"What are the best kids microscopes?"
This is a question we get asked a lot here at Microscope Detective, and for good reason. The right microscope can be an amazing purchase for a child, opening up a fascinating new world and engendering a lifelong love of science. The wrong microscope can lead to frustration, disappointment, and wasted dollars.
We took a look at a multitude of first microscopes in order to find the highest quality models at the best price. The winners all had a few things in common: they were durable, they provided good images, and they included lots of fun accessories that added greater depth and intrigue for a budding scientist.
Every model on here is below $150, so you can spark a kid's imagination without blowing your budget. Sure it's necessary to consider the cost, and we don't think you need to break the bank, but the below criteria are also important for a fun learning experience with your child.
To make your life easier we've taken all these factors, including price, into account to present you with the best kids microscopes.
Below are the top three models we found for starting your little one out on the right scientific foot:
My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope
The My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope from C&A Scientific is hard to beat in terms of features, cost, and quality. It's inexpensive yet durable, and yields a quality image. The Duo Scope has two modes: compound (for specimens on slides) and stereo (for viewing 3D objects). So it's really two microscopes in one.It also comes with a useful accessory kit. This kit includes slides, stain, lens paper, a plastic test tube, a pair of forceps, and a lot more. Other nice features include:
This is a good purchase for an entry-level microscope, as you can nurture scientific interest without a large expense. The accessories make the experience even more creative, helping your kids learn while still remaining fun.
For ages 8 and up.
Thames and Kosmos Tk2 Scope
The Tk2 Scope from Thames & Kosmos is another nice model that offers quality construction at a nice price. This powerful and sturdy kids microscope can provide years of fascinating observations.Although more expensive than the Duo Scope above, the TK2 Scope is a complete biology kit. The included 48-page comprehensive manual details how to make your own slides and outlines many fascinating experiments. The kit also boasts:
The quality of the microscope itself makes the Tk2 Scope a great buy with a solid reputation. It's a wonderful choice for teachers or parents who are home schooling. This model is rated very highly by consumers, and can stand up to a child's abuse while providing years of fascinating fun for young minds.
For ages 8 and up.
Konus Konuscience Zoom 1200x Biological Microscope
If you want to offer your younger kids a little more scientific power, the Konus Konuscience Microscope is a pretty good deal. At around $60, it has a zoom magnification of up to 1200x and even includes a microtome for sectioning your own specimens. (How cool is that?)Although there have been some complaints about the lighting and battery compartment, this is still one of the best first microscopes for the price. The entire kit will pique a child's intense curiosity for years to come. It also comes with:
We loved how this product encourages kids to make their own slides and experiments. That's not hard to do with 81 included accessories.
For ages 8 and up
If you want an under $50 option for children age 7 to 12, then the Amscope-kids beginner microscope is a good entry level choice. It has magnifcation up to 1200x and comes in with an 52 piece kit.
This beginner microscope is great for the price and works well. The microscope is metal with plastic parts. Dont' expect super high clarity, but for elementary kids it is perfect. The builti in battery powered light works well when illuminating samples. Built in color filteres also help to improve viewability.
All provided slide preparation tools are plastic, but are good enough to do simple tasks such as slide preparation. The includion of brine and shrimp eggs made for a nice touch and some excitement.
No matter which kids microscope you choose, be sure to take the time to research carefully and read plenty of reviews. Remember that a quality kids microscope is more than just a toy, it's an investment in a child's imagination!
Looking for more resources? The below pages have more articles and reviews on first microscopes. All reviews have a rating of 3.5 stars or higher on Amazon.com.