Buying your child a microscope can incite a love of science that could turn into an enjoyable hobby or even a future career. As kids prepare microscope slides to closely examine murky pond water and magnified onion peels, they’ll gain valuable skills they’ll use in and out of the classroom to explore the world around them. Great microscopes for kids will bridge the gap between a fun toy and a serious high-tech scientific tool. When choosing a microscope for your children, it’s important to consider the instruments’ optics, ease of use, accessories, and instructional support. In order to aid in your shopping, below we’ve highlighted the top 10 microscopes for kids in 2014 that can help your children make their earliest discoveries.
1. My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope
Recently granted the Product of Year Award from Creative Child Magazine, the My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope is designed as an authentic, scientist-grade microscope for young scientists ages nine and over. Kids can choose to use it as a compound microscope for viewing slides, or as a dissecting stereo microscope for observing solid objects. With its impact-resistant frame and AA battery power, the Duo-Scope offers maximum portability for hours of learning at crystal-clear 40x, 100x, and 400x magnification.
2. AmScope Beginner Compound Microscope Kit
Featuring durable metal construction with stage and clips, the AmScope Beginner Compound Microscope Kit allows kids to use a reflecting mirror for natural lighting or a built-in LED light for direct illumination. As a great beginner-level compound microscope, it comes with all of a young scientist’s necessities, including sample slides, specimen vials, tweezers, and a sturdy hard case for easy travel. The AmScope offers kids advanced features for magnifying objects to 300x, 600x, or 1200x from a single coaxial focus knob.
3. AmScope Beginner Microscope and 49-Piece Accessory Kit
Offering high magnification for educational applications up to 1200x, the AmScope Beginner Microscope and 49-Piece Accessory Kit is packed in a hard-sided ABS carrying case. In addition to a built-in color filter wheel, forward-facing rotating turret, and white metal frame, the microscope’s accessory kit comes with brine shrimp eggs and a hatchery. Kids can choose to use it as a compound, stereo, or digital microscope to display the lens’ image on a monitor. This AmScope Beginner Microscope even comes with a rack-and-pinion mechanism for extremely precise focusing and clear viewing.
4. My First Lab I-Explore Scope
Boasting high-quality real glass optics with two 10x eyepieces and a 20x objective, the My First Lab I-Explore Scope is designed as an introductory stereo microscope for kids of all ages. With the battery-powered LED illumination system, kids can place their specimen of choice on the acrylic, reversible stage plate for fantastic image views. At just one pound, the I-Explore Scope is easily transported for moving between the living room, attic, and backyard in a flash.
5. Celestron 44121 Microscope Kit
As an entry-level kit with magnification from 40x to 600x, the Celestron 44121 Microscope Kit is available for budding scientists seeking to examine specimen slides at high power. Right out of the box, the kit includes three prepared slides, two blank slides, a light diffuser, a needle probe, an eye dropper, and tweezers. It’s even shipped with rocks, a honeybee wing, and brine shrimp to start exploring immediately. With the 20x zoom eyepiece and high-quality glass optics, every viewing will be crystal-clear without fuzziness.
6. Educational Insights Nancy B’s Science Club Microscope
Featuring a real-life 22-page activity journal with hands-on science experiments, the Educational Insights Nancy B’s Science Club Microscope is designed for kids ages eight to 11 with magnification between 30x and 400x. There are 2 LED light sources that transform the dissecting microscope into a light microscope. As the 2013 Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner, the 40-piece Nancy B’s Science Club Microscope kit ensures hours of parent-free discovery.
7. Educational Insights Geosafari Talking Microscope
For younger children ages three to seven, the Educational Insights Geosafari Talking Microscope is the perfect first microscope for being introduced to scientific observation. Featuring a 5x focus magnifier and light for easy viewing, the microscope allows kids to view 12 fascinating buds up-close. Children can turn a dial to learn fun facts about the bugs and test their knowledge of creepy critters in fun built-in quiz games. The Talking Microscope unit comes with 12 prepared interactive slides and a convenient storage box.
8. AmScope Portable Binocular Stereo Microscope
Designed for elementary school-aged children, the AmScope Portable Binocular Stereo Microscope provides low magnification with a 2x objective and longer focal length to examine large-scale specimen, such as rocks, stamps, and jewelry. With fixed vertical inclination and 10x wide-field eyepieces, viewing is simplifying for young users. The AmScope Portable Binocular Stereo Microscope utilizes upper illumination from a battery-powered 3W tungsten light to easily illuminate specimens securely clipped on the black-and-white stage plate.
9. Thames and Kosmos Biology TK2 Scope
As a dual-light metal and plastic microscope offering 40x, 100x, and 400x magnification, the Thames and Kosmos Biology TK2 Scope embarks children on a guided journey through the microscopic world. Built with durability for years of continued observation, the microscope includes 10-power ocular lens, an aperture wheel, two battery-powered LED light sources, and 20 cool accessories. Buyers of the Thames and Kosmos Biology TK2 Scope will also receive a 48-page manual with dozens of fascinating science activities in full color.
10. Levenhuk 2L NG Lime Microscope
Striking with its bright color, the Levenhuk 2L NG Lime Microscope offers advanced NG configuration with three magnifications for magnification up to 640x. With two built-in illuminations, the scope allows children to observe both transparent and non-transparent slides through the use of a 110V AC adapter. Young biologists can easily carry around the Levenhuk 2L NG Lime Microscope with the included damage-proof sturdy metal case.