LeapFrog's Magic Adventures Microscope actually works, and your youngsters (in all probability) gained’t break it

With two younger youngsters, I really feel like toys are slowly taking on my dwelling and can, ultimately, devour it — so it takes rather a lot for a kids’s toy to impress me…however the LeapFrog Magic Adventures Microscope(opens in a brand new tab) managed to do it.

Retailing for $89.99, the toy is a fully-functioning microscope that encompasses a digicam with a 2.4-inch display to view your samples on, fairly than a lens (just like the microscopes you utilized in biology class). It affords as much as 200-times magnification, and comes with a reusable slide and a reusable tray on your little one’s scientific pursuits. However surprisingly, “it’s an actual, working microscope” isn’t the primary draw of the toy.

Utilizing the microscope’s buttons as a easy controller, your youngsters can play academic video games and watch tons of preloaded science content material from the BBC. Moreover, the microscope comes with eight double-sided “good slides” that enable youngsters to examine a number of totally different microscopic samples (minerals, plant materials, human cells, and so on.) and watch movies associated to them. 

To be clear, the slides don’t comprise precise samples — as a substitute, they’re extra like reminiscence playing cards. Inserting a sensible slide on the microscope lets you entry that themed content material.

Total, my son and I have been each very impressed with the toy.

However is it price shopping for? Let’s put it beneath the microscope to seek out out. (Sorry, I needed to.)

plastic toy microscope in box

LeapFrog created a microscope you may really feel comfy letting your youngsters play with with out supervision.
Credit score: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

What youngsters will like

This toy is simply straight-up enjoyable. For my science-obsessed first grader, it was awe-inspiring. 

He loves the journey video games, and the slides have been an ideal match for his pursuits, with titles like Flying Bugs, Components of an Animal, Crawlers, Micro-Animals, and Human Cells. 

He’s additionally a giant Minecraft fan, so he’s intensely curious about minerals proper now. When he found one of many good slides featured gold, he screamed, “GOOOLD! Mother, they’ve GOLD!”

close up of gold on toy microscope screen

Calling all “Minecraft” followers.
Credit score: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

What’s actually cool, nonetheless, is that it truly works. And for a sub-$100 toy microscope, it really works surprisingly nicely. It comes with two empty slides — one which’s fully flat (for flat/liquid samples) and one tray-style slide that’s a couple of quarter-inch tall (for small objects like beads). In microscope mode, you can even forgo the slides fully and simply maintain issues over the illuminator if you wish to take a look at, say, the pad of your finger, a french fry, or a teddy bear’s leg.

We’ve had this toy for a number of weeks now, and it’s nonetheless a daily within the toy rotation — which speaks volumes. 

What mother and father will like

The microscope is full of academic content material. Every good slide comes preloaded with photos that your little one can discover utilizing the microscope. As they zoom out and in and pan throughout the picture, they’ll discover prompts that give them extra details about every slide. The slides include movies, too.

toy microscope with insect onscreen

Your youngsters can watch informational movies instantly on the microscope.
Credit score: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

To not point out, it offers your little one tons of studying alternatives from merely inspecting samples that they accumulate. We homeschool, and I undoubtedly intend to include this microscope into our science classes.

I additionally drastically respect how sturdy it’s. My 7- and 2-year-old have already put it via the wringer, nevertheless it’s constructed to outlive the pure urge youngsters have to interrupt issues they take pleasure in.

Would I ever allow them to play with an actual microscope — and even be close to one — unsupervised? Completely not. However this? It’s a no brainer. It’s a toy first, and a microscope second.

Just a few cons

My important gripe about this microscope is that there is no such thing as a built-in storage for the slides. Now that we’ve had the toy for a number of weeks, a number of of the slides are lacking.

I’m additionally hoping that extra slides with totally different themes will probably be accessible sooner or later. The themed slides are enjoyable to have a look at as soon as, however after my son regarded via all of the photographs and movies he didn’t actually return to them.

And, now once I inform my youngsters no screen-time I’ve to recollect to confiscate the microscope, too. What a world. 

Add to cart?

The LeapFrog Magic Adventures Microscope(opens in a brand new tab) is solidly academic, but additionally actually enjoyable to play with (and sturdy). It’s a superb present for any elementary-aged child who loves science.