Which kids’ microscope is best?
Microscopes are used daily in labs everywhere around the world. They allow us to see details in biological and non-biological samples that would be impossible with the human eye alone or even with an extremely high-powered magnifying glass.
If you are trying to foster a child’s interest in science, getting them their very own microscope is one of the best ways. They come in a wide range of models, some of which look and act very much like those that adults use, and others that more closely resemble toys. The Omano JuniorScope falls into the former category, which makes it an ideal choice for older children who truly want to see the world at a microscopic level. It has a maximum magnification of 400x and features illumination from the top and bottom to illuminate their samples for a clear view.
What to know before you buy a kids’ microscope
The term kid’s microscope covers a variety of products that range from toy-like items intended for children as young as three years old to models designed for children 8 or 10 years of age and older that closely resemble adult microscopes. Understanding that is key to choosing the right model for your child.
Microscopes designed for young kids often have less magnification, don’t offer any focus adjustment, and generally use lower-quality components. They will have a more toy-like look and feel too. Models intended for older children have higher magnification levels and may require focus adjustment to get a clear image. This means users may need a certain level of skill to use them properly.
Microscopes, even those intended for children, can be somewhat delicate items. It is important to store and transport them safely to ensure the interior components aren’t accidentally damaged. This is equally true for the slides, which may be made from glass or plastic. Ideally, you should choose a microscope that comes with a sturdy storage case for the microscope itself and any included accessories. Lacking that, you’ll want to teach your child how to safely put away their microscope where it won’t be damaged, rather than simply tossing it in their toy bin.
Features to look for in a quality kids’ microscope
The magnification of a kid’s microscope determines how much it can enlarge the image of something. The least powerful models, intended for kids between three and five, often only magnify images between 3x and 10x. Those designed for older kids may offer anywhere from 40x to 1200x magnification.
The lens quality plays a determining role in image quality. The cheapest kid’s microscopes often make use of plastic lenses. While these make the microscope more affordable, they do not produce a crisp and clear image. Whenever possible, it is best to opt for a model with glass lenses, even if it costs a little more. Children are more likely to want to use a microscope if it produces a clear image.
Better quality kid’s microscopes will feature a light source above or below the slide. This makes it easier to take a clear look at the sample without worrying about shadows obstructing the image. That said, this also means that you may have to replace the bulb in the future.
Kids’ microscopes may come with any number of accessories. The most common are slides that are prefilled with samples for children to view. Some models also include blank slides, tweezers, collection vials, droppers and other supplies necessary for children to make their samples.
How much can you expect to spend on a kids’ microscope
Most kids’ microscopes cost between $15-$125.
Kids’ microscope FAQ
How do I clean the lens of a microscope?
A. Most microscopes include instructions for cleaning the lenses. If yours does, make sure to follow them. This generally entails using a dedicated lens cleaning solution and wiping it down with a soft, microfiber or other non-abrasive cloth.
Do I need to purchase any additional accessories for a kids’ microscope?
A. Most kids’ microscopes will come with everything needed to use them. However, you may want to purchase additional filled or blank slides, so children don’t get bored from looking at the same things all the time.
What is the best kids’ microscope to buy?
Top kids’ microscope
What you need to know: With a premium glass lens and up to 400x magnification, this microscope definitely doesn’t feel like a kid’s toy.
What you’ll love: The sample deck is illuminated from both sides to ensure you can see all the details. It also includes all the supplies needed for children to make their sample slides.
What you should consider: It can be tricky to focus at higher magnifications, making it best for older children who won’t get frustrated by it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top kids’ microscope for the money
What you need to know: This simple-to-use and affordably-priced option is suitable for children as young as three years old.
What you’ll love: It features fact and quiz modes to help children learn. Plus, there is on-board slide storage, which minimizes the chances of kids losing them.
What you should consider: The slides have photos of objects rather than actual samples. Also, it has very low magnification capabilities.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This microscope has magnification levels that rival those of adult models yet is made with the needs of children in mind.
What you’ll love: It has some high-end features, like a color filter wheel and a rack-and-pinion focus mechanism, and it includes a sturdy storage case for all its various components.
What you should consider: Its field of view is very narrow.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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