Why buy a microscope for your child?
Microscopes provide a new perspective for children and are great for developing critical thinking, awareness, and the scientific method. They prompt curiosity and wonder for the environment. Young ones have the unique opportunity to make their own conclusions to the many unresolved questions in their heads based on their observations through a microscope, and this is an important skill to develop.
What should you consider in a microscope?
- Ease of Use: Many children might have never had the opportunity to use a microscope before. A microscope can be a complex, multifaceted piece of equipment that can even be difficult for adults to set up, let alone use to perform experiments correctly. While a simplistic design can be helpful, instructive guides, prepared slides, and set experiments can ease the learning curve.
- Additional Features and Equipment: Having access to equipment and accessories can help kick-start your child’s new science journey, whether it’s accessible digital imagery or a kit with accessories. Look for glass optics for more professional and clearer quality. You also want to look for microscopes with multiple magnification levels to see things from different perspectives.
What type of kid-friendly microscope is most suitable for your child?
Microscopes geared toward children will generally fall into two categories: either a novelty toy with limited capability or one that can genuinely be used for experiments or observation. Your child’s age is a significant factor in choosing a microscope, as you’ll want to choose one that can effectively occupy your young one or help develop an interest in science. If you have a younger child, you likely won’t need all the bells and whistles. If you have an older child or one with a huge interest in science, you’ll want to spring for a more scientific and functional microscope.
Omano JuniorScope Microscope Science Kit
This microscope is equipped with three magnification settings and is easy to use.
Pros: The JuniorScope is equipped with three magnification settings that allow you to magnify an object up to 400x—making it possible to see bacteria with clarity. Your child should be able to easily navigate the microscope’s features and start experiments using its included informative card guides and examples. The kit also includes slides and test tubes.
Cons: Raising the microscope’s stage without care can interfere with the magnification lens and the overall image. Furthermore, some of the additional equipment that you’ll receive won’t be as robust as you might expect. While its 400x magnification is the minimum required in order to see bacteria, you’ll probably need a stronger scope to delve into more intricate details.
Bottom Line: If your child demonstrates an interest in the field of science, this is an excellent gift for them. With the instructive cards included, your child can get started right off the bat. While this microscope won’t be the full-fledged instrument that a biologist might use, it’s certainly a piece of equipment that transcends a simple play-toy.
AmScope Kids Microscope
The microscope comes with a 52-piece kit filled with science equipment.
Pros: This option offers an amazing bang for your buck. Along with a plethora of science equipment, this 52-piece kit comes with five prepared slides, seven blank slides, and brine shrimp eggs to observe. It’s made with a metal body, so it’s reasonably sturdy.
Cons: Since it’s lower in price, you can expect it to be somewhat lower in quality. And while it can magnify objects up to 1200x, don’t anticipate a crystal-clear image.
Bottom Line: This is one of the best microscope options if you’re on a budget. Although the kit slightly suffers in build quality and performance, it compensates with its additional science equipment and accessories, most notably its inclusion of brine shrimp eggs—something that your child might not have seen before, let alone up close.
YINAMA LCD Digital Microscope
This microscope is feature-packed with a range of capabilities, including device connectivity for images and videos, 1000x magnification, and a durable metal base.
Pros: The microscope’s LCD screen is one of the most useful features that one could have, allowing objects captured in its lens to be displayed to more than one person at the same time. Additionally, the microscope can be connected to your smartphone or PC to save images and videos digitally. It’s durable, user-friendly, and modern.
Cons: The process of saving the images that you capture can be somewhat difficult, as it requires your device to connect to the microscope’s own wireless connection. Moreover, its LED lighting isn’t as bright under certain conditions.
Bottom Line: Peering into a microscope’s eyepiece can be uncomfortable for some, especially for children. This microscope eliminates that hassle and allows children to comfortably view from a distance and with friends and family. Albeit a non-traditional microscope, its LCD screen and smartphone connectivity allow for more accessibility and comfort.
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope
This is a talking microscope that comes with 60 high-quality images to view.
Pros: This microscope has an audio feature with two modes: fact mode and quiz mode. During fact mode, the microscope will help your child identify the contents of the image. In quiz mode, it will ask questions to help your child remember the information learned. The microscope also includes 60 high-quality images in its pre-made slides.
Cons: This isn’t a real microscope. It’s a microscope toy. Children won’t be able to provide their own objects for up-close viewing, as they will be restricted to the included images. This might not be a good option if your child gets bored easily—while 60 images might sound like plenty, it’s easy to hurry through them all.
Bottom Line: This microscope might not suit older children or children with a demonstrated interest in science or nature-related subjects. However, if you have a child who’s around 3 to 5, this is an interactive and high-quality microscope toy that will keep them occupied.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Microscope Science Kit
This is a robust microscope kit with plenty of accessories and features to entertain your child.
Pros: This microscope is more like a stereoscope, which explains the low magnification compared to other microscopes. You can view 3D objects with both eyes open and enjoy 35 prepared slides and 10 blank slides. The prepared slides include algae and various types of cells, but you’ll be able to conduct your own experiment right out of the box with its brine shrimp experiment.
Cons: Some users reported the lens of the microscope as a bit loose and wobbly. Additionally, you might need to lend your child a hand during setup, as the instructions can be unclear.
Bottom Line: Although there are some minor flaws with this microscope kit, expect a positive experience from it. Your child will have immediate access to cells while also having the flexibility to observe anything that they desire.
A microscope is an incredible tool for introducing your children to science and satisfying their curiosities. There are numerous items for your child to observe and learn from, from brine shrimp eggs to hair to dust, so pick up a trusty microscope to help them develop a love for learning.