How To Use A Microscope For Kids

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Kids are naturally curious about the world around them and letting them use a microscope can be an amazing experiment for them. There are millions of living organisms around us that we can not see with the human eye, and a microscope literally opens up a whole new fascinating world. Microscopes for kids are both educational and fun ways of learning about the world around them, and a great way to get them interested into Science. Below are some tips to get started using a microscope for kids.

Finding The Best Microscope

The best microscope for kids are durable and simple to use. The age of the child and their interest is a great factor when determining a microscope as well. For instance, a child interested in looking at bugs and insects won’t need the magnification strength of a child who is interested in viewing cells and swiping surfaces for viruses. A carrying case is also a great accessory to have when purchasing a microscope.

boys using microscope

Finding Specimens To Look At

Specimens are all around us. Some of the most common things kids like to look at under a microscope are leaves, coins, stamps, hair fiber, pond or puddle water, cheek swabs, and bugs. There is no limit in finding objects to look at through a microscope. A fun experiment kids like to do is compare salt and sugar under the magnification of a microscope.

Picking The Best Lenses

Most microscopes come with multiple lenses that offer different magnification strengths. The more the lens magnifies, the more you will see. High magnifying lens are great for wanting to look for germs such as desk or cheek swabs. Pond or puddle water also is great under a high magnifying lens because it allows you to see tiny particles floating in the water. Objects like bugs and coins can be looked at under a lower magnification, but if you want to see the intricate design of an insect wing a high magnification may be best. Lenses are generally adjustable by turning a knob and simply switching between lenses of different magnification.

How To Use A Microscope For Kids

Preparing A Slide

Objects you look at are going to need to be placed on a slide. A slide is a glass rectangle that fits on the stage of the scope and is held down by clips. You will simply place whatever you want to look at on the slide. Some specimens will require a wet mount where you use a drop of water and slide coverslip, while objects like leaves and feathers can simply be dry mounted on the slide. Pond water can simply be put on a slide as is with a coverslip applied on top. For a swab test you will need to apply a drop of water onto the slide.

Viewing The Specimen

The microscope should be placed on a flat surface with the slide loaded into the stage area. The part of the scope you look through is referred to as the ocular lens and you simply use the knobs to adjust the lenses for the view you want to achieve.

Using a microscope is not very complicated and most kids will have no problem learning to use one. Microscopes are a great way to tie in fun while learning about the unseen world.

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