My four year-old daughter is a budding entomologist. Wherever she goes she collects bugs. Nothing is too creepy or crawly for her — she just scoops whatever it is up, peers at it with awe and appreciation, and whispers little comforts to make the experience less frightening. For the bug.
If there’s a gadget for every situation, my husband, Rael, will find it. In this case, it was a blister microscope: an inexpensive, easy-to-use microscope that uses "bubble" slides. The bubbles are large enough to hold a live insect for a minute or two, so you can see twitching antennae and moving legs, then let the little guy free. They examined an aphid the other day. My daughter’s reaction: "It’s beautiful." My son’s: silent shudder.
Another fun experiment used a bit of algae and water cleaned out of the fish tank. We saw all sorts of tiny organisms that brought back happy memories of grade school science.
We saw a blister microscope for sale at the local science museum shop, but we got ours for the same price online, and it came with a bunch of slides.
Asha Dornfest is a guest GeekMom and the publisher of Parent Hacks.