We’ve had a few different ‘kids’ microscopes or toy microscopes over the years, and we even have a really big, heavy one that my mum used during her nursing training a gazillion years ago, but the Pocket Micro Scope from Interplay is one of the best ‘kids’ ones we’ve tried to date.
The Pocket Microscope is great for nature study, crime scene investigation and science experiments – the children’s versions, of course.
Included in the box is the pocket microscope, three blank slides, 4 specimen pots, 12 specimen labels and clear cvers and a pair of tweezers. It also comes with a textile and an insect slide.
As we opened the box, we immediately pulled out the insect and textile slides to have a look, at which point we realised there are no batteries in the scope, so off we went to find some.
Popping the 2 AA batteries into the microscope is a quick slide and slot job, and you’re set.
To switch the microscope on simply pull the two legs apart and the light at the lens comes on. There’s a focusing dial too which helps the object you’re viewing come into focus.
Along with changeable batteries, there’s also a release for changing the light bulb, so with careful use there should be a long life in the microscope. The whole thing is made of plastic, so I don’t think it will stand up to heavy abuse, but on the flip side it is light and small.
As I mentioned, the box also contains a textile slide and an insect slide – they each have four circles with a few different textiles in the one and grasshopper body parts in the other. They’re amazing for when you open the box and want to look at something straight away.
We went for a walk in the forest the next day and using the specimen pots we found seeds, moss and soil to examine under our microscope. We also picked some of the never ending crop of aphids from the chilli plant to explore and were surprised by how pretty they are up close!
The only ‘complaint’ I have about the microscope is that you have to take the battery out of it in order to store it in its moulding in the box, otherwise the light just stays on and you’ll have to keep replacing it. It could have done with the ability to simply store it closed or have an off switch.
The beauty of this product is how well it’s slotted into our home education. We are currently learning about vascular and non-vascular plants – this photo is tree identification from Busy Things which we’re using with Developing Experts. It makes all the ‘book learning’ (erm… screen learning?) move into a hands-on experience, and that’s just wonderful.
This is a simple an inexpensive way to work towards curriculum science goals for year 1: Sc1/1.2 observing closely, using simple equipment. Click the images below for more on year one or year three science.
We received the Pocket Microscope free for an honest review. Links in this post are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting our site!