Children of any age are curious about what’s around them. This is a must-have toy for your inquisitive child. It’s a unique start of saying: “I want to help you explore the world” and this device will allow your children to see things at any distance. Near and far. This kind of toys are also a great tool to help kids learn about nature, the atmosphere and even how to observe people and their surroundings. Whether they’re using binoculars to see their friends walking up the driveway or to observe a bird in a faraway tree, your child is still expanding their brainpower and making use of their natural curiosity in the best way possible.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Geosafari Jr. Kidnoculars
- +Placement Guide
- Kidwinz Kids Binoculars
- Rubber Eyepieces
- ExploreOne Binoculars
- +Carrying Bag
Our Picks for the Top Binoculars For Kids
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Binoculars for Kids
Like many families, we’re so busy in our everyday lives with schedules, afterschool activities and appointments that we often forget what it’s like for kids to have the experience of being outside. It seems like in today’s world almost every child has an iPhone, iPad or some other kind of electronic device. These days it seems like your child would rather look at a screen than seeing the world in a new and unique way.
If you break it down, it’s relatively unnatural for a child to be so invested in spending time behind a computer or television; studies show that fresh air is great for them. It’s important to give your child the experience that is the great outdoors because it can show your child the opportunities the world has to offer them. Being outside is a great learning tool and supports mental health as well as physical growth; your child can learn anything they want to and binoculars adds a fun twist to it.
For parents, having that family time is also an important factor for their child’s life and having that quality time is made even more fun by doing different activities. Board games and movie nights are always a good go-to when it comes to family time but why not become truly inspired by heading outdoors and getting a feel for the world around you? If you show your kids the life outside of their home, that is something they can take with them for years to come. They’ll remember all the times your family went on hikes, camping or any other adventures that you enjoyed together.
While it’s a different way to live for a bit-–it’s one that will help spark interest and personal growth, and it might even bring your family closer together. With the addition of binoculars or a simple explorer kit like the ones we’ve selected on our list, it can turn any new experience around and give your family that new fond memory. Whether your child wants to find new plant life, discover what kind of bugs or insects are around them, bird watch or learn to identify different species, your family can do it together.
When we get right down to it: binoculars aren’t just a toy that you can give to your child to keep them busy and to pass the time. It’s a visual tool that can show your children everything around them in a different way and soon they’ll learn to start thinking a little more outside of the box. Your children will view the world differently because they’ve been exposed to something that will alter their point of view. They may even see something new for the first time that they wouldn’t have seen before. There’s a whole new world and things to discover when you have the power to magnify and focus on the objects around or farther away from you and all of that can start with a simple gift of binoculars.
What Determined the Best Binoculars for Kids
We took many factors into consideration regarding the quality of each pair of binoculars. We looked at what was affordable and easy for your child to use. On some products, you will sacrifice viewing distance for something like durability and power, while on others you may sacrifice breakability ratings for a higher magnification and stronger lenses. We tried to find that excellent balance between all of these factors to bring you a list that is both comprehensive, informative, and suitable for any age range from toddlers all the way up to adults.
If we’re being honest, age had a big part in what helped factor in our decision when coming up with our list. We strive to find products that will suit any age level so that no one in your family will feel left out during your family activity. Age range is also important because when it comes to group play, sometimes products for every age are not created equally. You’ll see on our list that we found some wonderful starting sets for toddlers that have easy-to-use grips as well as rubber coating outside that was designed specifically for little hands.
Other binoculars are simple enough for slightly older children but also efficient enough to be used by adults as well. Anything in between can go up or down as far as age ranges and this also opens up possibilities and lessens the stress for parents when choosing what brand or type to go with for your family.
Developing the Observational Skills of Children
Kids can have a short attention span. This is common and completely normal, but this kind of toys are a tool that can help them increase their observation time while being educational at the same time. Let’s say you’re on a hike with your child. Along your hike, there are many stop-offs and viewing points. Wouldn’t it be great if at one of those stop-off points, while you’re overlooking a beachy cliff or a broad mountain range, you could pull out a pair of binoculars and watch what’s below and above you? If you had the ability to visually skirt the treeline or master the art of finding schools of fish far below the water’s surface, it would not only catch your child’s attention but increase it as well.
Kids learn through experience. In a case like this, with their focus being solely on what they’re watching through a viewfinder, they’ll learn valuable skills such as how to observe things in their natural habitat. It could be during a bird-watching activity where they find a rare species and are able to identify it or even whale-watching where they watch a fin come up out of the water and are able to note which whale is lying just under the surface. Through the lens of a pair of binoculars, your child could witness something incredible and learn about it in the process. They’ll easily learn the value of observation and how rewarding it can be.
