For absolutely ages now Little Miss C has been obsessed with the idea of becoming an explorer and naturalist of some kind. She loves nothing more than being outdoors and hunting for insects and bugs. We have so many bug hotels situated around the garden – many of them made from old shoeboxes and other things pilfered from my recycling bin. It therefore seemed perfect to ask her to review the Pocket Microscope from Interplay.
We’ve had handheld magnifying glasses before in various kits, but this is the first time that she’s had a microscope to play with. In the box you get the microscope itself, which has a built in light, two slides that are already set up with textiles and insects on them, plus 3 blank slides and 4 specimen pots so that you can make up your own slides. There are also a dozen labels and clear covers for your specimens and a pair of plastic tweezers. LMC wasn’t familiar with the idea of creating slides, so that was a new thing for her to get to grips with, but she enjoyed that aspect of the whole process more than I expected she would.
The other thing in the kit is a booklet that not only tells you how to use the microscope, but also includes lots of activities that you could do with it. The box describes the Pocket Microscope as being “great for Nature Study, Crime Scene Investigation and Science Experiments.” It’s fair to say that nature study was the reason LMC was first drawn to it, but the bit in the book that she’s read about crime scene investigations seems to have intrigued her, and if I’m honest scared her a bit too! It’s certainly opened up a whole world of possibilities for her.
The pocket microscope itself is well made. Large enough for small hands to hold comfortably, but without looking particularly childish. It takes two AA batteries to operate the light and magnifies up to 30x actual size. The sample slides mean that children can use it straight out of the box, but the additional slides and specimen covers mean kids can get a real feel for what it’s like collecting specimens and preparing them to be viewed under the microscope.
Now, if only the weather would clear up (honestly it feels more like November today than March!) LMC could get back out into the garden collecting specimens. Instead it looks like I’ll be turning the house into a crime scene for her to investigate. Although to be honest, with the state of her bedroom at the moment it could well be a crime scene and I just haven’t noticed!
Disclaimer: We were sent the Interplay Pocket Microscope for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.