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12 Best Microscopes For Kids

Are you looking for the best microscope for kids?

You can jump straight to the kids microscopes here

Whether you're shopping for Christmas or a birthday, a microscope makes a great gift that can be both educational and fun.  

Kids are curious by nature, and the right microscope can be an amazing purchase for a child, opening a fascinating new world and stimulating an ultimate love of science. Science is both exciting and valuable; allowing kids to find their own answers about the world around them.

Our handpicked microscopes all have a few things in common: they are robust, they provide great images, and they include plenty of fun accessories that add greater depth and intrigue for a talented little scientist.

What are the benefits of kids microscopes?

A kids microscope is sometimes synonymous with a beginner microscope. Whatever term you prefer, these microscopes encourage young learners to evolve vital life skills early on, making it easier for them to wrap their heads around STEM subjects at school and complete day-to-day tasks with ease. Kids can develop skills like:

Critical thinking

Analyzing and comparing slides under a microscope is a formative activity for kids. It encourages them to use their knowledge and experience to form a stance on something, prompting them to become open-minded to new ideas.


Even trying to get a slide into focus encourages problem-solving within kids. With the small but worthwhile challenges a kids microscope poses, kids can work toward finding solutions independently.

Fine motor skills

Switching between magnifications, swapping out slides, and adjusting focus knobs help train kids to handle small and careful physical tasks making day-to-day challenges (like tying their shoelaces) much easier.

Working memory

While kids practicing using their kids microscope, they also think about the specimens they observe underneath it. So while they’re practicing their ability to follow due processes, kids also engage with new information, making it easier to grasp concepts like critical reading and algebra.


As they adjust and readjust their magnification, kids also adjust and readjust the various ways they view a single specimen. Developing this skill encourages kids to think outside the box and take on new challenges. 

Which is the best microscope for kids? Stereo or compound?

Either a stereo microscope or a compound microscope is a fine choice as long as you avoid purchasing a toy microscope that some other retailers offer. If you want to instill a genuine interest in learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving, invest in a kids microscope with  real  microscope features, customized to suit beginners. It's an investment in the kind of person you want your child to grow up and become (plus it's a whole lot cooler than that old plastic magnifying glass).

Your children's microscope can be:

If your kids get really keen, you can upgrade it to a digital microscope with a simple-to-use digital camera for cataloging and sharing their discoveries.

You can even equip your young scientist with prepared slides featuring real samples like blood, pumpkin stems, and animal embryos so they can start exploring right after they unbox their new kids microscope.

What features does a microscope for kids really need?

You don't need a microscope kit with extremely high power magnification. The most interesting specimens for kids to look at, like insects, house plants, bacteria, and their own hair only require the following features:

Built-in illumination

Glass lens

40x-400x magnification

And of course, there’s no harm in reaching higher for features. This is just an excellent starting point for separating the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. 

What activities can kids do with a kids microscope?

The beauty of a kids microscope is that kids can easily study the world around them. Whether kids choose to study household samples like hair or grains of salt, or a prepared microscope slide we offer, our selection of kids microscopes has the right optics to help them find magic in whatever they examine.

Many of our gift bundles, like the OM116L 40x-400x All Metal LED Student Compound Microscope Gift Package, also include an “Usborne's, The World of the Microscope” activity book filled with vivid illustrations and activities that range from simple to complex, perfect for a beginner microscope user. 

Does your child need a cordless/portable microscope?

If your kids enjoy playing out in your backyard and exploring nature, a portable microscope is a great idea. Portable microscopes are battery operated and follow your kids on every adventure they decide to go on. The JuniorScope, The Ultimate Kids Microscope, for instance, is a portable microscope that kids can take into your backyard, on class trips, and to sleepovers. 

Does your child need a digital kids microscope?

If your child loves technology or if technology is already a part of their daily routine, incorporating a digital camera into their kids compound microscope or stereo microscope might be a great idea. 

A kids digital microscope allows kids to examine their specimens on a screen, while also giving them the ability to save and catalog their discoveries. It also makes it easy for them to share their microscopy with friends, family, and even classmates. 

Teach kids how to care for a kids microscope or microscope set

1. Teach kids the parts of a microscope. 

Before kids begin studying cool slides with their new microscope, giving kids a crash course on the actual parts of a microscope will help familiarize them with its various functions. The glass lenses. The knobs. The eyepiece. The more comfortable kids are with identifying the parts of a microscope, the more comfortable they will feel using a microscope.

2. Show kids how to set up and care for a slide. 

This is the fun part. The best option to help get kids acquainted with their new kids microscope are prepared slides. Our prepared slides use real specimens and come with an individually labeled slide cover on each slide so kids always know what they’re looking at. 

After the child picks a slide, emphasize that the slide needs to be free of dust or fingerprints to get a clear view of the image. If the slide looks dirty, clean it with a special glass-cleaning cloth since tissues and household cleaning clothes tend to leave fibers behind. Remind the child that the slide needs to lay flat on the microscope’s mechanical stage.

3. Show kids how to store a microscope.

Kids should store their kids microscope on a table, cabinet, or shelf under a protective cover or case. But before storing the microscope away, remind kids to do the following:

  • Remove the glass slide from the stage

  • Lower the stage

  • Turn the microscope off

  • Wrap the cord (unless it’s a cordless/portable microscope)

The options for kids microscopes are plenty. If you’re shopping for your kid, grandkid, or trying to put a STEM spin on homeschooling, the JuniorScope, The Ultimate Kids Microscope is an excellent choice. It’s built for new users and has the best mix of features and accessories to get beginners engaged right away. 

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