Best Microscopes to Buy For Kids!!

The invention of the microscope changed the way we look at our world. By allowing us to see what we could not with our naked eye, it was as though a new universe were unveiled. In our modern world, we now have entire fields of science devoted to studying this tiny world, with a multitude of microscope types to help view it. With microscopes nowadays being more accessible than ever, with several affordable options and applications, you too can get a glimpse of the microscopic world.

When looking at microscopes, it is helpful to know what makes it work. Typically, one looks through an eyepiece, which is linked to an objective lens, the component which does the magnifying. Microscopes can come in compound, stereo, or digital varieties, which differ in how these pieces are arranged. In compound microscopes, there are either one or two eyepieces that look through the same objective lens. They are the most common type of microscope, many allowing for very high magnification, mostly suited to viewing items on glass slides or petri/culture dishes. Stereo microscopes use two objective lenses, one for each eyepiece, giving you depth perception you can’t get with a compound microscope. Stereo microscopes are also known as dissecting microscopes, as their low magnification and dual-objective perspective makes them ideal for magnifying larger objects which you’d like to see in more detail. Digital microscopes are used to display an image on a monitor, rather than looking through a lens.

Here we compiled a some great options for entry-level microscopes that will allow you to look at the world on the tiniest of levels.


My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope – MFL-06
Purchase on Amazon

The Duo-Scope from My First Lab is a compound microscope that comes with 3 objective lenses allowing for different levels of magnification (40x, 100x, 400x). It can be converted to function like a dissecting scope (like stereo microscopes), allowing you to view larger, whole objects not on slides. With no cords, it offers portability and it also comes with several accessor903513_10200741849766571_2094569790_oies such as blank slides and cover slips, along with stains, and more to allowing you to prepare your own samples for viewing under the microscope. Makes a great microscope starter.

My girls absolutely loved it! Purchased it as a birthday gift and it was the hit of the party!


AMSCOPE-KIDS M30-ABS-KT2-W Microscope Kit with Metal Arm and Base, 6 Magnifications from 20x to 1200x, Includes 52-Piece Accessory Set and Case, Awarded The 2016 Top Pick of Microscopes For Beginners
Purchase on Amazon

The Kids M30-ABS-KT2-W Microscope from AmScope is a compound microscope with 3 available objectives allowing for magnification up to 300x, 600x, and 1200x. This microscope, along with providing levels of high magnification, also comes with a huge amount of accessories to expand your use of the microscope. From blank slides, already prepared slides with stained samples, and even brine shrimp (Sea Monkeys!) eggs for you to watch hatch and grow, it provides several ways for you to enjoy your microscope. A fantastic value.

81qkWcclX9L._SL1488_

AMSCOPE-KIDS M30-ABS-KT51 120x-1200x 6-Powers Metal Frame & Base with 52-pc Accessories, Among the TOP 3 PICKS of the Best Student Beginner Microscope Kit in 2016, Recommended by Multi Organizations
Purchase on Amazon

And it also comes in black!

AmScope AWARDED 2016 BEST STUDENT MICROSCOPE 40X-1000X Dual Light Optical Glass Lens All-Metal Framework Student Microscope + Microscope Prepared and Blank Slides
Purchase on Amazon

Another entry level compound microscope, this kit comes with 3 objective lenses, and two levels of eyepiece magnification, giving you up to 5 levels of magnification (40x, 100x, 250x, 400x, & 1000x). In addition, has several accessories, such as 5 blank and 5 prepared sample slides, to allow you full enjoyment of your microscope. It also comes with a book with information about microscopes to help spur your imagination and open the microscopic possibilities available to you.


AMSCOPE-KIDS SE100ZZ-LED Portable LED Stereo Microscope with 20X and 50X Magnifications

So far all the microscopes we have presented have been of the compound variety, with a single objective, although some also come with lighting options to allow you to use them as in a manner similar to stereo microscopes. However, the AmScope SE100ZZ is a true stereo microscope, with two objective lenses, and 2 levels of magnification (20x and 50x), allowing you to view greater detail of objects that aren’t suited to being mounted under a slide coverslip. Take just about anything that fits on the microscope stage and get a new perspective that you’d is sure to expand your mind. Ideal for those with high levels of curiosity about the world around them, this quality microscope is a great entry level alternative to a compound scope.

Advertisements

Board Game that Teaches Coding to Kids Who Love Minecraft!


