10 Best Microscopes For Kids

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Stimulating your child’s brain and interests is important. This is especially true when you consider how many unmeaningful distractions they encounter daily (can we get an AMEN?!). Children deserve a chance to foster their education in the sciences, and a microscope is a perfect way to get them started. Whether you’re wanting to introduce your child to STEM learning, your child is just starting to find interest in the sciences, or they’re already proficient, a microscope offers real-life stimulation that is irreplaceable.

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  • 50-piece experiment kit
  • Duality of scope
  • High-tech glass optics
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  • Magnification levels of 40x, 100x and 400x
  • Tabletop portability
  • Professional lenses
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  • Decent magnification for such a small scope
  • Lightweight, portable, & convenient
  • Affordable option

This is why we’ve compiled some of the best microscopes for children and teens of different age and skill groups to learn about science and technology.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to microscopes. It’s important you do your research, so you can select the perfect microscope to fit your child’s needs.

View the Best Microscope For Kids, Below.

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1. My First Lab MFL-06 Microscope

My First Lab MFL-06 Microscope

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This award-winning microscope is a favorite among customers as a result of its fifty-piece accessory and experiment kit. This is a microscope set children can use anywhere and makes learning on the go easy. One of the most interesting features of this product specifically is that it is able to allow both flat and three-dimensional objects to be viewed. It is both a stereo and a compound microscope, meaning kids can learn the intricacies of how each of these types of microscopes functions without having to buy both.

This duo scope comes with real glass optics, meaning that each scope offers a 10X eyepiece, along with a 4X, 10X, 40X glass objective that allows for 40X, 100X, and 400X magnification. Coming with an instruction manual and one-year manufacturer’s warranty, this is an excellent all-around option.

This microscope would make a great gift for a boy aged 9 or a girl aged 9.

See more information on My First Lab MFL-06 Microscope.

Why We Like It
  • 50-piece experiment kit
  • Duality of scope
  • High-tech glass optics
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Built for portability
Recommended Age
9 - 18 years old
Battery Operated
3 AAA Batteries Required
Dimensions
5.1 x 6.1 x 12.2 Inches
Our Verdict

It is the best option all around for older kids, as it’s highly-affordable, backed with a warranty, and offers a comprehensive range of accessories, magnification settings, and scopes.

Editor Rating
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2. Omano Lab Microscope for Students

Omano Lab Microscope for Students

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This metal microscope allows users to use 40X, 100X, and 400X zoom when viewing specimen. Coming with premium glass lens scopes and easy-to-use adjustments, older children especially will benefit from professional visibility and functionality. This product certainly isn’t a toy – its professional capacities, like its objective glass lens and up to 400x magnification, mean that it can and is used by college science students.  However, Omano’s easy-to-use functions and child-friendly viewing system mean that smaller children will love using the microscope with the supervision of an adult.

The Omano Lab Microscope for Students is the perfect choice for children who want to learn to look at specimens in minute detail from a young age – it’s the perfect purchase for smart children, and for parents who want to get involved too! It will see them through from elementary school all the way to college, making this Omano scope a great investment.

See more information on Omano Lab Microscope for Students.

Why We Like It
  • Magnification levels of 40x, 100x and 400x
  • Tabletop portability
  • Professional lenses
  • Variable illumination options
  • 5-year manufacturer warranty
Recommended Age
Not Specified
Battery Operated
No
Dimensions
17 x 12 x 9 Inches
Our Verdict

This is a perfect choice for kids who take their STEM learning seriously and for parents who want to be assured they’re buying a quality product that won’t be rendered obsolete as their child’s knowledge grows.

Editor Rating
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3. Carson MicroBrite Pocket Microscope

Carson MicroBrite Pocket Microscope

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This microscope is perfect for kids who want to improve their knowledge and skills in the STEM field on the go. This scope is easy to carry around, meaning that it can be taken to and from school easily without weighing down a backpack. The magnification of this device is 20-to-40X, which is slightly less intense than other devices, but because it is so portable, it is still a worthwhile product to purchase. It only amounts to 1.6 ounces, making it almost impossible to even tell that you are even carrying it.

It comes with 3 LR-44 button cell batteries, is backed by a manufacturer warranty, and is highly affordable, making it a solid option for a child who’s just starting out.

See more information on Carson MicroBrite Pocket Microscope.

Why We Like It
  • Decent magnification for such a small scope
  • Lightweight, portable, & convenient
  • Affordable option
  • Battery powered
  • 1-year Carson’s Limited Warranty
Recommended Age
All Ages
Battery Operated
LR44 Batteries Required
Dimensions
4 x 4 x 5 Inches
Our Verdict

We like this option because it is a great choice for kids who are ultra-beginners. If you’re looking for a scope that’s going to help stimulate a child’s interest, this is where you should start.

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4. Plugable USB Digital Microscope

Plugable USB Digital Microscope

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To get the best experience, buyers must own a laptop or computer run by either Windows or OS X. However, this is small when you consider the functionality and modernity of this scope. With its LED light and brightness adjustors, along with its 2.0 megapixels and up-to 250X magnification capability, images always appear clear and crisp. These images can be projected or displayed on a monitor to significantly enlarge what’s being viewed and can also be captured via a button on the scope.

It also is compact with a simple stand, meaning it can easily be transported on the go. A microscope that has innovation at the forefront its design, this is excellent for older kids and teenagers.

See more information on Plugable USB Digital Microscope.

Why We Like It
  • Capture images easily
  • High resolution and magnification
  • LED Halo light and brightness control
  • Innovative design
  • Windows and OS X compatible
Recommended Age
Not Specified
Battery Operated
No
Dimensions
9 x 6 x 2 Inches
Our Verdict

This microscope screams modern. It is portable, functional, and has the ability to capture images, and it’s ideal for older children and teenagers who are wanting to document their findings.

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5. Educational Insights Nancy B’s Microscope

Educational Insights Nancy B’s Microscope

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This kit is one of the more playful models, offering an activity journal as well as a microscope and tools in a funky matching color scheme. This model allows for up to 400X magnification, making it a fantastic learning tool that doesn’t compromise quality for style. The product itself comes along with a twenty-six piece tool set in addition to the activity journal, and functions as both a light and a dissecting microscope. Weighing only one pound, the model is also lightweight and portable, so kids can learn anywhere.

Making science appealing to kids is certainly easier with this matching microscope kit. It is perfect for older children to enjoy alone or share with friends as they explore the world in microscopic detail. A suitable gift for girls aged 8 and up, as well as for boys aged 8 and over.

See more information on Educational Insights Nancy B’s Microscope.

Why We Like It
  • 30X - 400X magnification
  • 40+ piece dual microscope
  • Operates on 3 AAA batteries
  • 22-page activity journal
  • Fun design for kids
Recommended Age
8 - 11 years old
Battery Operated
3 AAA Batteries Required
Dimensions
8.8 x 9.2 x 4.2 Inches
Our Verdict

This microscope draws kids in from the get-go thanks to its design, activity book, and tools. The attention to detail stimulates kids to further their STEM learning.

Editor Rating

6. Thames and Kosmos Biology Tk2 Scope

Thames and Kosmos Biology Tk2 Scope

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With 20 tools and accessories included with this high-quality kit, the Thames and Kosmos Biology Tk2 Scope is a favorite among parents. This device is able to magnify at 40X, 100X, and even 400X. This model weighs 2.29 pounds, so it may be more difficult to transport. It is a great option for stationary use or short-term expeditions.

Some of the best features of this scope are the interchangeable features; for example, the ability to change the lens from ocular to objective or adjust the aperture wheel. The device itself utilizes an LED light for improved visibility. It is incredibly simple to figure out so that even children as young as 8 can enjoy hands-on learning.

See more information on Thames and Kosmos Biology Tk2 Scope.

Why We Like It
  • 2 LED light options (below and above)
  • Capability of 40X – 400X magnification with optical grade-glass lens
  • 48-page experiment manual
  • Professional tool kit with over 20 pieces
  • Suitable for teenager who’s interested in STEM learning
Recommended Age
8 years and up
Battery Operated
3 AA Batteries Required
Dimensions
16.5 x 13 x 5.1 Inches
Our Verdict

This scope offers high quality at a low price. While older kids can use this microscope, this is an excellent option for teenagers looking to further develop their understanding in the sciences.

Editor Rating

7. AmScope Beginner Biological Microscope

AmScope Beginner Biological Microscope

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This beginner model is perfect for anyone who wants to start with the basics and move through the initial stages of working with microscopes and magnification equipment. Children can easily observe specimen through the devices monocular viewing head through its color filter wheel. It provides a surprisingly wide range of magnification options including 120X, 240X, 300X, 480X, 600X, and even 1200X.

