I have wanted to buy a microscope for Sam for years. Every Christmas for the past three years or so I have looked at microscopes online and in catalogs to decide what one I should get for him. But every year I've eventually decided that he was too young.
But this year he's seven, and really into learning about science. So I was thrilled when the Discovery Store sent me their Macro Microscope to review.
I've looked at a lot of microscopes and I have to say that after seeing this one in person, I would be delighted to buy it. I really liked that it looks and operates like a "real" microscope. It's not something to be tossed around and played with like a toy. It's a tool to learn things. And have fun while doing it.
The microscope comes with prepared slides as well as materials and instructions on how to prepare your own. I took a photo of all the materials that come with the microscope, but (surprise!) the one on the Discovery Store website was better, so I lifted this from their site:
There's a lot of cool stuff there. The "big deal" slide in the package is the Peruvian mummy wrap slide. Here is some information from the box, if you're curious:
I used this slide to test out the microscope and it was really neat. The microscope features 40x, 100x, and 400x magnification. If you'll pardon my amateurish photography, here is the mummy wrap at 40x:
And here it is at 100x:
The microscope is labeled for kids ages 8 and above, and that's probably a good estimate. Sam is seven, and he'll need to be assisted with this. (And no way is it getting left unattended in his bedroom with him, Jack, and Quinn.) But isn't playing with your children and helping them to learn what having kids is all about?
Another feature I like is that the eyepiece is soft so you and your kids won't give yourselves headaches banging into the thing.
Also, the instructions are thorough and give ideas for further experiments.
I can't wait to share all of the fun things we're going to learn about with this microscope. When I showed my husband, the first thing he said was, "The next time someone gets a cut, we can look at their blood!"
If that's not using science to make the world (or a boo boo) better, I don't know what is.
Honesty Clause: The Discovery Store sent me the microscope at no charge. It retails for $79.95.