Monday, March 3, 2014

Can a 2 1/2-year-old child use binoculars?

My grandson is 2 and 1/2 years old and loves to go birding with me.

Is he too young to use bins and if not what would be available for him and age appropriate?

Your input and suggestions are  much appreciated.

My thanks,

Debbie R.


Dear Debbie,
Thanks for your inquiry regarding binocular for young children.

Our manager, Ben has two daughters, 10 and 13 now, but started them on binoculars when they were about 6.  That was the youngest age he thought they could grasp the concept that the idea of the binoculars wasn’t just the binoculars themselves, but the things we could see when using them.

When it comes to kid's binoculars, the idea is to provide them with something as user friendly as possible.  This would be something easy to hold, line-up to their eyes, and find/follow wildlife with.  Ideally, you’d want a binocular with a single center hinge (as opposed to many of the compact models which each barrel hinges to fold in on itself) and with low magnification.

A good, inexpensive kid’s binocular that we’ve found to be effective is the Leupold BX-1 Yosemite 6x30 Binocular.

The least expensive binocular we stock is the Eagle Optics Energy 8x21.

If there is anything else we can help you with, just let us know.

Best regards,

Eagle Optics


  1. Perhaps a further alternative for the very young is a MONOCULAR, such as the Vortex 8 x 25. which weighs perhaps 6 oz. The parent can adjust the focus, and also adjust the neckstrap. At $50 this is a reasonable alternative. These also come with a lifetime warranty to never go out of "collimation."

  2. Nina Cheney posting for Kenneth Smith at his request:
    I agree with Alan. Unless the binoculars are properly adjusted (Fit & Focus) this could possibly cause unnecessary frustration and possibly eyestrain injury as we don't really know just what the child is actually seeing. So, even Fit & Focus may not work as intended. Also a smaller ocular such as 7x may be easier for the child to locate the bird.

    The monocular could become the child's spotting scope just like the Grandpa has.
    Ken Smith
    Sonora, CA


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