There are ways to keep your kids interested in learning through the summer break and rainy days. Try a few of these five fun and easy microscope activities for young kids to encourage exploration and stave off boredom.
The first thing you’ll need, of course, is a microscope! Fortunately, Foldscope has kids’ microscope kits with everything you need to conduct these activities and more. The scopes come fully assembled, with a field guide, cotton swab, slide, sticker, and a carrying pouch. You can even get a box of prepared slides that feature microorganisms, plants and insects, or animal tissues and cells to examine.
Your kids will also need scientific journals to record their observations and their ideas about why what they observe looks the way it does. They can even propose a hypothesis and test it!
A thin shaving of wood from a popsicle stick, a Pinewood Derby car, or a wooden kitchen spoon can yield wonders when viewed under magnification. Have your kids observe the different shapes of cells and fibers in different types of wood viewed under their microscope.
The intricacies of paper money come to life when you look at them through a microscope. Your child can spot the magnified details of the fibers, patterns, and engravings that create the images. You could do a whole lesson on how the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing cooperates with other governmental departments to produce the paper currency we use each day.
Kids can be rough on clothes. But don’t throw the outgrown, ripped, or stained ones into the rag bag—take a snip of them and let your kids look at the fibers under the microscope. Try different types of fabrics from scratchy sweaters, silky smooth pajamas, or the remnants of a well-loved baby blanket.
Pressing a finger onto the sticky side of a piece of tape and carefully placing the section of tape onto a microscope slide may leave quite an impression! Kids can compare the print from their own finger to that of their sibling or parent. Note the whorls, lines, and patterns. With a Foldscope, you can even take a picture of what you see, allowing you to circle or outline unique features in the specimen you are examining.
Have you ever wondered what individual grains of sand look like close-up? Place a few grains on a microscope slide and hold them in place with a cover slip. Encourage your kids to observe the colors, structures, and textures of the individual grains.
Your kids will come up with plenty of ideas in addition to these fun microscope activities of things they’d love to look at under their microscopes. Our small but mighty kids’ microscope kits make bringing science to life more convenient for children and parents alike. You may light the spark that fuels a future scientist who discovers new plants, animals, or medicines or inspires a future artist with textures and structures!