Microscope's For Kids, Montessori Science At Home

Xander got his first microscope when he was four (blue one below).  I have to say that as cute as it was - it didn't function all that well - but none the less he loved and used it.
We also bought pocket scopes from Lee Valley, and I must say they are amazing!
They have incredible focus, and ease of use. We can easily take them everywhere.

We went to a few great sites to learn about the invention of the microscope, and history of microbiology. I loved this site  http://www.history-of-the-microscope.org/anton-van-leeuwenhoek-microscope-history.php

This one (above) came from Toys R Us. We also created a magnification tray.  This tray included small items for viewing -including old negatives- and several simple types of magnification instruments - sheet magnifier Mighty Bright FlexiThin Magnifier - 10.75 x 7 Inches , magnifying glass (we had 3 different types)Carson 5" BigEye Magnifier  , ruler magnifier Mighty Bright Ruler Magnifier , card magnifier Adorama Pocket Lens Magnifier, Credit Card Thin Magnifier for Reading, 3x5 7/8". , contact sheet magnifier MA1030 SE- L3115BA - Foldable Stand Magnifier 3'' 3x Power . He later used it to look at transparency xrays we made. Ava is LOVING this tray!!

We have moved onto this microscope. We chose a binocular microscope because personally I find it easier and more comfortable on the eyes, and given Xander's eye issues that was very important to us - this may not be the case for some but this was our personal preference. We also purchased a digital camera - mainly for viewing. 

This microscope is wonderful and easy to use.  The camera that came with it wasn't great (fairly low resolution).  So we decided to purchase the one below.  This camera is reasonably priced, and does a great job.  I also like the binocular microscope because we can have the camera in one eye piece, and still view and focus on the second.

We bought a great inexpensive set of prepared slides.  Some of these have been put aside for now.
  I was most interested at this moment in the plant cross sections and so forth, for upcoming animal & plant cell activities.

Cross section of a pine stem from the set.

This is another set of prepared slides that we bought to go with his first ms. 
 The slides are not bad, but on the better scope at greater magnification they are not as good - but still very interesting to look at.

We bought a this box of blank slides & covers.  Xander is practicing making slides, and understanding what material makes for best viewing. 

This is a great inexpensive slide storage box we picked up as well.
So as I mentioned Xander started really playing with his first scope.  Before we started to use the newer microscope we went through a few activities.

We bought the book Greg's Microscope, and Xander loved reading this!  The boy was close to his age and his name is "Greg"( daddy's name) so Xander got a kick out of that!  The little boy's father gives him the microscope and he discovers an entire new world with it - right in his own house!!  Xander was very intrigued by all of Greg's discoveries, and was keen to follow in his foot steps.

We also started with a great set of Microscope 3 part cards, and booklet that I purchased from Montessori Print Shop.  If you haven't paid a visit to MPS you should because they have such a huge range of Montessori print materials at fantastic prices.

Labeling the microscope with removable adhesive putty- 

Here he was comparing the scopes to understand all of the parts and how they function - different types of stage clips etc...

 I simply colour coded the back of our cards with different coloured dots of crayon for Xander to check his work.

Some of our viewing fun!!  On a recent walk Xander collected some great things and we made a few slides!!  The first three are two different types of moss he collected. We identified ours here. Montessori Tidbits has a wonderful post about their nature table, with great information about lichen & moss and some wonderful book ideas.

Taking a closer look at our moss.

Below is oatmeal!

This one is table salt!!

The kids are having great fun with this microscope - even Nan joined in on the fun!!

This is our segue into Montessori Biology, and some study of Animal & Plant cells to start!!

Thanks for visiting with us!

This post is linked up at Living Montessori Now!!!
Montessori Monday
Most of the products I purchase and blog about - in relation to our Home school are from Amazon.com We are an Amazon affiliate - clicking on our Amazon links produces a small amount of money to help fund our materials. 
Thank you in advance!!



  1. We love microscopes. We have a simple one that we've owned for many years and the one from Lee Valley. I have taken photos through the simple one and they have turned out pretty good. Isn't homeschooling fun? :)

    1. It is wonderful!!! Thank you so much for letting everyone know about the LeeValley Scope, we just love it!! We are having a great time:))

  2. I have to thank you again for your wonderful posts! I have been wanting a nice pocket microscope for my son for a while now but i didnt know what to buy. We got the one you listed (bought it from amazon) and he loves it. I also got that first box of slides you listed because it was an awesome price and they are perfect. I ended up buying some for my nieces as well (also homeschool students).
    Thanks for the recommendations

    1. It is such a great scope!!! I hope you love the slides...they are just awesome!!! Thank you!!!!!

  3. Cherine , i am ready to invest in good microscope for our biology studies . like you we have the scope and few toy microscopes but i am looking now for a good one that will do the work she needs to do . Can you explain a bit more please how does the camera work ? are you able to connect to a computer screen ? i think this would be a great feature so my quadriplegic daughter could join the lessons and see what her siblings are seeing . i read in some reviews that the image seen on the screen or camera is not the same like the image you see with you eyes through the eye pieace , is it true ? also the focus changes when you are focusing to get clear image for the camera so you loose focus with the eye piece ?? are you still happy with this microscope after using it for a whiel ? would you buy it again ? lookign forward to your reply . xoxox viv

    1. Hi Bella,

      We use this scope as our primary all of the time, and it works amazingly well. Focus takes time and practice, and even very very tiny changes can make a huge difference in focus - I believe this to be the case though for any scope. All of the images that we took above are from this scope, with the camera we show above. Our scope came with a camera, and we purchased the one pictured to use instead, because it was a little better quality. We downloaded the image software online for our camera. The images you see were taken from our laptop, so yes you can view on screen. The camera has a USB connection that plugs into your computer or laptop, and there is an image capture option. The camera also takes some practice and I often moved it very slightly up and down inside the eye piece to gain better focus. We loved the binocular scope, because it was far easier to focus the specimen with the scope and then to focus the camera. Just because your specimen may be focused it does not always mean your camera will be focused on it, and you may need to make adjustments to the camera position. Hope that makes sense.


I greatly appreciate your friendly comments and feedback. I love to see what others are making, so please feel free to include a links and share your site with us!!! If you have any questions regarding any of the materials we have made...I'd love to help!!! Thank you for visiting us:)



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