Code Master Programming Logic Game
Available on  Amazon

If you know someone who loves puzzles, Code Master makes a wonderful gift, for people of all ages! This unique game teaches you coding basics, using simple commands to form complex actions to complete objectives. In this game, you control an avatar, who traverses maps to reach a temple, while collecting crystals along the way. The game contains 10 maps, with 6 levels of difficulty (and complexity) for each map, making this a game with a high replayability (60 levels!). The commands available to you control how you move, but care must be taken as you’re only allowed a certain number of moves (this feature frustrated my daughter but forced to be creative)! As you learn to play the game, programming basics will become second nature, as you learn how computers solve and analyze problems. A fun introduction to coding which teaches critical thinking and problem-solving in a non-traditional way. My girls loved it!

Best Board Games to Teach Kids Coding

What’s so important about coding?

Coding literally means the transformation of data into a form understandable by a computer – basically, telling the computer what you want it to do. Coding also factors into some everyday tasks that people perform without a second thought: for instance, programming a microwave to heat yesterday’s leftovers, or entering numbers into a calculator in a specific order. Coding today may not always look like the routine programming of the past. It can be active, visual, engaging, and most importantly, fun!

61js5XwbjxL._SL1241_
Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
Purchase on Amazon

If you’re looking to introduce your children to coding concepts at an early age, this Robot Mouse set is perfect for kids as young as 5 years old! With it, they will begin to understand how to implement the logic of coding rules to guide Colby, a programmable robot mouse, through a maze of your own creation. Mazes come chock full of obstacles that you will have to get around. Can be combined with other sets, and with multiple sets children will be able to challenge others to mouse maze races and other activities.  Colby can be programmed to follow up to 40 steps, allowing for great flexibility and creative options. A great introduction to coding for children!

ROBOT WARS Coding Board Game – Learn and Play with Computer Programming. Geeky STEM Toy and Gift for Boys and Girls ages 7 years and up. No Prior Coding Skills Required

Purchase on Amazon

Understanding programming languages and the logic they use is a very valuable skill to develop in today’s world. Growing up surrounded by computers, many will take to wanting to get a better handle on programs and apps work. With ROBOT WARS, both kids and adults can get introduced to programming logic and coding basics!

ROBOT WARS is a board game which utilizes Java commands, in plain English, to control robots, which are used to destroy opposing robots and gain control of the board. With gameplay for up to 4 players, it is a great board game to enjoy while also picking up coding principles. As it requires a strategy for success, this game is best suited to ages 7 and up.

51a9pwnvXbL

Littlecodr – Kids Coding Game
Purchase on Amazon

This card game began its life as a Kickstarter project. This simple game uses programming and coding concepts to program friends and family to do all sorts of fun crazy actions! A great game for all ages, with something to learn for everyone.

81hoH91nTAL._SL1500_
Robot Turtles Game
Purchase on Amazon

Another Kickstarter game, this board game is one of the first to pioneer coding concepts in a fun package to allow kids to learn programming while also having fun. Using cards, kids will write programs to control turtles, and there is great replayability with several game difficulties and levels of code complexity. With gameplay for up to 5 players, this is a game the whole family can enjoy, while also learning something new.

81YLFd5IwzL._SL1500_

CodingFarmers by MathAndCoding.org
Purchase on Amazon

Coding Farmers is board game which, like ROBOT WARS, utilizes Java language to create a game that is both engaging and challenging. With several difficulties to choose from, children will understand how to use programming language and how it can make software programs function. Each action in this game is a Java command, meaning with repeated play, players will become proficient in simple programming language! This makes it especially fun for not just children, but adults also interested in learning alongside their kids.

Best Snap Circuit Kits

What are snap circuits?

In today’s age, having a grasp of electricity and how it is utilized by the machines we use every day is a valuable skill that is often overlooked. Electricity is harnessed in circuits, where an electrical stream flows, guided by switches and detours to power our phones and turn inputs, like keyboard presses, into action. Snap circuit kits teach the most basic principles underlying this machinery, showing children how to build a path for electricity to flow, how to utilize switches and sensors to create sound or ignite a lightbulb. The best part about these kits is that often there is much to learn from parents as well. We hope you’ll enjoy these as much as we do!

 

 


Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit
Purchase on Amazon

This kit is extremely popular amongst STEM educators. We have used them on several occasions during outreach events or STEM workshops! This kit comes with 30 parts that have the potential of creating 100 projects for kids in grades 2 and up to engage in. This kit will provide hands-on experience and give kids the chance to snap together parts to create a photo sensor, flashing light, and more. It does require 2 AA batteries (sold separately).

This was awarded The National Parenting Center-Seal of Approval, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products, and Dr Toy Best Educational Products.

here is also a 300 piece kit available

 


Snap Circuits Motion Electronics Discovery Kit
Purchace on Amazon

Another incredible kit from Snap Circuits. This kit takes the original kit and puts the focus on physics and motion. 50 parts can turn into 165 educational projects, such as creating an Optical Theremin, a Voice changer, air fountain and more. You can even connect this unit to your smart phone or iPod!

