Essential Science Equipment: Digital Microscope

Without a doubt, one of the best pieces of equipment we’ve purchased for our homeschool has been our digital microscope. It has been a very good investment and we use it frequently. We love hands-on science and the microscope fits right in.

How to choose a microscope for home use.

Here’s what we love about our home microscope:

–It has a screen, which is so much easier that looking through the little scope/lens, especially for younger kids.

–It is a serious microscope! This will take us through our entire homeschooling journey, beyond high school even.

–You can easily hook it up to a t.v. screen for even better viewing.

–It has a digital camera! You can use the touchscreen with built-in stylus to take a photo of what you’re viewing. It saves to the included memory card and can easily be transferred to your computer. 

–It’s sturdy.

 

how to choose a homeschool microscope

–It has a hard-shell carrying case with super duper padding inside to protect it during transport. We’ve taken it onsite to a pond study and I was confident that transporting it would not result in breakage.

{This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item from Amazon using this link, you pay the same price but I get a small commission to buy more science stuff. Thank you!}

This is the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope.

I also recommend getting a box of blank microscope slides and square glass covers. The covers prevent small objects from sliding off or lighter objects from being blown away while moving the slides to the microscope. 

The depression slides are great for liquids. They have a slight indentation in the center of each slide to nicely hold a few drops of liquid. We’ve used this for looking at pond water, as well as blood (you know you have a true homeschool friend when she offers to check her blood sugar levels to manage her diabetes, conveniently during science time).

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Free scientific method printables.

 

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How to Make a Solar System Model {super easy}

This is an easy and fun way to learn about the solar system. We spend some time on the planets, then the moon and stars, and other notable galactic features, like meteors, comets, satellites, and space travel, to give an introduction to all-things-space for younger kids.

How to make a solar system model. Easy Peasy.

How to Make a Solar System Model

All you need:

  • A package of multi-colored balloons
  • Sharpies
  • String or ribbon
  • Large paper plates (2) for the rings on Saturn and Uranus.

{This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase, it costs the same for you but I earn a small portion of the purchase to spend at Starbucks today.  Kidding! I won’t spend it at Starbucks. Well, I might, but I don’t usually.} 

May I also suggest…

 How to Make a Solar System Model {easy peasy}

We did a few planets each day. My 5-year-old looked at pictures of each planet on the placemat and colored the balloons with Sharpies. Don’t fear the Sharpies with kids. Protect your surfaces, and supervise the kids. PROTECT and SUPERVISE.  That’s my motto for Sharpies with little ones. Besides, regular markers smudge and make a terrible mess. While he was coloring, I read to him from the Usborne Book about each planet (see link above). 

I am not the first to do this project. There are lots of  other ways, like hanging balloons from the ceiling or using embroidery floss and glue.

 
Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Science:  Astronomy on Pinterest.
 

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Halloween Science Experiments

Get ready for some fun, hands-on Halloween science experiments! These are perfect for elementary aged kids. Some are spooky, some are gross and some are just plain fun. There’s something for everyone here. And each one explains the science behind the activity. Get ready to learn in a spooky way!

Halloween Science Experiments for Kids

I’m so excited to also be part of the big Kid Blogger Network Fall/Halloween Round-Up. We are giving away four $500 cash prizes. Yes, you heard that correctly. This is BIG, people.  More about that in a moment.

Ok, here we go. Halloween Science!

Experiments With Pumpkins

Ghosts, Bats and Other Spooky Things

Spooky Ingredients

Halloween  Linky Party 

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The Mega Cash Giveaway

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Win one of FOUR $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.

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Homeschool Kindergarten Science

Getting ready for homeschool kindergarten?  Here are some great, hands-on resources for homeschool kindergarten science. 

 Big List of Homeschool Kindergarten Science activities, experiments and areas of study.

Force, Motion, and Energy

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Fun Science Experiments for Kids ~ Hydrofoils

This fun and easy hands-on science experiment, using three ingredients you already have, is perfect for warm weather outside, or not-so-nice weather inside. Hydrofoils use water (that’s the hydro) and tinfoil (yup, you guessed it) to demonstrate the concept of buoyancy.  

Big thanks to Holly Homer and Rachel Miller of Kids Activities Blog and their new book {affiliate link}101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!: The Entertainment Solution for Parents, Relatives & Babysitters! for some fun science experiments for kids, including this one. More on their fab book in a minute.

Hydrofoils:  Water Science Experiments for Kids from "101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!"

Supplies Needed

  • Water in a container, bathtub or sink.
  • Tinfoil.
  • Pennies.

This experiment is about design:  Designing a boat that can float well and hold the pennies without taking on water, testing it and re-designing it again uses critical thinking skills

Fun Science Experiments for Kids - Hydrofoils @creeksidelearn

I gave the kids two different types of tinfoil, one was heavier than the other, but I let them discover that for themselves. They each set out to build, test and re-build their boats.  

While they worked, we talked about the concepts included in the experiment from the book:  Water pressure pushing up and gravity pulling the boat down. That’s buoyancy. 

 Fun Science Experiments for Kids - Hydrofoils

They made big foil boats and small foil boats and experimented with flattening the bottoms of the boats by pressing them on the sidewalk. 

Hydrofoils were a hit! We hope you will like them, too.

101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest Funnest Ever by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller

101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!: The Entertainment Solution for Parents, Relatives & Babysitters! contains even more fun science experiments for kids, as well as crafts, games and boredom busters.  I love how each activity contains clear instructions and way to modify things for older or younger kids.  Each activity is geared towards kids from toddlers to 12-year-olds. Holly Homer and Rachel Miller are on a mission to create great activities for kids every day. You can find them at Kids Activities Blog and on Facebook and Pinterest

For more summer fun and learning ideas…

 Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Summer on Pinterest.

I received this book for free for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. Read my disclosure page. Affiliate links in this post go to Amazon. I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if a purchase is made via these links. Thank you.