Gift Idea: Beginner Microscope

by Amy on November 17, 2010

My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope

I’ve been blogging in secret this week so I can show you some sneak peeks of the girls’ Christmas gifts. We often do at least one joint or family gift, and this year the girls are getting a beginner microscope. We are definitely ready to move beyond magnifying glasses around here. And, after spending a few minutes (secretly) playing with our new microscope, I am sure we are all going to have tons of fun using our microscope to explore all kinds of things!

After doing some research on beginner microscopes, I settled on the My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope. These are some of the qualities I was looking for in a microscope:

  • sturdy and well-made, but lightweight enough for the kids to move around
  • good quality glass optics, not plastic lenses
  • LED lighting (it stays cool to the touch)
  • kid-friendly controls and knobs
  • affordable!

The My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope is a great fit for what I was looking for. First of all, the microscope comes packaged in a fun yellow box, which is a nice touch for gift-giving. I was initially planning to unpack the scope from its box, but this box is too cute!

Main Features:

-10X eyepiece and 4X, 10X, 40X objectives – which means you have 40X, 100X, and 400X magnification. (Note: You cannot use the 40X objective when viewing solid objects with the upper light.)

-Dual light sources: Use the lower light to shine up and view slides or use the upper light to shine down on solid objects for viewing. There is a simple switch on the back of the microscope that turns on each of the LED lights independently.

-Focusing knobs that are chunky and super-easy for kids to grip. I also found that the knobs operate very smoothly and it is easy to make small adjustments.

-Real glass optics

-6-hole diaphragm for controlling the amount of light that reaches the stage.

What You Get:

In addition to the microscope, the box contains an accessory pack that includes:

  • 5 plain slides and 1 concavity (well) slide
  • 4 prepared slides
  • cover glass
  • plastic dropper
  • 2 bottles of stain
  • slide labels
  • lens paper
  • forceps
  • plastic test tube
  • plastic Petri dish
  • straight teasing needle (this is sharp!)
  • instruction manual with tips and activities

Great Features for Kids:

  • Large focusing knobs – again, I think this is going to make the microscope very kid-friendly
  • Lightweight, but sturdy – the microscope didn’t tip or wiggle around while I was using it, and it’s light enough for the girls to pick up and move around
  • Ability to look at solid objects, like leaves, coins, rocks, and stamps – my dad and I had fun looking at the words and details on coins, so I know the girls are going to love being able to do that, too!


3 AA batteries (Don’t forget the batteries – they are not included!)

The Usborne Complete Book of the Microscope – It’s been a long time since I’ve used a microscope, so I thought a microscope book might be helpful. This book is amazing! It is filled with colorful illustrations and photographs, plus tons of activities to do using a microscope. I’m sure this book will be a great resource to us for many years!

Prepared Slides – I decided to start us off with a collection of prepared slides.  I went with the Learning Resources Prepared Slides Combination Set. For beginners like us, these slides are a great place to start. I took a peek at them and the quality looks good.

There are many excellent, detailed reviews of the My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope on Amazon if you want to research this beginner microscope further. After Christmas, I’m sure I will be sharing some of our exciting microscope adventures!

Disclosure: I researched, chose, and purchased this product on my own and am sharing it with you because I think its great! This post includes affiliate links – thanks for supporting Let’s Explore!

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