A few days ago I made a point of talking about telescopes and how simple it should, in theory, be to encourage kids to learn via the usage of such a simple and relatively inexpensive technology. But now that you’ve got that telescope and space is all learned up, where do you turn next? Simple, take that practice I preached about space being free and apply it to things a whole lot smaller. How? Time to buy a microscope.
More Endless Free Fun
You see, whereas the beauty of the telescope is in the vastness of space, the beauty of a microscope is in the vastness of small objects, like leaves, hairs, and even water droplets. Everything when viewed on a microscopic level starts to look awesome. We’re talking star constellations awesome here.
But if you don’t have a microscope, that would also be a problem. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. When haven’t I been able to provide a reliable Amazon-based suggestion? Never, that’s when, and today is no exception. Right now the bestselling microscope in the Toys & Games category is the My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope by C & A Scientific coming in at a very fair $59.
As I mentioned, microscopes, like telescopes, have a near-endless supply of free material to check out, but in case you’d rather have something pre-planned, the Learning Resources Prepared Slides Combination Set, a $20 Amazon purchase, is a great option since it includes 48 slides to inspect. Otherwise, anything that can fit under the lens is fair game to be studied.
Here’s a simple idea for how to make things more interesting: Kids love mysteries, so giving them the chance to determine what sample belongs to what can be a fun game. Make them close their eyes as you change slides and see if they can figure out what they’re looking at. Or pretend that they’re a forensics investigator on a serious crime and they need you to analyze the data. Essentially, there’s no escaping how vital it is you get their interest going with your own involvement. Still, it requires minimal work, plus you might just enjoy yourself.
While it doesn’t particularly sound that cool, suggest your kids bring along their new microscope when camping. You remember that camping trip I told you about last time? Yup, I’m still expecting you to plan that. Once in the woods, a bounty of new things to scan becomes available. While on a hike, pluck some interesting plants or find anything that looks like it could be interesting and take it back for examination. Even something like a bloody cut can become a fun event. Put a bit on a slide and have your child take a look. They might even forget they hurt themselves and just be fascinated with science. Science of all things!
Getting your kids interested with subjects like astronomy or forensic investigation are naturally gateway interests that open up to real-world career possibilities, so get them young and get them hard. For all you know you’ve just started the next big scientist on his path to discovery.