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This is our official list in search of the best microscopes for kids on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a beginners guide to choosing a good kids microscope.
5 Highest Reviewed Microscopes For Kids to Consider
Microscopes can be fun for kids and adults, and they make it easy to unlock the secrets of the microscopic universe. However, since most kids don’t know how to work advanced features, it’s better to purchase something less complicated.
Unlike a telescope, a microscope is designed for examining the smallest objects. Most kids love science, and the ability to peer into the microscopic universe is like a dream come true. When shopping for the best microscope for kids, it’s a good idea to spend some extra money to get a real lens because it can make the experience much more exciting.
For the best results, you’ll need a high-quality product, and below, you’ll find reviews for some of the top microscopes for kids.
The My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope features real glass optics, and with magnification up to 400x, it can be used to get an incredible view of microscopic objects. The MFL-06 has received awards for being one of the top products for young scientists, and it shouldn’t be confused with a toy
This microscope can magnify objects up to 40, 100 and 400x, which is strong enough to give most kids an amazing view of an unseen world. The package comes with cover slips, four prepared slides, forceps, blank slide labels, lens paper and more.
The y First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope is perfect for educational applications, and it’s a popular choice for school projects. Since the magnification settings are easy to adjust, there is no frustration involved, and it’s one of the best products for kids.
- Great optics for the price
- Superior illumination at 400x magnification
- Perfect for younger kids
- Slides are very easy to prepare
- Some components are cheaply made
The AMSCOPE-KIDS M30-ABS-KT2-W is another popular microscope for kids, and it’s designed for the complete beginner. This scope is perfect for educational purposes because it offers high magnification, and it uses a monocular viewing head.
For better illumination of slides, it uses a mirror and LED light, which comes with a built-in wheel for color filtering. With a rotating turret, this microscope delivers up to 1,200x magnification, and the focus mechanism is easy to adjust.
This kit comes with 52 accessories, and all the components fit neatly into a plastic ABS case. Some items that you’ll find in the kit are a petri dish, specimen slicer, brine shrimp eggs, needle, seal salt, gum media, plastic scalpel and spare LED bulb.
Since it’s made with a real optics system, this microscope is perfect for kids, and it can provide countless hours of entertainment, education and fun.
- Excellent choice for beginners
- Samples are easy to find on the slides
- Microscope is made of durable metal
- Blue light filter is very useful
- Could use some more power
Here we have another top microscope for kids, and it can be used for educational purposes. This product is suitable for kids who want to learn about histology, bacteriology or biology, and since it’s made with real components, it can help your child understand how microscopes work.
The package comes with nine prepared slides, two collection bottles, one needle and several useful components. This microscope features three magnification levels, and it can magnify objects up to 450x.
The scope is made of ABS acrylic, and it uses a bright LED light source for maximum illumination. If you want to introduce your children to the microscopic world and allow them to transform into young scientists, then the Biology Science Kits microscope is worth considering.
- Great for learning about biology
- Perfect for kids
- Magnification is easy to adjust
- Not too complex for young children
- Not much more than a starter microscope
The PBOX beginner microscope is another popular product for kids, and it can give young kids a look at microscopic specimens. The PBOX microscope kit encourages discovery and exploration, and it’s one of the best scientific tools that a kid could have.
It’s a compound microscope, and it’s capable of magnifying an object up to 1,200x. This kit comes with everything a young child needs to get started, and it’s designed with a monocular viewing head. To illuminate specimens, it uses an LED light source, which is powered by two AA batteries.
Some items that come with the kit are collection bottles, forceps, blank labels, plastic containers and glass specimens. When compared to many alternative products, this microscope is very easy to use, and it can provide many hours of education and fun.
- Excellent product for young kids
- Great value for the price
- Crystal-clear view
- Ideal for the absolute beginner
- Not very exciting for older kids
The My First Lab I-explore Scope offers 20x magnification, and it’s designed with real glass optics. For maximum illumination, this microscope uses a bright Led light source, and it’s powered by batteries.
It comes with an interchangeable stage plate, and unlike some other products, this microscope was built to provide an unforgettable viewing experience. If you’re looking for a great way to introduce your kids to the microscopic world, this product can help.
This product comes with 10 eyepieces, and the acrylic stage plate is reversible. To provide a crystal-clear view, it’s equipped with a binocular head, and it works well for viewing many types of objects.
- Clear optics
- 20x 3D stereo image
- Provides reasonable depth
- Great for examining small critters
- Battery compartment could be better
Brief Guide to Microscopes for Kids
The problem with plastic products is that they break easily, and if they don’t come with real glass optics, kids won’t enjoy them nearly as much as the real thing. It’s also a good idea to look for microscopes that come with accessories because they’ll help open your child’s imagination.
