

  • 8X mag 
  • 30mm objective lens
  • Eye relief 14.4mm
  • FOV: 302ft
  • Weighs 14.8oz
  • Waterproof and fog proof 
  • Includes all accessories

The Nikon Prostaff 7S is a value-packed lightweight option suitable for older kids. If your kid has outgrown toys and needs the “real deal” to take his exploration to the next level, this won’t break the bank. And it has impeccable performance and features as well.

The optical quality is standard and would display sharp images under normal light conditions. Of course, there’ll be lapses in image quality under certain conditions, like glassing under an overcast sky or directly at the sun. But it’s expected of a small 30mm objective lens. In retrospect, it would be easy to focus on an object without having shaky hands. 

Another handy feature for kids and adults, in general, is how lightweight it is. The Prostaff 16000 weighs less than a pound so it won’t be a burden to carry around. Plus, it plays a huge role when trying to get a good and steady view. 

The rubber-armored shell of the Prostaff is the perfect addition. It can withstand extreme use and is non-slip, so that may help with preventing drops. 

Also, it comes with accessories that are essential for kids, such as a neck strap, carrying case, lens cap, and more. But be careful not to lose the neck strap because it doesn’t lock unto the lens tightly. It’s best used when the binocular is in the carry case. 

Pros

  • Good bang for the buck
  • Clear image quality backed by Nikon’s advanced optical system 
  • Lightweight
  • Extra accessories

Cons

  • Loose locking lens cap
  • Chafing neck strap

Takeaway

The Nikon Prostaff is one of the best binoculars for kids if you want a high-quality authentic piece that won’t break the bank. Of course, you want to make sure you’re getting if for a young nature enthusiast or a mature kid who can handle it with care. 

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2. Nikon 8×25 Trailblazer – Best for Pre Teens

Nikon Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Waterproof Black Binoculars

Key Features 

  • Fully multi-coated optics 
  • FOV: 429ft
  • Exit pupil: 3.1mm 
  • Eye relief: 10mm
  • Close focus: 8ft 
  • Weighs 9.9oz 
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Includes necessary accessories

The Nikon Trailblazer is an authentic binocular that’s perfect for pre-teens and teens exploring wild-life or sightseeing. 

Any kid would instantly fall in love with the sleek design of this binocular that eerily also looks like a UFO. More importantly, it has a rubber-armored casing that’s inevitable for protection when shopping for a binocular for a 12-year old. 

The standout feature of this binocular is that its incredibly light. With its 9.9oz (0.6 pounds) mass, it’s even lighter than the Nikon Prostaff that weighs less than a pound. It’s barely noticeable on the neck so it can be used all day without having complaints of neck strain.

 The eye relief function of the Trailblazer isn’t the best. The twist eye-cups are designed loosely, so they’ll retract whenever the binocular is no longer in use. The good thing is, many kids won’t gripe over this lag. 

On the bright side, it has a smooth central focus knob, which can be a hit or miss for kids compared to eye relief. An even better function is its wide 429ft field of view. This would make it easy to take in a large area all at once without getting frustrated about missing out details. 

Finally, it comes with appropriate accessories which include a case, strap, and lens covers. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable 
  • Slick UFO-like design 
  • Excellent image quality
  • Large viewing real estate

Cons

  • Eyepiece position resets after each use

Takeaway

The Nikon Trailblazer is an incredibly lightweight you shouldn’t think twice about for buying because it’s also durable and affordable. The striking aesthetics of this binocular would be appreciated by anyone – children and adults alike.  

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3. Kidwinz Kids – Best for School Kids

Kidwinz Original Compact 8x21 Kids Binoculars Set - High Resolution Real Optics - Shock Proof - Bird Watching - Presents for Kids - Children Gifts - Boys and Girls - Outdoor Play - Hunting - Camping

Key Features

  • Lifetime warranty 
  • Shockproof rubber coating
  • Rubber surrounded eyecups
  • Popular choice
  • Weighs 8oz
  • Lifetime warranty 
  • Includes necessary accessories

The Kidwinz 8×21 Kids binocular is not your regular toy binocular even though it’s made for kids aged 3 and older. It has the aesthetics of a pair of toynoculars but is built with authentic optics and functionality that an adult supervisor may even share now and then. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most popular kids’ binoculars, if not the most, after the GeoSafari Kidnoculars. 

