I love exploring science and nature with my children. My older children enjoy using their microscopes (they have used the DuoScope and Celestron InfiniView Digital). Otto (3 yrs) has started using his very own First Microscope and it exceeded all of my expectations. It is super easy to use, the view is clear and accurate and Otto is crazy about it.
The First Microscope teaches the child:
- how to hold, carry and look after a microscope
- about magnification
- the parts of the microscope and names - while we aren't giving official lessons it's easy through using the microscope for the child to learn the names like lens and stage.
I've put a few things on the tray for Otto to explore, but he quickly took the microscope out and about to look at things from around our home and yard. One of the most interesting things we have found to explore under the microscope was our own skin, fingers, fingerprints, and fingernails.
It can take a while for the young child to get used to using the eye pieces. The eye pieces are large and comfortable. It's very similar to teaching a child to use binoculars.
While Otto is very much at the explore stage I still ask him about what he can see and prompt further inquiry.
This microscope is simple and easy to use. It is completely age-appropriate for 3-4 year-olds. The button on the front turns on the light. The microscope requires batteries to power the light only, so it can be used without batteries if you don't need the light source.
This microscope has magnification up to x8. The child would get similar magnification from using a magnifying glass or even some bug viewers with magnification however the experience of using the microscope is unique.
While we have the microscope on a tray on our shelves it would be suitable to have on a nature table or for outside exploration. As Otto is three I keep a close eye on how he is using it, to ensure he respects it and handles it gently. Although it is robust, it is very light, I want him to learn to use it as the older children use their microscopes, as a scientific tool.
Above is a feather. I feel like the magnification is just right for this age group, the child can see details yet still relate it to the original object.
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