A child’s first microscope can forever change their lives. This one item could be the key that unlocks a curiosity for science that can grow into a lifelong love of exploration. If you are thinking about purchasing a microscope for your child, you should find one that they will be able to use easily.
The best microscope for kids depends on many different variables. I tried to bring together all the information you will need when trying to find one and explain them as clearly as I could. After you finish reading this guide, you should be able to find the exact microscope that will be the best for your child that includes all the features for your child will need.
What is the Best Microscope for Kids in 2020?
It provides you child with the opportunity to learn and express their creativity as they examine new things. A high-quality microscope can follow a child into young adulthood while they continue to study for school.
|Recommended age||Item Weight||Dimensions|
Nancy B’s Science
|8 - 11 years||1.1 pounds||8.8 x 9.2 x 4.2||Check Price|
|6 years and up||3 pounds||9 x 6 x 14||Check Price|
|5 - 10 years||1.5 pounds||5.5 x 8 x 10||Check Price|
My First Microscope
|36 months - 6 years||1.1 pounds||10 x 7.3 x 6||Check Price|
|10 - 20 years||8 ounces||6.2 x 5.4 x 3.1||Check Price|
My First Lab
|9 - 18 years||3 pounds||5.1 x 6.1 x 12.2||Check Price|
|7 - 15 years||4.5 pounds||5 x 14 x 21||Check Price|
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1. Nancy B’s Science – Best Microscope for Kids (Editor’s Choice)
This best microscope for kids is a handy little microscope for beginners. Educational Insights Nancy B’s Science Club Microscope includes 30x–400x light and dissecting microscope with rubber eyecup and focusing knob, 26-piece scientific toolset, and 22-page activity journal.
Also, it comes with a handy little book with projects to make your own slides. It has 2 lights, which help to view slides and 3 magnification levels. But the light really isn’t bright enough on the microscope to support much stronger magnifications.
This toy microscope might fool you into thinking it’s more serious than that. It really functions quite well, especially for its purpose, which is to introduce children to science.
- Has good starter set of slides
- Has Activity Journal
- Easy to use
- Has a great tool to begin teaching
- 3 AAA batteries are not included
- the lights are low
2. Omano – For Children That Love “Seeing” Things Differently
Show Them the World Under A Lens
Kids all over the world are fascinated with playing in the dirt. With that fascination comes an interest in the insects they sometimes find on and in the earth. Now there’s a way for your child to see this tiny creatures-and more-from the comfort of your home.
The Junior Scope Microscope for Kids is built in a way that makes it easier for children to learn about the many cool things that are possible to be seen under a microscope. It’ll keep them out of the dirt, and the bacteria that’s picked up from it.
Everything They Need To Get Started
The microscope is white in color, having two bright knobs located on the and bottom of the scope to aid in focus. It includes everything in the box that your child will need to prepare their first slide.
There’s few negative to speak of but they do exist. While magnification is possible, the focus becomes more tedious when attempting the clear up the screen.
If these inconveniences don’t bother you, consider the JuniorScope if your kid shows an interest in science and the molecular world around them.
- Includes everything (plates, batteries, dropper test tubes) needed for the product to be used immediately upon unboxing; no additional accessories needed
- Has a magnification limit of 400x
- The knobs are firm yet easy to turn
- Comes with an instructional book to help children learn how to used the microscope
- Difficult to focus on magnification of 100x or higher
- The LED is cheaply made and may blow out within several month’s time
- Although there are slides included, more will be needed for users that wish to view multiple objects without constantly changing
3. Talking Microscope – The perfect First Microscope for Preschoolers
This microscope is not what you should be looking at if you are looking to purchase a real microscope. This talking microscope helps your child learn about nature up-close.
This microscope can encourage the curiosity of a small child with the 12 slides that are included and ability to focus up to 5x magnification. There are a quiz mode and a fact mode that provides interactive entertainment.
- Talking microscope tells your child facts and tests their knowledge
- 12 slides of bugs are included
- Winner of many awards
- Requires 3 C batteries
- Puts the idea that a microscope is a toy into the child’s minds
- Choking hazards for children under 3
4. My First Microscope – Best First Microscope for Kids (Best Price)
The Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope is another children’s toy. It’s meant to get younger children interested and excited about science and introduce them to magnification. They can magnify any small object up to 8x magnification.
This best first microscope for kids is designed to be used by pre-school aged children. It encourages exploration and scientific observation. It rewards a child’s curiosity and inspires in them a love of science.
This is another product that should be avoided that will give young children the wrong idea about microscopes. They should start with a real microscope that they show respect for, not a toy that tries to emulate the real thing.
- View any object at up to 8x magnification
- Works with every day items
- Large focus knob made to fit a child’s hand
- 3 AAA batteries needed
- Makes a child think that a microscope is a toy and not a tool
- Magnification knob doesn’t seem to do anything
5. Learning Resources – Best Microscope for Students
The Learning Resources Zoomy 2.0 is a handheld digital microscope. This best microscope for students was created to help meet the needs of a modern classroom. It is a powerful handheld microscope that encourages little learners to look at the world around them more closely.
Magnify an apple, a coin, or a drop of water up to 54x. It works with PCs and Macs connecting to a standard USB port. The Learning Resources Zoomy 2.0 can also be hooked directly to a projector. It can output 640×480 pixels using VGA colors. Can also take pictures with a resolution of 1600×1200.
Instead of having a microscope for each student to use in class, everyone can see what the Zoomy 2.0 is focusing on. I think this is a great product.