This range is impressive compared to other beginner scopes, especially for children, which is why this product is a favorite for those who want to learn fast and improve with a device that lets their skills continue to grow. The device utilizes coaxial course focus and comes with a fifty-two-piece accessory kit. It all fits nicely into a beautiful case that makes transporting easy and keeps pieces from getting lost or broken.

See more information on AmScope Beginner Biological Microscope.

Why We Like It
  • Up to 1200X magnification
  • 52-piece kit
  • Coaxial course focus
  • LED and mirror illumination
  • Hard-case
Recommended Age
All ages
Battery Operated
2 AA Batteries Required
Dimensions
15.8 x 14.6 x 5.1 Inches
Our Verdict

This is a microscope for enthusiastic kids who want to pursue their STEM learning for many years and are seeking a solution that will allow them to grow.

Editor Rating

8. Celestron 5 MP Digital Microscope

Celestron 5 MP Digital Microscope

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This device is capable of taking 5MP images and videos of specimens and offers a magnification range from 20X to 200X. In fact, three-dimensional specimens can even be observed via the lower magnification setting. This digital microscope comes with an innovative stand, with the option to use it in the traditional way or as handheld option.

It is conveniently equipped with a USB cable that is four feet long, so it can be hooked up to a device from afar. It’s compatible on Windows and OS X and comes with a special software to measure, make notes, and save images of a specimen. With its tech-heavy features, this may be too advanced for a child but would be a great option for a pre-teen or teenager.

See more information on Celestron 5 MP Digital Microscope.

Why We Like It
  • Up to 200X magnification
  • 5MP images and videos
  • Traditional and handheld use
  • Custom software
  • 4 ft. USB cable
Recommended Age
Not Specified
Battery Operated
No
Dimensions
9 x 7 x 5 Inches
Our Verdict

This is a super option for tech-savvy teens who want to stimulate their STEM learning and need a device to measure and record their research.

Editor Rating

9. AmScope Compound Microscope

AmScope Compound Microscope

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The digital scope has a built-in 3MP camera and USB output to both capture and display images. It is only compatible with Windows operated devices, so OS X users may need another option. It comes with a monocular viewing head with interchangeable eyepieces, has a fixed 45-degree vertical that fosters ergonomic use, and a 360-degree rotation that allows for better viewing and sharing options. The microscope itself is pretty standard as far as magnification goes, with a forward-facing nosepiece and full-glass objectives.

This scope is also cordless and can be easily charged, meaning it’s great for travel. But as it’s over five pounds, it’s on the heavier side. Described as a microscope for students, this is another excellent option for older teenagers who will be off to college soon and require a scope for school.

See more information on AmScope Compound Microscope.

Why We Like It
  • 3MP camera for images
  • Ergonomic design
  • Professional grade
  • Cordless and rechargeable
  • Plain stage with clips
Recommended Age
Not Specified
Battery Operated
2 AA Batteries Required
Dimensions
15 x 10.3 x 6.8 Inches
Our Verdict

Teenagers on their way to study the sciences are the perfect demographic for this microscope. It’s affordable, durable, and dependable, and will only further their academic pursuits.

Editor Rating

10. Educational Insights My First Microscope

Educational Insights My First Microscope

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With this scope, preschoolers can view and analyze specimen through the two extra-large eyepieces that provide three-dimensional magnification. This scope offers 8X magnification and focusing knobs so that the child can really explore and experience the device as a lead into more complicated tools in the future. The microscope also utilizes an LED light just like a normal device, and the specimen can be placed on the viewing tray.

Unlike larger scopes, this one is lightweight and has non-skid feed, so it doesn’t break easily. With vibrant colors and simple adjustment tools, young children can quickly learn how to operate this miniature microscope for themselves. These microscopes make great toys for 3-year-old boys and girls aged 3 will love them, too.

See more information on Educational Insights My First Microscope.

Why We Like It
  • Up-to 8X magnification
  • 2 large eyepieces
  • Focusing knobs
  • LED light
  • Durable design
Recommended Age
3 - 6 years old
Battery Operated
4 C Batteries Required
Dimensions
10 x 7.5 x 6 Inches
Our Verdict

Its design and capabilities stimulate STEM learning from development years. Everyone has to start somewhere, and this is the perfect microscope for every youngster.

Editor Rating

Microscopes for Kids Buyers Guide and Breakdown

Purchasing a science toy or educational tool like a microscope can be tricky because there are so many factors to look for. Depending on the age group of the child, factors can range from how well it holds the users’ attention, to how many features it allows the user to play with and grow from. These factors are all important and should all be considered when looking for a device.

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The ability to teach STEM to children is one of the greatest opportunities that modern technology has given parents and teachers. Maximizing on this technology by selecting the right one for the child’s age range and skill set is a great way to jumpstart their venture into a proper education. Tech-savvy kids would also love these children’s smartwatches!

Portability

A factor that many people brush over when buying an educational tool is how easy that tool will be to move and store. Children may be going from school to home to a friend’s house and even on vacation, and you may want them to be able to take their toys with them. A large, heavy device will be difficult to maneuver and transport even from the living room to the bedroom. Putting it back in the closet will be a chore in itself.

Sometimes a heavier device is fine if the place the child is playing with it is the place it belongs consistently, but often times, a lighter, smaller device is perfect for learning on the go. Plus, with a portable device, kids can take their microscope over to show to their friends or even outdoors on a nature walk to observe things as they go.

Magnification Features

One of the most important features that can’t be overlooked is the magnification ability of the microscope. Higher magnification is not always better. Sometimes lower magnification can even be the best option if the user is planning on observing primarily larger, three-dimensional objects like rocks or leaves. For preschoolers and the youngest age bracket of users, a lower magnification is definitely better.  Smaller children, of course, won’t be analyzing bacteria or water samples – instead they will want to look at rocks, grass, twigs, and other larger objects.

They may even want to inspect other toys or their own fingers under the lens! A lower magnification is better here because it allows them to enlarge objects they want to look at without distorting the focus. For more in-depth or advanced viewing, a wider range of magnification is perfect for older children that want to look at water, cells, or dirt samples and see the tiny bacteria or other creatures hiding unseen.

To really discover the world around them in a new way, older children should definitely try the student microscopes with higher magnification. Many go up to 400X magnification, which is perfect for those types of observations.

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Device Compatibility

When purchasing a scope that connects to a computer, it is important to look at whether the model is compatible with your devices. It would be a shame to pick up a microscope for your child, only to learn that it doesn’t work with your computer, projector, or other digital equipment. Many scopes are either Mac or Windows compatible, so be sure that you know what your devices will connect with before purchasing an incompatible product.

Also look into the special abilities of the product. Your microscope may have functions that are only possible on OS X or certain types of phones or brands.

Lenses

A real lens is a worthwhile investment for children over the preschool age. While a plastic lens is great for younger kids, plastic lenses make images less focused and can be damaged easily through usage and exposure over time. For this reason, a glass lens is the best way to ensure that your child is having the best possible learning experience – just make sure it’s handled with care to avoid breaking the glass and causing accidents.

Durability

Especially with children, it is important that the toys and tools they have are easy to use without breaking, are durable long-term, and are easy to clean or put back together. Having a toy break is incredibly frustrating for children, so when you are able to bring home a device that they can use without fearing damage, that becomes one less thing that a parent or guardian has to worry about.

Cleaning is also a big concern. Especially since microscopes come so close to the eye and face, it is important to find one that can be easily disinfected of germs or dusted of dirt that may accumulate. A dirty lens means nothing can be seen, so be sure to wipe it regularly.

Monocular vs. Binocular Microscopes

Both monocular and binocular devices are useful for different reasons. Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on the age and the size of the child. For smaller, younger children, it may be difficult to look in both lenses of a binocular microscope at once. In this case, the monocular viewing experience would be more beneficial for them. In other cases, the binocular scopes allow for utilizing both eyes and can, therefore, be more beneficial for observation.

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Conclusion

There is a season for every part of a child’s life, so it goes without saying, there’s A LOT to weigh when picking out a microscope for your child. Their age. Their interest and education level. Their path. These and many more factors weigh heavily on the type of scope that’s going to suit their season. Whether you’re buying this as a birthday gift, Christmas present, or for school, you’re clearly a devoted parent who’s keen to give their child every reason to succeed.

We salute you! We’ve offered ten solid options for the best microscopes for kids in this review, and we’re confident that with our help, you’re going to make the right choice for your investment.

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Expert Tip

Look in the classroom to see what kinds of scopes the schools are using before purchasing one for your child to use at home.

Did You Know?

While swapping real lenses for plastic may seem like an easy cheap compromise for your child’s device, it has a significantly negative impact on the focus!