Introduce the Different Senses
The five senses go hand in hand. Binoculars, while designed for one sense, can be used to incorporate many at once. Visually learning is often a powerful tool in education and this can very obviously be done through binocular observation, but how can we include the other senses to help educate children through discovery? When your child spies something that catches their eye and zooms in on it, ask them what they can audibly hear–Is it a bird that is making a specific cry?
Is it an animal–Can you smell anything particular about them? Or maybe it’s an edible plant–Can you taste the sweetness that’s associated with a honeysuckle plant? If it’s a tree, what does the bark feel like compared to what it looks like under the magnification of the binoculars? There are so many different questions we can ask that will encourage and push kids to further discover what may literally be right under their noses.
Talk About Using the Senses to Gather Information
The first half of learning is observation, the second half is inference and understanding through experiments and trial and error. When your child is looking through their binoculars, are they seeing something that they can potentially learn about as well?
This kind of toys provide an excellent way to educate kids without needing to take them to a museum or science lab (not that either of those things shouldn’t be done!) because they can discover for themselves and also make adult-guided inferences. By using their sense of smell, touch, taste, and sound, they can incorporate these aspects into their visual sense to learn more about what they’re seeing. Associative behavior is helpful in science and nature education because by linking two sense together, the experience becomes ingrained in more ways than just one.
Show Them How the Senses Can Be Used to Gather Information
This is the part of learning that can, and should, be acted upon. Once your child has used his or her binoculars to observe something, let’s say in your own backyard. They’ve gone up to the second floor and through their bedroom window, they’ve locked onto a tomato plant they didn’t realize was producing tomatoes yet, and are now curious about it. With their binoculars, they’re not only seeing a shiny red tomato, but they’re also seeing insect life, dew leftover from the early morning mist, tiny fuzzy hairs that are running up and down the stalk of the plant.
For the first time, they’re seeing plant life for what it actually is in nature. These are all valuable observations that you can use to educate and explain to your child the process of photosynthesis, how plants either help or destroy crop production and how the plant naturally defends itself and survives. Afterward, the tomato your child discovered can be a part of their information-gathering process; let them run outside to pick it and then make lunch! Healthy and educational, yum!
Teach Your Child To Take Down Notes
To add an extra element of long-term learning, take your child on a walk with their new pair of binoculars. Have them observe a natural habitat near your home or even town life. During the process, hand them a notebook and a pencil and have them write down everything that they see, are curious about, or want to learn more about. This is a great way to educate your kids on things they haven’t seen before and help them grow mentally as they absorb information and develop a deeper understanding of what surrounds them. Through the process of writing down information, they’ll remember it and be able to refer back to it if they ever want to re-learn something or remember it. This kind of toys are a great basis for any learning activity no matter the age!
The Bottom Line
The fact is that this kind of toys are an excellent learning tool. All scientific education aside, they’re also just a fun gift that will last for a long time and never gets boring, because what’s on the other side of them is constantly changing. They’re a great investment of money for a growing child and can be used by all members of the family. Portability is also an included asset when it comes to this kind of toys because they’re useful no matter where you go. If you do happen to be a family of hikers and campers, they really are a must-have for exploring. They set the tone for adventure and can be so useful when it comes to seeing what’s out there since they’re essentially just visual boosters!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do these products come with a warranty?
A: Yes, most offer a warranty of some kind. The sites you purchase them from as well as the manufacturers each offer a set of warranty options and policies
Q: What is the age range for these toys?
A: They are not intended for children under 3, however, they do range in ages 3 and up. Anyone can have fun using binoculars. There are however some designs that are suited for a younger target audience.
Q: Will they be convenient for my child to use?
A: Most of these products are durable and designed to take a beating. Some feature a storage case and most offer a strap or cord to be easily worn around the neck or wrist.
Q: Do these products work for children with glasses?
A: Yes there are several options on this list that will work for children with glasses. The lenses have a rubber coating for optimal comfort. The size of the lenses allows for your little one to see great images all while supporting the frustration that comes from having to wear glasses.
Q: How long are the neck straps?
A: Some are very long, some don’t have a neck strap at all; some offer a storage case while others come with a wrist strap.
Q: Are these binoculars waterproof?
A: Some of these higher-quality products are capable of taking a beating and although they may not be damaged too badly from some water exposure, it is not recommended to submerge them in the water.