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Top 10 Things to See With Your First Microscope

A quality kids microscope can open a whole world of understanding and appreciation for the things that surround us. It will make the commonplace seem less common and the already-interesting even more so.

If you start early enough your child can help the other students use their scopes by the time they start learning about them in school. Even the lowest-price kits come with everything you will need to get started. All you need to do is break out the tweezers and the Petri dish and hit the road.

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Fabric   Not all kids microscopes offer views of 3-D objects, but if you are lucky enough to have that option take a look at your jeans, or any fabric, at the microscopic level. It s fascinating to see how the fabric is formed.

Moss  Take a closer look at anything green around you. It s pretty amazing to see the building blocks of the lovely things in nature. Moss is particularly interesting with its intricate fretwork pattern.

Grass  A single blade of grass is something we see so often we probably don t give it a second thought. Looking at it up close will give you and your child a whole new respect though.

Insects  Getting a glimpse of the little hairs on a spider will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. It s pretty awesome. Here too you d need a stereoscopic instrument, but if you have one, insects will make really interesting specimens.

Flower Petals  Flower petals are pretty at any viewing range. Looking at them up close will only add another level of appreciation. Your child will love selecting a wide range of floral specimens.

Fruit   You ll never look at your food the same way again after seeing it at the microscopic level. It will not make it more appetizing but it will make it more interesting.

Vegetables  The onion skin is one of the most traditional and fun specimens for micronauts the world over. The pattern of this veggie on the microscopic level is truly fascinating. Other vegetables are also pretty cool to see close up. Really close.

Pond Water  If you don t have a backyard pond, borrow a cup of pond water from a neighbor. Between the paramecium, larvae and amoebas you will have hours of entertainment that does not involve a television.

Hair  Any hair will do but plucking one of your own is the easiest. It will fascinate you and your child to see hairs up close . Even the different colors look so different on the microscopic level. Make sure you take time to look at the ends and the roots of each hair as well. Something that seems so smooth is really a tiny tangle of fibers.

Teeth  It would take a stereoscope to see the actual tooth   our best kids microscopes function both as are biological and stereoscopes   but you could also look at plaque and other dental-related goo through any basic biological scope. Nothing will make them want to brush more.