The best part about this kit is that you can use snap parts from other Snap Circuit kits. This will really allow your child’s imagination to fly!

Recommended for kids ages 8 and up.  Requires four AA batteries (sold separately).

 

81Qy0VHJXDL._SL1500_
Elenco SCL-175B Snap Circuits Lights Electronics Discovery Kit
Purchase on Amazon

This kit allows you to create over 175 projects including a glow-in-the-dark propeller, color changing LED light, strobe light and more. Honestly, out of all of the Snap Circuits kits, this is the one that draws the most attention during STEM outreach events. Who doesn’t love things that light up or glow-in-the-dark??!

Ages 8 and up and requires four AA batteries, not included.


Snap Circuits Alternative Energy Green
Purchase on Amazon

We think this kit is really cool! Not only do you get to learn about circuits but education concerning renewable energy is included as well! This eco-conscious kit includes 40 parts, combines to make over 125 projects! This kit can also be combined with other kits from Elenco.

From the Manufacturer

Snap Circuits Alternative Energy Kit makes learning about electricity and alternate energy FUN. With over 125 projects to build, youngsters will have endless hours of fun while learning about circuits, electricity, geothermal power and lots more. Contains over 40 parts, including the award-winning Snap Circuits, plus an instruction manual and educational manual that show step-by-step instructions for all the cool stuff you can do. For ages 8-108. Warning: Choking hazard, small parts. For ages 8 and up.

 

 

Best Unique Crystal Growing Kits

Our earlier post on crystals featured several great products allowing you to grow them. Here we spotlight a few items more focused on their geological nature, rather than chemical. Many crystals can be found in the ground of our own backyards, with quartz commonly found in many parts of the country. Some of the more brilliantly colored crystals, like amethyst, are more difficult to find. Here we feature some products that take you through the process of digging for your own crystal treasures, perhaps an inspiration to take the experience to the natural world.

61-zP9Ff4qL._SL1200_
4M Volcano and Crystal Mining Science Kit
Purchase on Amazon

Several crystals are formed and found following volcanic eruptions, as volcanos often spew superheated gasses creating pockets in the mineral rich lava. With this fascinating kit, you get led through the process of crystal formation and discovery by constructing an artificial volcano to simulate lava eruptions and a clay block you can excavate to unearth a variety of crystals. Makes for a great introduction to geology, with a dig right in your own home.

512WcHdn4cL

4M Crystal Mining Kit
Purchase on Amazon

This kit also allows you to dig for your own crystals, and also comes with a nice display case to show off the treasures you find. A great gift for children 5 and up, you can find up to 8 crystals in this faux plaster rock. You can further examine your loot with a magnifying glass, allowing you get a good look at the unique features of each crystal. Definitely, a fun way to spend time with your children learning about geology!

  • 813V-FKv61L._SL1500_71jotflfTKL._SL1500_

Uncle Milton – Star Wars Science – Lightsaber Crystal Growing Lab
Purchase on Amazon

For the little Star Wars fan in our lives (or within ourselves) we have here a melding of science fact and fiction. Many Star Wars geeks will be aware that lightsabers require a crystal to work. Well with this you can grow one of your own! It has all you need to grow large crystal in a sweet display case which also produces lightsaber sounds. You can even choose to channel the light or dark side, with a blue or red display light. This kit includes information on actual crystals and how they are formed, and also some lore on the crystals used for lightsabers, making it both fun and educational.

The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works

A beautiful 462 paged book full of information about the universe around us. The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works is the perfect guide for the kid that has to know it all!

Scientist Comments: I’ve been an avid reader of National Geographic my whole life. I used to get my hands on each issue by stealing them from my father’s collection. I’d devour the knowledge on each page and even took notes on index cards for “lectures” I would give to my stuffed-toy audience. I am so happy that National Geographic is going strong and putting out quality books that I can now share with my own kids, as well as students that I meet during outreach events.

This book covers multiple facets of science ranging from chemistry and biology to ecology and ethology. It’s important to expose kids to all areas of science to allow them to learn, explore, and develop their own interest in STEM. This book is particularly useful to have on-hand to answer those tough questions younger kids often ask that can stump you.

I highly recommend The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works for kids ages 10+.

Rating:   5c845abc32aca598facfcb6a0d3174985c845abc32aca598facfcb6a0d3174985c845abc32aca598facfcb6a0d3174985c845abc32aca598facfcb6a0d3174985c845abc32aca598facfcb6a0d317498