The multilayered glass coating would give kids an exceptionally clear view of whatever is in sight. However, it’s advisable not to push the magnification to its limits, as it may strain a child’s eyes or even cause a headache.

This Kidwinz binocular may be designed to look like a toy, but it’s also shockproof to withstand drops, which is almost inevitable with little kids. Besides, your child won’t have issues with it staying on their neck for hours on a school tour, cutting down the chances of it dropping. 

A witty feature Kidwinz added to this binocular is its rubberized eyecups. This prevents a child from getting injured if he mistakenly jams the glass in his face. It’s strange, but completely possible with kids at this age. 

Plus, the rubber eyecups retract to accommodate kids that use glasses. 

Pros

  • Great value
  • Durable rubber armor
  • Foldable design
  • Rubber coated eyepieces for safety
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not good for long-range glassing

Takeaway

If your kid has just developed an interest in birding and you fear it might flunk down, keep calm. This bino would give your child the best possible image quality and comfort for only a token. 

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4. EI GeoSafari Jr. Extreme – Best for Preschoolers

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars Extreme, Kids Binoculars With Audio, Perfect Outdoor Toy For Ages 5+

Key Features

  • STEM audio learning
  • 3x visual magnification
  • Top-selling binoculars for kids
  • Includes breakaway strap

The GeoSafari Jr. Extreme is arguably the best binoculars for kids. Not just because it’s a popular item, but also for its functionality and price. 

Educational Insights calls it “binoculars you can see and hear, built just for kids”. And you can bet they deliver with their claim. 

This binocular has an audio learning aid that talks to children while they are having fun outdoors. It supports your kid’s STEM curriculum by encouraging scientific discovery and exploration of their surroundings. You would need 2 AAA batteries to unlock this function. 

Also, it only has 3x magnification on the lenses, which is optimal for preschoolers. Taking it any further would strain their eyes and the following headaches would be discouraging. 

Furthermore, the eyepieces on these binocs are extra large and require no focus adjustment to get into action. This is yet another vital feature, as not every kid has the patience to fondle with a focus knob before using their toy. 

If you’re scared this is just a showoff toy that won’t last long, that’s understandable. But these binoculars are constructed with durable plastic and rubber coating where necessary. Even better, the lenses are shielded from impact by the overarching plastic. 

Pros

  • Shockproof build
  • Optimal viewing range for kids aged 3-6 years
  • Kids can learn more with the audio aid while having fun

Cons

  • Unsuitable image quality and range for older kids
  • Somewhat heavy

Takeaway

If you want the best educational kid binocular for kids, GeoSafari is an easy choice. It boosts scientific I.Q using a talking device attached to the eyepieces. 

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5. E I GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars – Value Option

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars, Kids Binoculars, Perfect Outdoor Play for Preschool Science

Key Features

  • Specifically designed for preschoolers
  • 2x magnification
  • Focus free
  • No moving parts
  • No adjustment needed

Educational Insights is dedicated to making toys that get kids to learn while having fun or exploring nature. And the GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars do just that for a mouth watery price parents can turn down.

 It’s cheap but not built with flimsy parts that would make it appear as such or damage easily. Speaking of which, there are no moving parts like focus knob or diopter adjustment, so your child can glass in real-time. 

The rubber eyecups on the GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars are large enough to fit any preschoolers’ eyes. Once your kid’s nose fits the space in between the eyecups, everything’s set and ready to go. 

On the other hand, the focus-free feature on these binocs may not be favorable for eyeglass wearers, depending on their condition and shape of THE glasses. 

Other than that, these are great binoculars for preschoolers. The 2x magnification is just enough to notice objects and animals are closer and bigger. That’s enough to keep your little one agitated to spot the next bird swooping in for a meal at your feeder. 

Pros

  • Super affordable option
  • Perfect for preschoolers
  • Rubber eyecups for safety
  • Decent field of view

Cons

  • May not be the best for kids wearing eyeglasses 

Takeaway

You don’t have to splurge on binoculars for a preschooler whose interest may dwindle faster than it developed, and neither should you buy your kid an ineffective pair of toy binoculars. 

The GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars have lower magnification and is focus-free that’s perfect for young Diegos and Doras. 

