By the time they’re in fifth grade, many kids get the chance to try a microscope at school. Since this activity is usually closely organized and supervised, kids don’t really get the chance to do any free experimentation on their own. Having a microscope at home gives kids the opportunity to make their own discoveries; however, parents will want to invest in microscopes that are easy enough to use and effective enough to make experimentation fun.
Beginner Microscope Kit from ScientificsOnline.com
The Beginner Microscope Kit from ScientificsOnline.com has an inclined head, large focusing knobs, glass-coated optics, a 10x eyepiece and a rotating nose piece. This model was rated by GaltTech.com as the “Best Beginner” microscope. In addition to the microscope, kids get a polarizing kit, both a 3x and 6x magnifier, prepared slides and a basic dissection kit. The microscope, which requires 2 AA batteries (not included), comes with an experiment manual, a foam-lined storage case and a dust cover.
The Smithsonian 900x Microscope
The die-cast Smithsonian 900x Microscope comes with an instruction manual, vials, pipettes, petri dish, cover slips, blank labels, tweezers, prepared slides and a spare bulb. This weighted-base microscope, which contains no glass, magnifies objects 900 times and the interchangeable lenses, 100x, 450x and 900x, allow for close examination as it lights the specimen. The Smithsonian Microscope also converts to a projecting microscope. A carrying case is included; microscope requires 2AA batteries, which are not included.
My First Lab Duo-Scope
My First Lab Duo-Scope from C&A Scientific, rated at the top of the list for kids’ microscopes by Top Ten Reviews, actually serves two purposes. It is a basic microscope for looking at specimens on a slide and also a dissecting microscope that kids can use to look at solid objects at a lower power; the dual-lighting system makes these two functions possible in the same microscope. The Duo-Scope has 40x, 100x and 400x magnification and dual focusing knobs. Slides, five blank, one concave and four prepared, are included with the microscope along with forceps, test tube, petri tube and other accessories. A carrying case and the required 3 AA batteries are not included.
The metal and plastic TK2 Scope from Thames & Kosmos uses battery-powered LED light sources to give 40x, 100x and 400x magnification options for the viewer. Professional-quality optical glass is used for the lenses. A manual, which guides kids through the basics of microscope use and 25 experiments, is included as are over 20 tools and accessories.