Accessories are also useful because they help kids get more involved in the process. A microscope can provide hours of fun, and it will allow your children to peer into a world that isn’t visible with the naked eye.
What Are They?
Microscopes are devices that magnify tiny objects, so that it’s possible to zoom in on the layers of an onion and see the cells inside.
They are usually used to look at things that we can’t see with just our eyes, and you can discover how things are made up, such as our skin, hair and a world of other potential objects. The microscope gets its name from the Greek word micro, which means small, and skopion, which means to look.
Microscopes are important tools in studying science, especially biology, and they are basically packed with lenses which bend light rays. The lenses take the light rays and separate them widely apart, so that the object you’re looking at looks bigger than it really is.
You usually put a specimen of something you want to study on the stage under the microscope, then lower or raise the stage with a wheel so that it comes into focus as you look through the eye piece.
How much the object is magnified depends on the lenses in the microscope, and you can change the setting so that you can zoom in less or further away.
Buying your child a microscope is a great opportunity to invest in and stimulate their love of learning and curiosity at an early age. It is also a way of doing some hands on learning together, which all kids love to do.
What To Look For?
There are two main types of microscopes that are sold – stereo and compound. Stereo microscopes have low powers of magnification, usually 50x and below, and are easy to use so a young child can focus on an object more easily. They also offer 3-dimensional viewing.
The downside though, is that because it is a stereo microscope it has two eyepieces to look through, like binoculars. This means it may be difficult for children to look through both eyepieces at the same time, since their eyes aren’t usually that far apart.
But they can just use one eyepiece until they are old enough to use both. So these would be good for a child of 9 or under, if you want it to be a pretty easy experience that doesn’t need too much supervision.
Compound microscopes usually have much higher powers of magnification – from 40 to 1000x. This means that they are harder to focus and the set up will take longer, so more adult supervision is necessary.
However the detail and picture will be far superior, and you will be able to look at things that you can’t usually see with just your eyes. The resulting image is also two dimensional, so not as exciting as a three dimensional object. These microscopes are good for age 10 and older.
Another option is a digital microscope, or even handheld digital microscopes which can be great fun as they can be moved over whatever you want to look at.
The main thing you want to look for in a microscope your child is a sharp focus and bright image. Try and get one that is made of real metal and contains real lenses, as these will give the best quality result. Also for the best picture, choose one that has its own light source.
Look for a kit that also has some fun and interesting samples and slide collections that will be exciting to discover. Also it would be helpful to have some cover slips, slides and tweezers so that you can make more samples of your own.
Who Can Benefit
Any child will benefit from having a good quality microscope. Young and old children will love to see the detail in one of their hairs, or the cells in an onion skin, and will be delighted by seeing what goes on in tiny worlds.
Parents will enjoy seeing their kids excited, and an appetite can be given to kids for what is out there that still hasn’t been discovered.
What To Avoid?
Avoid buying a cheap plastic toy microscope, as your child won’t be able to get much out of it, like with a quality microscope, and you won’t be spending that much less. They will break more easily, and won’t give a very detailed image so won’t be as exciting to use.
You’re also likely to dampen any excitement they had by giving them a bad image which isn’t very interesting to look at.
Also avoid buying a second hand microscope as it will be difficult to tell whether it is worn out or damaged.
If you have a younger child, don’t get the kind of accessories where you have to make up everything yourself, unless you plan to do a lot of it ahead of time, as their patience will quickly wear thin.
What kind of things can I use for specimens?
You can make up your own slides with a scraping from the inside of your cheek to see what skin cells look like (use a cotton bud). You could also look at different kinds of fabric, pond water, one of their own hairs, skin of an onion, and even a dollar bill can be fascinating close up.
How should I teach my child to use the microscope?
Start at the lowest magnification i.e. the most zoomed out, and then gradually work your way up. Focus can be hard for children so help them if they need it, once you get to the higher levels.
How can I take pictures of what I see through the microscope?
There are several ways of doing this. Some digital microscopes will connect to a computer via USB so that you can save the file that way. You can also get microscope cameras which will attach to a port on the microscope. Or you can attach a camera via an adapter.
How should I look after my microscope?
Always keep it covered when you’re not using it. Otherwise the lens can get dirty and scratched, and then you won’t get a clear picture anymore. You can clean it using compressed air and lens cleaner.
The best microscope for kids can serve as an excellent way to unleash your child’s imagination, and it’s a great way to peer into the microscopic world, which is something that most kids will find fascinating.
Although these products aren’t the strongest microscopes in the world, they’re not meant to be, and they work better as tools for exploration. With a high-quality microscope, your kids can enjoy countless hours of fun and excitement.