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Focus on Microscopes As Science Toys
A few days ago I made a point of talking about telescopes and how simple it should, in theory, be to encourage kids to learn via the usage of such a simple and relatively inexpensive technology. But now that you’ve got that telescope and space is all learned up, where do you turn next? Simple, take that practice I preached about space being free and apply it to things a whole lot smaller. How? Time to buy a microscope.
More Endless Free Fun
You see, whereas the beauty of the telescope is in the vastness of space, the beauty of a microscope is in the vastness of small objects, like leaves, hairs, and even water droplets. Everything when viewed on a microscopic level starts to look awesome. We’re talking star constellations awesome here.
But if you don’t have a microscope, that would also be a problem. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. When haven’t I been able to provide a reliable Amazon-based suggestion? Never, that’s when, and today is no exception. Right now the bestselling microscope in the Toys & Games category is the My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope by C & A Scientific coming in at a very fair $59 .
As I mentioned, microscopes, like telescopes, have a near-endless supply of free material to check out, but in case you’d rather have something pre-planned, the Learning Resources Prepared Slides Combination Set, a $20 Amazon purchase , is a great option since it includes 48 slides to inspect. Otherwise, anything that can fit under the lens is fair game to be studied.
Here’s a simple idea for how to make things more interesting: Kids love mysteries, so giving them the chance to determine what sample belongs to what can be a fun game. Make them close their eyes as you change slides and see if they can figure out what they’re looking at. Or pretend that they’re a forensics investigator on a serious crime and they need you to analyze the data. Essentially, there’s no escaping how vital it is you get their interest going with your own involvement. Still, it requires minimal work, plus you might just enjoy yourself.
While it doesn’t particularly sound that cool, suggest your kids bring along their new microscope when camping. You remember that camping trip I told you about last time? Yup, I’m still expecting you to plan that. Once in the woods, a bounty of new t...
How to Make Your Kids Spend Time With You and Science: Telescopes
It can be really, really hard to get kids interested in anything even remotely related to science or education, especially when it comes with the word “toy” somewhere. Kids aren’t clueless. They know when you’re trying to sell them something other than what they want. That’s why you have to find science and learning toys that also happen to be really cool, and for that you don’t have to look much further than a telescope.
Sneaky, But It Gets The Job Done
I’ve ascertained that the ultimate way to cheat with kids is include something related to space. For some reason, space is just awesome. Why is it so many video games these days take an otherwise dull premise and plunk it into space, thus making it amazing? Now just think of how easy it is to focus that potential into a child’s learning process. Guess what? Space is right up there. For free. Every night. But you’ll need something handy to access this wealth of free space.
Enter the Celestron AstroMaster Refractor Telescope. This is currently Amazon’s best selling telescope in the Toys & Games category i.e. the For Use By Children category. It’s also currently priced at just over $90 . Stop! Before you consider the price, consider what a telescope can really do.
Telescopes are essentially super binoculars. While a good pair of binoculars will enable you to see a plane in the sky a bit closer, a good telescope will let you see craters in the moon and make comets look a heck of a lot closer than they really are. Of course, you can always use a telescope for the usual nosey neighboring business, but you didn’t hear that from me (though your kids WILL try spying on everyone).
And there’s nothing really wrong with the process of dinking with a telescope for whatever devices your child ends up using it for. For all you know, this is just step one towards their career as a government intelligence agent. But to really encourage the use of a telescope you should keep some things in mind.
First, there is the problem of space being boring. There are nights when clouds have covered everything or there just isn’t anything really worth looking at. That happens, you’ll just have to accept it. But when you hear about meteor showers or a planet being visible, make a point of turning this viewing into an event. “...