Binoculars are great tools for kids to experiment with. Not only will these optical instruments keep them occupied, but they have educational value as well.
If you want to invest in a pair of binoculars for your kid, you may be having trouble choosing the right pair.
There are thousands of products out there that come in different shapes and sizes. So how do you know what pair will be the right one?
There are a few factors to keep in mind when shopping for your child. Some of these factors include age and level of interest in the hobby.
Once you take these things into account, you will have to choose the right price, weight, durability, size, magnification level, and optical quality for them.
If you have no clue where to start, don’t worry. We will tell you everything you need to know about kids’ binoculars.
This guide will cover what age kids can use binoculars and how to teach your child to use them.
We will also describe some important features of kids’ binoculars and how to tell the difference between a toy and a real pair.
Let’s get started.
At What Age Can Kids Use Binoculars?
While the recommended age group for binoculars is 4+, kids three years of age can also use them with the proper guidance.
However, certain age groups will need to use certain models.
Factors such as weight, price, size, durability, and power will determine what age the binoculars will be best suited for.
Young Kids (3-7)
Kids aged 3-7 will love to play with binoculars. You can get away with buying a cheaper pair with this age group since it won’t need to be top-quality.
You should also be able to replace them in case they break. Young kids aged 3-5 may have trouble holding bulky pair of binoculars.
A heavier pair will be quite easy to drop due to both the weight and the size; their little hands will only be able to hold so much.
If you want to buy your kid aged 3-7 a pair of binoculars, you will need to make sure they are lightweight.
Furthermore, try to find a pair with small dimensions.
Kids this young will also be moving around a lot; it will be quite hard for them to keep the binoculars still.
You can adapt to this by getting a pair that has lower power, such as 6x magnification.
Middle Childhood (7-10)
As you get into higher age groups, you will have a bit more variety to choose from when picking out a pair of binoculars.
Kids aged 7-10 will be able to handle binoculars that are a bit heavier than those built for young children.
However, they will still need a pair that is relatively lightweight and small since they will want to bring the pair with them everywhere.
Even so, you can confidently buy a more expensive pair for kids in middle childhood.
They will want something more serious at this age and will be happy with a “professional-looking” pair.
Older Children (10+)
This age group is where the fun begins. If your kid has a genuine interest in wildlife and bird-watching, children over the age of 10 can easily handle adult-sized binoculars.
You can buy a pair of binoculars of much higher quality for this age group, which means that you might have to spend more money.
However, the quality will be worth it once your kid takes their first look through the lens.
How To Teach Kids To Use Binoculars
Now you know if your kid is old enough to use binoculars. However, you should teach them a few things before handing the new pair over for good.
Otherwise, you may be buying another pair before you know it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Start Where They Can See Wildlife Easily
When you first teach your kids how to use binoculars, you should go somewhere that they can easily see animals, such as the zoo.
Otherwise, it will be more difficult for them to grasp the purpose of binoculars.
Show Them How To Use the Strap
The first thing you should do is show them how to use the strap. Make sure they always have it around their neck.
Some kids may be tempted to hold the optical instrument by the strap or even swing it around.
Try to address these issues first since these habits could easily lead to damage.
Address Proper Care Practices
Another important thing to address is proper care practices. Educate your child on the danger of leaving their binoculars on a bench or lying on a car seat.
Even though they are kids’ binoculars, you won’t want anybody stealing them.
Furthermore, make sure they don’t leave the binoculars on the ground as well.
Teach your children how easy it is for the pair to break if possibly stepped on.
Teach Them How To Hold the Binoculars
Last but not least, you should teach your child how to hold the binoculars.
They should always have them strapped around their neck while holding the pair steady with both hands.
Furthermore, make sure they never look through the binoculars while walking; this could be a tripping hazard.
Important Features of Kids Binoculars
Even though you are buying kids binoculars, there are high-quality options out there for kids of any age. Here are a few important features that a pair should have.
Avoid buying binoculars with a high magnification power. For kids aged ten and up, the highest you should go is 8x.
The higher power you get, the more image shake your kid will experience. Furthermore, if you go with lower power, they will have a wider view through the lens.
Size and Weight
When it comes to kids’ binoculars, you should opt for pocket-sized or compact binoculars.
Otherwise, your kids will have a hard time dealing with the weight of regular-sized binoculars.
Even though lighter-weight binoculars will not be as high-quality, they will be much easier for them to handle and travel with.
Field of View
When it comes to kids’ binoculars, buying a pair with a wide field of view will be the best choice.
This way, they will easily be able to spot wildlife without moving the instrument too much.
Furthermore, they can follow faster-moving animals such as birds easier with a wide field of view.
How To Recognize Real Kid’s Binoculars From Cheap Toys
One of the main issues that parents face when shopping for kids’ binoculars is buying a cheap toy without even knowing.
Here’s how to recognize real kids’ binoculars from cheap toys.
Check the Optics
The easiest way to tell the difference between real binoculars and cheap toys is to check the optics.
Try to find any information you can about the magnification power and the objective lens diameter.
If the pair has numbers such as 8×21, for instance, then the pair is probably a legitimate optical instrument.
Consider the Price
Typically, real binoculars will be more expensive than toy binoculars since they have a legitimate optics system.
While the price ranges may be similar depending on the brand, you can usually purchase a pair of toy binoculars for around $10.
Most real kids’ binoculars will go for above $20.
Check the Reviews
Another easy way to see if the binoculars are legitimate is to check the reviews.
If you purchase a pair on Amazon, scroll through the review section and see if anyone mentions if the binoculars work.
You can also contact the seller and ask them to verify the product.
Review the Weight
Something else to keep in mind is the weight. Toy binoculars will be very light.
If you are shopping in-store, pick the pair up and see how light it is. If you are browsing online, look for the weight description.
Look at the Design of the Binoculars
Another easy way to notice the difference between toys and binoculars is to look at the design.
See if the product has a strap and hand grips on the sides. Furthermore, real binoculars will probably have soft rubber eyepiece lenses.
You can also check if the product has a focus wheel or if any of the lenses have a coating.
If the product has most or all of these things, the pair is probably legitimate.
The recommended age for binocular use is 4+, but children as young as three can use binoculars.
They are great for keeping your child entertained while providing them with an educational experience at the same time.
There are a few things you should teach your child before giving them their first pair.
First of all, you should start in an area where they can see wildlife easily, such as the zoo.
Teach them about the strap and to always have it around their neck.
Furthermore, address proper care practices such as not leaving the binoculars on benches or car seats.
Lastly, make sure your child holds the binoculars stable with two hands while using the instrument.
When you start shopping for a pair of kids’ binoculars, you will need to make sure it is an authentic pair and not a toy.
You can check a few factors to verify this: optics, price, reviews, weight, and design.