- Digital microscope
- Shaped like an egg and fits perfectly in a child’s hand
- Plugs into all of your devices to share
- Small size makes it easy to lose
6. My First Lab – Award Winning Microscope for STEM education (People’s Choice)
The My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope model MFL-06 is a much better choice than the first two microscopes reviewed. It has a reasonable price and features magnification of up to 400x.
This allows a young scientist to examine blood cells and organ tissue on real slides. The Duo-Scope gets its name by having the ability to be used as a compound microscope or a stereo microscope. This is a microscope that a young individual can grow into.
This microscope is an authentic biological microscope and is not a toy.
Along with the Duo-Scope, you’ll get five blank slides, four prepared slides, blank labels for slides, cover slips, plastic droppers, two non-toxic stains, forceps, lens paper, a test tube, a petri dish, and a teasing needle.
This is an excellent choice for a child’s first microscope. It is durable and versatile. The ability to be used as both a stereo and compound microscope opens up a lot of possibilities. This is a great microscope for a young kid.
- Duo-Scope can be used as a stereo and compound microscope
- Provides up to 400x magnification
- Includes a 50 piece accessory kit
- Many complaints about durability
7. National Geographic – Best Microscopes for Beginners
The National Geographic Series 1200x Microscope set is the perfect buy for a new scientist. It’s ready to use as soon as you take it out of the box.
This best microscopes for beginners has a durable and solid die-cast construction allows it to stand up to frequent use. The projection window allows more than one person to look at a slide at once. This is a great addition that can help in a school setting or by keeping siblings calm.
Included in the set are a pipette, a scalpel, tweezers, a shrimp hatchery, and a magnifying glass letting you start your research instantly. The extra hard case that everything goes in is a great addition for transporting and storing. Three lenses magnify at 5x, 20x, and 60x. The turret allows for anywhere between 5x and 60x magnification. An additional eye piece can zoom from 10x to 20x. There is a projection eyepiece that allows you to trace the image you see on slides.
- Magnification from 50x-1200x
- Projection Eyepiece
- Includes tons of extras
- Scalpel should be removed before giving this to a child
Best Microscope for Kids Review – Buyer’s Guide
Which is the right type for your child depends on a few important factors?
A stereo microscope is suitable for looking things like plants or insects. They are sometimes called dissecting microscope because they are preferred when observing animal dissections. A stereo microscope usually has a top light source giving the viewer better visibility of a three-dimensional object.
A compound microscope is perfect for observing the things that are on a cellular level. This type of microscope would be used when taking a look at slides of specimens. They also have the ability to magnify what they are focused on for better clarity. This type of microscope has a light on the bottom that shines through a specimen that has been prepared on a plastic or glass slide.
Which Type of Microscope is Better for a Child?
The biggest factors that will help you determine which type of microscope is better for your child is the age of the child and what they are interested in. If the child you are purchasing for is under the age of 10, a stereo microscope is the better choice since it is simpler to use. Children of this age are interested in large items that they will be able to view with their new microscope.
The biggest difference in these two types of microscopes is the intensity of the magnification. A stereo microscope has a maximum magnification of 300x, while a compound can magnify greater than 1000x. This provides for more clarity when looking at microscopic things.
Monocular or Binocular
If both eyepieces on the binocular microscope do not have the same distance separating them as the distance between your child’s eyes, they will not be able to see through it very well. Many microscopes do not have adjustments for the distance between the eye-pieces. It is a better option to buy a monocular microscope to avoid any issues like that.
Characteristics of the Best Microscope for Kids
Since you know about the two types of microscopes, you may have a better idea of what to looking for. I also put together in this buyer’s guide as many characteristics as I could that you should look for in your child’s first microscope.
If you want a microscope that is of a higher quality, you need to pay close attention to the materials that it is made out of. Lenses that are made of plastic are of a lower quality than ones that are made of glass.
You should next consider what your child might use the microscope for and how it will get used. A durable microscope that has some weight to it is a good option in some cases, but what if your child wants to take the microscope with them outside to see the world?
It should also come with some blank slides so your child can make their own. Some kits include stains and dyes that are used with specimens. Look for accessories that your child is likely to use and enjoy.
Take your time and make sure that you get everything that you want with your purchase.
What Should You Expect to Pay?
Simply put, the best starter microscopes available will probably set you back around $200. If that number fits in your budget, great. If not, some other options provide a relatively clear image.
Cheaper microscopes will be a little harder to use and won’t be as sturdy or durable as their more expensive counterparts.
A microscope that is similar to what high schools and colleges use cost a little closer to $400.
Will My Child Need Help When Using a Microscope?
After the first initial use where you educate your child on how to use the device, they will likely not need your help any longer. You must also teach them that it can be damaged easily and they should be careful with it. Observe and direct your child for a little while. This can be quality time that makes a huge impact on their future.
Avoid Plastic and Toy Microscopes
The cheap plastic toy microscopes should be avoided. They have no real educational value and will teach your child that a microscope is a toy. If thinking about buying one, go with a cheap stereo microscope instead. This device will provide a much better learning experience and be a lot more fun to use.
USB Computer Microscopes
With all of the advancements in technology and the speed at which children are able to pick up on these things, a USB computer microscope might be an option that works well for you.
Modern technology has allowed the images to be produced on a computer screen instead of looking through the lenses of a microscope.
Well, I do believe that completes my buyer’s guide on microscopes for kids. I hope that it fills you in on everything that you need to know.