Why let your kids drain their brains on another game console when you get them something that's fun and will help them learn at the same time? Science toys have grown up a lot since we were kids. Today's telescopes automatically locate planets and stars, ant farms use NASA technology, and new science experiments kits let your kids become budding forensics experts. Here's a guide to the most popular science toys for kids.
Choosing the Best Telescope for Kids
One of the best science toys parents can share with their kids is a telescope. The first time your child beholds the wonders of the heavens is a magical moment, one they will never forget. And wouldn't you rather have your kid camped out all night in the backyard stargazing instead of cracking his thumbs on some mindless video game?=
Here are a few tips for buying a home telescope. Many parents focus on power, or magnification, when trying to figure out what type of telescope to buy for their child. In fact, the aperture, or diameter of the telescope is what determines how much you can see with a telescope. So to get the best telescope for kids, get the widest aperture you can instead of the strongest power.
A stable telescope mount is also important. There's nothing more frustrating than wrestling with a wobbly tripod when your trying to focus on the rings of Saturn. One of the best telescope for kids is the Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope. Not only does it have a rigid, stable platform, it also comes with software with over 10,000 celestrial objects and images to help your child search the heavens night after night.
New Natural Science Toys
Natural science toys have changed a lot since the cloudy plastic bottles filled with Sea Monkeys we grew up with. Even the classic ant farm has been upgraded. Borrowing NASA technology, the Fascinations Antworks Illuminated is a self-contained ant farm where ants burrow through a special food-grade gel they can also eat. Pretty gross, but pretty cool too.
Other natural science toys for kids include mini insect, frog and butterfly habitats and special collectors that let your little ones safely collect their creepy crawlies. Now your kids can observe the wonders of nature without you having to worry about finding toads in their pockets at laundry time.
The Classic Childrens Microscope
If the immense magic of the heavens dazzles your child, so too will the minute wonders of the microscopic world. The modern children's microscope is sturdy, safe and looks cool too. If you're hell-bent on finding low priced kids microscopes, you may want to consider a good microscope kit. Otherwise you'll be hunting down slides, specimen bottles, and all the other accessories your kid suddenly decides he needs.
One of the best kid's microscope kits is the Discovery Exclusive Macro Microscope. It comes with all the basic accessories such as slides, tweezers and specimen bottles along with a book of experiments and real specimens including cloth from a real 900-year old Peruvian mummy! Maybe that will stop your kid from asking you to save your hair and toenail clippings for them.
Easy Science Kits for Kids
Children's science kits used to be confined to nerdy adolescents trying to create explosions in their basement with a junior chemistry set. Today's easy science kits for kids are safer and more fun. Most science kits include bottles of simple chemicals and all the lab equipment (test tubes, safety goggles, tweezers, etc.) your junior scientist needs to perform hours of non-explosive experiments. Even more fun is the electronic Snap Circuits SC-300 kit. The kit comes with a clear and easy to understand color-coded instruction manual and 60 snap-together parts that let kids build over 300 exciting projects including an AM radio, burglar alarm, radio announcer and more.