LeapFrog's Magic Adventures Microscope actually works, and your children (most likely) gained’t break it

With two younger children, I really feel like toys are slowly taking on my house and can, finally, devour it — so it takes loads 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 contains a digital camera with a 2.4-inch display screen to view your samples on, somewhat than a lens (just like the microscopes you utilized in biology class). It presents 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 principle draw of the toy.

Utilizing the microscope’s buttons as a easy controller, your children 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 permit children to examine a number of completely different microscopic samples (minerals, plant materials, human cells, and so forth.) and watch movies associated to them. 

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

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

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

plastic toy microscope in box

LeapFrog created a microscope you’ll be able to really feel snug letting your children play with with out supervision.
Credit score: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

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

We’ve had this toy for just a few weeks now, and it’s nonetheless an everyday within the toy rotation — which speaks volumes. 

What dad and mom will like

The microscope is full of academic content material. Every good slide comes preloaded with pictures 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 children can watch informational movies straight 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 acquire. We homeschool, and I positively intend to include this microscope into our science classes.

I additionally significantly admire how sturdy it’s. My 7- and 2-year-old have already put it by the wringer, however it’s constructed to outlive the pure urge children 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.

A couple of 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 just a few weeks, a number of of the slides are lacking.

I’m additionally hoping that extra slides with completely different themes will likely be out there sooner or later. The themed slides are enjoyable to have a look at as soon as, however after my son appeared by all of the pictures and movies he didn’t actually return to them.

And, now once I inform my children 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.