Nature Study/Science Tool - Primary Science Viewscope (A Homeschooling Mom's Review + a Giveaway!)

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Every budding scientist needs a microscope, right?  I’ve been wanting to get one since Emma began Kindergarten, and even more so lately since I’ve noticed Emma’s definite interest in all things science.  Signs?  Her desire to handle and find out more about bugs, animals, and the nature around her; the blueprints she is making of a robot with the specific function of applying bandaids when needed; and the fact that she would rather read The Handbook of Nature Study and other science books hanging around our house than the fictional stories I have loaded our bookshelf with.

Of course, it was inevitable that I found myself browsing Amazon’s reviews in search of the perfect microscope!  Hours Days later, I just wasn’t able to find what I was looking for – something inexpensive that did its job and could hold up under a sometimes-careless 5-year-old’s attention.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something that might be broken, and I really wanted it to be something Emma could use without supervision.  But I didn’t find anything like that, so I gave up for awhile.

But guess what one of Learning Resources’ new 2014 products includes?  THIS:

Nature Study - First Microscope

It’s called a Primary Science ViewScope and it just fits the bill for us!  It’s inexpensive (currently $16.99 at Amazon), durable, and is a terrific “first microscope”.  Read on to find out more!

First, this is what you’ll receive from Learning Resources when ordering a ViewScope:

– Microscope body – Detachable microscope (magnifier) –  Clear specimen container with lid

learning resources viewscope

One of my favorite features of the ViewScope is that the magnifier is able to be separated from the body.  It’s very convenient for taking on nature walks and can be handled by little ones easily.  Both my 5-year-old and my 3-year-old have used it.  It also has held up well despite having been heavily tested by two young children with low levels of patience.  ;-)  It’s been dropped, the microscope removed from the body incorrectly, and the focus wheel has been turned too far, but it still works perfectly!  I’m impressed!

First Microscope

But how does it work?  The scope itself magnifies up to 20x and actually a cross between a microscope and a really powerful magnifier.  The child turns the knob on the microscope slowly to focus the lens.  Emma is able to do this herself with no trouble and her fascination with the new world of seeing tiny objects up close is a joy to behold.  She spent the first day with the ViewScope wandering around the house trying to find “more things to see up close” – nothing was safe and my pantry was one of her favorite places to invade.  Sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and any other spice I had was studied thoroughly and with much fascination.

I’m so happy I was able to get my camera to take these pictures through the microscope viewer!  These are some of our results:

  Learning Resources ViewScope Results

Our Final Thoughts:  I think the Primary Science ViewScope fulfills its purpose perfectly – it reveals details not able to be seen with the naked eye in a kid-friendly package.  It works well both attached to the base and detached from it, though we found that when detached it was most useful for close-ups of things that didn’t move around a lot (the moss on a tree, rocks, etc); for lighter things like leaves on a branch, you really have to hold the leaf steady (something you can’t do yourself while holding the scope in one hand and focusing with the other hand) or use the body of the microscope to get it in focus.  Since it is light, small, and portable, it is able to used in ways a regular microscope is not, and the pros outweigh the cons without a doubt.  Also, it’s been good for Emma to learn how to use it correctly (as you would do with any scientific instrument), and I really appreciate that she is able to “own it”  – pull it out whenever she wants to without having to wait for mom’s help.  Overall it has been a great “first microscope” and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as an affordable nature study/science tool for young children.  It has certainly been an asset in our homeschool!

Want It?

You can find the Primary Science ViewScope at Learning Resources online or at (affiliate link)– it retails for $19.99 but is currently on sale for only $16.99 at Amazon!.

Connect With Learning Resources!

Request a mail catalog Sign up for Email Updates Follow them on Twitter (@LearningHandsOn Become a Facebook Fan Follow them on PINTEREST! Follow them on Instagram Follow their Hands On Learning Blog

For more hands-on nature study resources and posts, check out my Pinterest board!

Thanks to the awesome people at Learning Resources, one winner will be chosen to receive a Primary Science ViewScope!  Open to the US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  My thanks to Learning Resources for providing the prizing for this giveaway and for sending me the Primary Science ViewScope so I could share my thoughts and experiences with my readers!  The opinions I have given are honest and 100% my own.  This post may contain affiliate links.


43 Responses to Enhancing Our Nature Study With the Learning Resources Primary Science ViewScope (Giveaway!)

  • We live within an easy walk of a park with a walking trail that takes us past a bog where the cat tails grow and the frogs chirp. It is fun to walk through and see the trees and other plants in the different seasons.

  • My father in law was watching my daughter while my husband and I went to an appointment. We got a text that Lily was very excited that she had a lady bug walking on her arm. It’s too bad that my FIL can’t figure out how to use his camera on his smart phone or we would have had pictures too. He also showed her a second cocoon in the backyard that we can’t wait to see what emerges from.

