When you think of a microscope, do you think of something complicated?
Would you believe that you can make a microscope with about 4 times magnification using just three materials?
I didn’t think it was possible to make a magnifying glass just using objects from around the house, but it is not only possible, it is also incredibly easy!
Combine your homemade microscope with a magnifying glass for even greater magnifying fun!
Easy Homemade Microscope for Kids
Make your own homemade microscope in seconds with this simple project!
Note: This project works best with a white piece of paper or surface under the homemade microscope.
You’ll need just a few things for this project:
- Clear tape
- 2 pencils
- Microscope slides (or you can use small objects from around the house)
Set two pencils down parallell from each other. Make them about as far apart as the length of your slides to keep things easy.
Stick a long piece of tape over the two pencils and to the table on either side of the pencils to hold the tape tightly between the two pencils like a bridge.
Don’t touch the sticky side of the tape or you will ruin the microscope.
Drop a small drop of water onto the top of the tape using the pipette.
Make 3-4 lines of tape and add a different-sized drop to each one. This will help determine what size of water droplet produces the biggest magnification.
Slide a microscope slide under the pieces of tape and observe.
The slide will be magnifying 4 times or more, depending on the size of your drop.
Use a magnifying glass in combination with your microscope for even larger magnification.
Homemade Microscope Science Explained
A bead of water acts similarly to the lens of an eye. The droplet of water refracts the light and tricks your eyes into seeing the object larger than it actually is. We found that smaller drops of water were actually able to magnify the slides to a larger size than big drops of water. Experiment with different sized drops to find the best balance between image size and clarity.
More fun science for kids: