The lovely people at Learning Resources got in touch recently and asked us if we’d be interested in putting one of their microscopes through its paces. I was delighted to be able to try one out and see if it could live up to the children’s high expectations! The boys have been keen to have a microscope for quite a while now but I wasn’t sure if a child’s microscope would really be up to the job and worth the expense.
We got to try out the Micropro Microscope Set selling at £40.74 recommended for children 8-12 years.
Setting Up The Microscope
The kit arrived and looked great, really professional, which the boys of course loved! They wanted to dive in straight away. Who isn’t going to be itching to get their hands on specimen vials and a test tube!
It’s been years since I’ve used a microscope and wasn’t sure I’d remember how to set it up but I needn’t have worried. The set comes with a booklet that has a really clear step by step guide in it. I loved that the language used in it was really pitched at children and it meant that my 8 year old and 11 year old were able to read through and get the whole thing set up completely by themselves.
The booklet also has lots of explanations about what all the different components are called and how to use them and like-wise each piece of the microscope itself too. I thought this was a great addition and got the children embracing the real scientific terms right from the start.
What Levels Of Magnification Can Be Achieved On The Microscope?
The microscope comes with 2 different eye piece lenses that you can swap and 3 objective lenses (they’re the ones near the object you’re looking at) that you can rotate. These two sets of lenses work together to give you, what proved to be, an amazing range of magnification from X50 right up to a staggering X600 larger!
The first things we looked at under the microscope were the three ready prepared slides that come with the set. This was a great starting point to get familiar with the different lens combinations it’s possible to use. The children were delighted to be able to see the plant sample slides right down to a cellular level!
I have to admit I had not believed that a children’s microscope set would give such a great magnification. It really was a delightful surprise!
Once the children were confident with how to use the microscope they went about finding their own things to get a close up look at and prepared their own slides too. One of our favourite slides so far was a sample of water that we took from a bucket that had been sitting in the garden for a couple of weeks. You would not believe what we saw in it. It was absolutely TEAMING WITH LIFE!
It was one of those “I’m equally enthralled and grossed out” moments!
I only wish I could show you in a photograph!
What To Look At With A Microscope?
The children have already compiled a list of other things they want to try that they think might offer some more shock, horror, glee!
Their list includes:
- Mouldy Bread
- Rotten Fruit
- Pond Water
- A Tear Drop
- Dead Insects
Oh boy, I can’t wait!!!
Further Microscope Projects
I really like that the booklet also includes 8 projects to try too. Each one suggests something for the children to look at, for example, cloth fivers, animal fur and leaves, and asks them a range of questions. There’s a little chart for each to encourage them to record their findings too. I particularly liked that each project explains some of what the children might see and why. I think this helps them develop their own way of asking questions and explaining their findings.
We have been thoroughly delighted with the Micropro Microscope. My children are 8 and 11 and have been able to really get the best out of it. If you have younger children you might like to look at some other microscopes from Learning Resources specifically designed with younger scientists in mind. They have a range including the Geosafari Jr. My First Microscope for ages 3-7, and the Quantum Big Screen Microscope for ages 6-10.
My young scientists can’t wait to continue their close up exploration of the world!