  • My daughters have been finding worms and roly polies while I garden and weed. :) They love to look for bugs/spiders all over outside. It is a fun past time. I try to join in when ever I am not busy gardening. We saw 3 different crab spiders with their prey that they had snatched. They hide in or on flowers and when pollinators go to pollinate they attack. I got pictures and am going to get them on my blog and Facebook soon.

  • I love the Smart Snacks® Counting Cookies™ too! My youngest needs to work on learning her numbers still. I think these would help her a lot! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • They are enjoying the wonders of parakeets and eggs. Two are nesting and we have two new babies so they are excited.
    It’s fun seeing how they play with each other and the squeaky noises they’re making.

  • I like the Gears! Gears! Gears! Lights & Action Building Set. It looks like it would be a lot of fun for my younger kids to play.
    It would help show them how things work.

  • My preschooler is just discovering nature. Things like bugs, leaves,sticks, flowers!

  • My daughter brought me a caterpillar while we were playing at the park. It was really sweet. :)

  • We have been trying to plant something. Another thing that we have been doing is biking at the forest preserve

  • We went to the beach before the sun got up a week ago. I took the kids for a beach clean up walk, then we watched the sunrise and swam in the ocean.

  • I would also love the Multiplication Master Electronic Flash Card™, because it would be the perfect study aide for my kids. At the moment two of our boys are working on mastering multiplication, and our youngest son will soon follow. Multiplication is a must for any student, so this is definitely a great game.

  • We went on a nature walk at a nature preserve. We saw ducks, geese, a raccoon and a muskrat! There were a couple of photographers there who even gave further explanation of each of these animals!

  • My grandson is fascinated with his magnifying glass lately. He has to look at everything through that before he will eat it. He also tries to look at bugs with it, but gets frustrated when they fly off!

  • We walked along the beach and discussed tides!

  • We went for a ride on the bigwheel and Lila stopped to pick up the puffy flowers that you blow and their pollen floats away (I forgot what you call them). We also pruned our front yard growth for the Spring.

  • We went for a nature walk and found tons of cool flowers and bugs

  • We spend most of our time outdoors. We have planted a garden and spend a lot of time working in the soil. :)

  • We went on a hike last weekend and my kids were thrilled with all of the creatures we encountered! We saw snails, caterpillars, bunnies and even a couple of deer!

  • There are so many great educational toys and games on there! My son would love the Gears Gears Gears sets and my daughter would like the color sorting cupcakes!

  • We take family hikes.

  • We have a ton of caterpillars in our neighborhood so we collected a few and put them in a really big bug hut so we can watch them change. Now all the kids in our neighborhood collects them and puts them in our hut! It’s like a caterpillar zoo!

  • Yesterday I went on a nature walk with my daughters. It was a beautiful day out so we were really enjoying ourselves. They picked flowers that we took home and put in a vase.

  • We went on a nature hunt.. looking for all things cool in nature that we saw

  • we took our children fishing.

  • My children love watching the moon every night to see how it grows and shrinks everyday as the moon cycle changes with each passing day! My children love discovering “new” insects they haven’t seen before everyday when we walk home from the bust stop afterschool! Each morning my children love admiring the flowers and leaves from every plant and tree around them!

  • I love that learning resources are toys that are educational! I love that there is a toy for every academic study and that it makes learning fun! I love that children can learn hands on and that there are many activities and that there is something for every child with each their own interest!

  • We went to camp with the boyscouts this last weekend. We walked down to the lake and got some sun. Then the boys retired some American Flags in honor of all the family and family members who served in the military.

  • We go for hikes and do a lot of geocaching kids live it.

  • We bought a butterfly garden kit and sent away for live caterpillars. My kids had fun watching & learning as the caterpillars turned into butterflies!

  • We’ve been fishing a lot lately. And also we have been kayaking as a family.

  • we live near the woods so we take walks and appreciate the nature around us. we stop to look at the trees and the plants and we take pictures and compare to the books we have at home.

  • We went through the woods for a walk, Carter got to put his feet in the brook although it was still a little cold and we planted a little garden

  • my daughter loves trying to catch firefly’s , it would be so good to leanr more about them!

  • we went for a nature walk! We seen lots of Birds and very beautiful flowers and trees! We enjoy the outdoors :)

  • Since the weather has been nice, we have been going on daily walks in out local parks. My daughter likes to collect leaves, flowers and other bits on nature for her collection.

  • We love getting sunshine on the walking trail and going to the park

  • We went to the park today and went down their walking trails. My son was very excited to see bunnies on the side of the trail.

  • we love taking long walks on the bike trail or in the wood on the trails looking for bunnies,birds,pretty leaves,butterflys,etc

  • yesterday at my parents house the kids saw two precious rabbits running around in front yard..they live in the country and you never know what you will come across but the bunnies were precious and different thanks a lot for giveaway :)

  • My grandson helped plant flower seeds the other day. Then papa took him for a ride on his electric w/c and saw squirrels and birds on their ride and also visted our cousin’s new chicken coop with 21 chickens.

  • We had a picnic and a barbecue. Then we went for a walk.

  • I like the Jumbo Farm Animals because they’re very cute. They also look very fun to play with!

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