HomeGreat GiftsGolden Apple Awards

Best STEM toys ages 6 to 8

From treasure hunts to microscopic views, these 2011 Golden Apple Award winners will educate as much as they entertain.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope

Appeals to ages: 5-15

What it teaches: scientific observation, biological exploration, technical skills

Microscopes are an awesome tool for scientific discovery — no matter your age — but cheaper versions made for kids can be arduous to use. Little kids often have trouble coordinating the focusing of the lenses and seeing through a tiny aperture. But this handheld microscope projects its images onto a computer screen, allowing kids to explore micro realities via a large image that’s easy to see, share, and discuss.

Our testers loved the versatility of this toy which seemed to drive their curiosity in all kinds of unforeseen ways. Fingerprints? Cool. Dust bunnies? Yeah. Housefly wings? The flies the limit.

Bottom line: A tool that offers kids a way to explore an otherwise inaccessible world that’s right under their fingertips.

Where to get it: Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope