In the year of Apple's iWatch, new Star Wars merchandise and a fleet of toy drones, it may be tough to get enthused about a microscope under the Christmas tree, but you would be right to get excited about this one. The Omano OM117L is an old-school gift that can elicit genuine awe from even the most modern kid. This Christmas gift encourages an interest in the all-important STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – a common goal of many parents, educators and politicians. The OM117L is the best beginner microscope for opening up a world of scientific discovery for your elementary-aged children.
There are so many options for kids microscopes that it is easy to just buy the first one you see and move on to the Barbie aisle. If you get a cheap plastic microscope at a toy store, though, you will likely regret it. We looked for instruments that are constructed of metal for our kids microscope reviews, and made by a reputable manufacturer of scientific equipment instead of the average toy company. This Omano stood out even among those for its awesome optics.
For starters, you get two microscopes in one – a dissecting and compound. That means your child can look at slides as well as three-dimensional objects. A child's natural fascination for the world can lead him or her to pick up a pebble, a penny, an insect or a range of other small items for examination. This microscope can help them see anything that will fit on its stage. It can also help them examine translucent substances on a slide. It's pretty difficult to gross out kids, so before long they may be asking to grow mold on your bread just so they can examine it with their microscope. They will love to look at the hairs on a bug's leg or all of the rotifers, amoebas and ciliates in pond water.
We tested several combination dissecting-compound microscopes for our review, but this one was the best. The views were really clear and crisp, of slides and 3D objects. It costs more than a toy, of course, but it is built to last. It is also cordless and has a handle so it can go wherever your child wants to explore.
Educational toys work best when your child has shown an interest already, even if it is only slight. Good quality scopes like this one will take any level of interest and fan that flame. If you get a cheap toy microscope, they might lose interest. The digital microscopes that are getting less expensive every year can be fun for a child, too, but we have yet to find one that offers even close to the quality of views of the Omano OM117L. Also, with the digital scopes you are tethered to civilization while this battery-powered device can go out into the field with your child.
This wonderful microscope is not the dreaded new socks gift at Christmas. Trust us. The Omano OM117L is thrilling in its own important ways. A child will have to concentrate and learn new things in order to get the most out of this toy, but the fun factor is also quite high. Kids and preteens will be very engaged with this microscope as they looked at crystal clear views of onion skin, a penny and other items.