The Best Kids Microscopes For Bringing The Science Lab Experience Home

Turn your living room into a lab.

by Bailey Cox
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The best microscopes for kids provide an excellent way to introduce them to the world of STEM (aka, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Youngsters are naturally curious little humans, and science is a great way to get them involved in discovering the wonders of their own little worlds. But with a lot of schooling happening from home these days, there are not many opportunities for hands-on science experiments. Luckily — and thanks to Amazon — you can bring some of that classroom experience home. When it comes to fun and educational kid gear, consider checking out butterfly kits, chemistry sets, and of course, a kids microscope to encourage exploration.

What are the benefits of kids' microscopes?

There are tons of amazing benefits kids can get when having and learning to use a microscope at a young age. Michael Scanlan is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Northwestern State University’s School of Biological Physical Sciences and a father of two. He believes that microscopes are a crucial part of a child’s science development.

“[Microcopes] show [kids] that the world around them is not all that there is…Anything you can put your hands on can, in theory, be put under a microscope and investigated further,” said Scanlan. “Even the mundane becomes thrilling when you can see in that much detail.”

“In addition, a microscope requires technique to use,” he continues. “So children are not just learning about the world of the microscopic, they’re also learning important principles and techniques that scientists use every day. We have to collect samples. We have to prepare microscope slides. We have to clean the slides. We have to learn what will and won’t be visible under a microscope.”

Yes, investing in a kids beginner microscope can offer some extra enrichment to your child’s online learning, or even spark an interest that becomes life-long. There’s so much for young minds to discover in the backyard or down at the park. Tell them to pick up anything that interests them, whether it’s a bug with some cool wings, a leaf, a flower bud, or an interesting rock. Heck, they can even prepare slides after swabbing the inside of their cheek to look at their own cells!

What is the best microscope for kids?

Scanlan highly recommends the AmScope 120x-1200x Kids Beginner Microscope that’s available on Amazon. “AmScope is a well-known name in the microscope world. They manufacture microscopes used in industry, research, academics, etc,” he explains.

Let’s be real, looking at really tiny, microscopic things is just neat as hell. So let your kiddo explore the world of STEM and conduct their own little experiments. We narrowed down some of the most popular microscopes for kids off of Amazon. And each one comes with its own little perk, whether it be pre-prepared slides, a shrimp egg experiment, or an activity guidebook. So whatever piques your little scientist’s interests, they’re bound to spend hours eagerly exploring the world around them.

Best Microscopes For Kids

When it comes to setting your little scientist up with the best tech, this microscope kit is the best of the best. With over 17,000 reviews on Amazon and an average 4.4 star rating, it’s no secret this kit is a must-have for every young scientist. The star piece is the compound microscope that ranges from 120X – 1200X magnification. To get your kiddo started with their exploration, this set comes with 5 pre-prepared slides. When they’re ready to run their own experiments, there are also 7 blank slides for them to prepare. Your young learner will have a blast conducting their own experiments, such as the shrimp experiment that’s included with the kit.

One Reviewer Wrote: “I bought this to introduce more science things to my sons and they are so intrigued! I love that it comes with some premade slides, and supplies to make your own. The brine shrimp project is also really cool! I am surprised with this kit and for the price honestly I am surprised with the microscope quality, too.”

Who wouldn’t want a blue microscope in their lab? This compound microscope offers up to 1000X magnification and features dual top and bottom LED lighting. There is also a filter with 6 different colors so you don’t have to worry about staining the slides. Any necessary tools and slides are also included with the microscope.

One Reviewer Wrote: “I bought this for my 11-year-old girl, and she loved it! As soon as I got the notification that it’s delivered, she ran outside to get it! In fact, she was so excited, she didn’t even read the instructions and just jumped right in and started exploring it! Overall, this is the best microscope I bought for her. It’s super easy to use, and very sleek.”

Best Kids Microscope Sets

If you’re looking for an introductory microscope to get your kids excited about STEM, this scope from Nancy B’s Science Club is a great pick. Alongside the typical tools you need to create your own slides, the kit includes a 22-page activity book for your kid to work through. With it, they can record their findings and learn about all the different kinds of cells while they conduct their own experiments.

One Reviewer Wrote: “I bought this for my science-inclined 5-1/2 year old for Christmas. I opened it to set it up yesterday and was extremely impressed by the quality. It works very well! It came with a few slides and then several blank slides to do experiments with. The magnification works great!”

This microscope from National Geographic offers the best of both worlds. Your kid can examine tiny 2D cells and large 3D specimens in up to 50X magnification. The microscope features two optical glass lenses so they don’t have to worry about keeping one eye closed. A brine shrimp experiment is also included within the scope kit. Your kid can watch a shrimp’s life cycle, from when they’re tiny eggs in the hatchery station, to when they’re big enough to be viewed under the microscope. The 50-piece set has everything your little scientist needs to feel like they’re right inside the lab.

One Reviewer Wrote: “National Geographic Dual Microscope has [a] surprisingly clear lens for an inexpensive microscope. The microscope has a 10x and 25x lens that are easy to exchange. You simply pull to remove the lens and the next lens slides in.”

Best Microscope For Younger Children

For young ones who are just starting to show an interest in science, this talking microscope is an excellent “toy” scope. The scope is voiced by Bindi Irwin, who will teach your little one all about the different kinds of plants and animals. 60 full-color images are printed onto the slides so your tot can get used to looking at their favorite animals up close.

One Reviewer Wrote: “Gift for 4-year-old Granddaughter. She was very interested in it. She had no problem putting slides in and out on her own. Fun, but educational!”

With up to 1000x magnification, this microscope also comes with an informational and activity guidebook. The dual-LED lighting allows for viewing both translucent and opaque specimens. Whether your kid finds a bug from the outside or decides to swab the inside of their cheek, they’ll be fascinated by what they can see under this microscope.

One Reviewer Wrote: “This is a great microscope, far better than what I had when I was growing up. It is well constructed. It took a little time to get it working but we have been using it ever since. We have several young children which is why we purchased it. The first trip around the yard resulted in all sorts of samples that they wanted to look at under the microscope. This is an excellent teaching/learning tool.”

Best Budget Microscopes

Kiddos ages 8 and up will have a blast working with this microscope from Educational Insights. They’ll be able to study anything from cells to crystals up to 600X magnification. The microscope includes the necessary tools to prepare specimens as well as a 20-page guide to keep your young scientist engaged in the scientific process.

One Reviewer Wrote: “My 6-year-old son loves science! He really wanted a microscope to investigate everyday things. We read reviews and chose the Education Insights Micropro 48. While it is not a high-end scientific instrument, it does a great job magnifying objects. It is very easy to use...after just a few minutes he was able to change out the slides and find the objects through the microscope. The lenses are also very easy to switch out.”

It’s hard not to fall in love with this Click N’ Play microscope set, especially since it includes a ton of accessories — 52 of them, to be exact. What sets this one apart is the fact that it also comes with a specific costume for your scientist-in-the-making. Despite being more on the “toy” side of things, it does work similarly to a real microscope. For one, it has a 360-degree rotatable zoom lens, and also comes with specimen slides and blank slides for your child to create their own projects.

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