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What To Look Out For When Shopping For The Best Kids Binoculars

birdwatching-father and son

Size

The first thing you want to do is to make sure the binoculars would fit your kid’s hand comfortably. Your kid wouldn’t be motivated to observe nature if they don’t fit his hands well enough, making it hard to use or stabilize the binocs. 

However, while picking out a sizable pair, you should avoid making it a large or heavy one.  Only a weight difference of a few ozs on binoculars can make it a burden to carry around after some minutes on a field trip. Or even under light use in a backyard. 

So, you should look for a light pair of bins that would be easy to hang around the neck for hours. This way, she’d be more interested in using the binoculars. 

A major component that makes binoculars heavy is the objective lens (the large glass in front).

For kids, you should pick an objective lens size that’s 30mm or less. Yes, a larger objective lens would show a brighter picture and in more detail. But that’s more important to a professional looking for markings on tiny birds than with a 3-year old. As time moves on, you can switch to a more age-appropriate sized pair of binoculars.

Durability 

As a kid, we’ve all broken toys and other valuables unconsciously or just as a silly roleplay casualty. 

And till now, kids remain kids and would act like one. So you should know they are very likely to drop the binoculars at a point.  

For this reason, the best kids’ binoculars always have a shockproof shell. Some may be waterproof, but you don’t necessarily have to let your kid know that, you know? 

The waterproof function is usually to prevent splashes from fogging up the lenses, not getting soaked. 

 It’s strange how this wasn’t the first point I brought home. But reminiscing about this should point out that it’s crucial if you’re looking for the best binoculars for children.

Magnification

As with size, kids don’t need the features or specs of binoculars on the high side. 

For a little girl who just wants to see butterflies flapping their wings, a high magnification would be a waste and drawback too. A binocular becomes heavier and harder to as its magnification increases. 

Stick to any one between 2x to 8x magnification, increasing the magnification based on your child’s age and interest. Typically, 2-3x magnification is enough for a child aged 5 years or younger. And 8x would be more than enough for pre-teens and teenagers. 

Field of View

Kids have a low tolerance for fruitless adventures. 

It’s much tougher to spot or track birds while glassing with a narrow field of view (FOV) on the binocs. It’s the same way you’d be frustrated if a rare bird you’ve been trying to spot for hours goes out of sight so easily. 

Basically, it reduces the real estate on the glass, so your child’s view is limited. 

As a result, it becomes important to find a bino with a wide FOV if you want the best possible binoculars for bird watching for children. But remember not to go over the 30mm objective lens mark. 

Exit Pupil

This is the small circle in the middle of the eyecups (the glass nearer to your eyes). It’s clearly visible when you take the binoculars away from your eyes. 

It’s easier for kids to center their eyes when they use a bino with a large exit pupil. And this is a common challenge kids have while glassing. 

Also, since it allows more light into the binocular, it can help with low-light glassing as well. 

Price

After all, that’s being said, the type of binocular you’re getting your kid still boils down to your budget. Maybe, also largely on your kid’s age. 

If you’re in the market for binoculars to give a toddler, you don’t need to bother about breaking the bank to get a pair. $15-$50 binocs would be more than enough for a kid on a Dora the Explorer quest.

But you may need to stretch a bit to get the best quality binoculars for older kids.  You can say you’d most likely find binoculars under $100 to get a good pair for them.

 However, if your child is enthusiastic about nature enough and can handle gadgets properly, you can invest in high-quality binoculars. Even at that, you only need a budget of a few hundred dollars or less for an entry.


Now let’s have some fun watching how to make a DIY binocular for a kid’s delight before we get this into a wrap!


Conclusion

Finding the best binoculars for kids shouldn’t be an uphill battle. 

And with the information and deets in the palm of your hand, you too can pick out the best for your child. Well, as long you put into consideration, your child’s age and interest in exploring, there should be no hard feelings. 

Don’t get your grownup cheap kid’s binoculars that would be low-powered and toyish. We recommend the Nikon Prostaff 16000 7S want the best youth binoculars with its impressive image quality, durability, and compact size. 

Its price is in the sweet spot where you don’t have to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to give your kid a high-class glassing experience. 

So that’s a wrap. 

Have you tried out any of the listed binoculars with your kids? What has been your experience or stumbling blocks while shopping for the best kid’s binoculars? 

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