The Build Your Own Microscope is our second kit from the BYO products and we were very excited to put it together and test it out! Much like the Paper Plane Launcher that we reviewed recently, the Microscope kit is also eco-friendly and comes in a box with instructions, sheets with pop-out cardboard pieces to assemble and an envelope with the lenses and a mirror in.
The instructions give you an easy to follow step by step guide; all the pieces that you need for each step are marked with a letter so that your child can find them and pop them out of the sheet before looking at the accompanying picture that shows how the pieces fit together.
The pieces are made from a super strong, thick card which is decorated on both sides in bold patterns and colours. The pieces fit together perfectly, you can really feel them click in to place and the structure feels very sturdy quite early on in the build.
The parts that make up the eyepiece and surround are made from a thin card as it has to be rolled up to form a tube but again, these bits are high quality and fit exactly where they were supposed to. Our favourite parts are the clever cogs that move focusing dial up and down!
My 9 year old and 7 year old were able to put a large amount of the microscope together by themselves, one trickier part that they needed me to do was wrapping the eyepiece around the squares that hold one of the lenses in place. We managed to put it all together just using the paper instructions but you can also scan the QR code included which will take you to a tutorial video if you need more of a walk-through. I think this is such a great thing to include and something that really shows that BYO cares about their customer usability as they want to make sure that you get the best you can from their product.
A small tray, also made from the thinner card, slots neatly in to place and you can use this to place the object in that you want to study. You can also hold the torch light from your phone underneath the microscope to light up objects so that you see them better. As a little bonus, you can also disconnect the top of the microscope so that it can be used for on-the-go exploring and we took it out in to the garden to test it out on various plants and interesting surfaces.
The finished microscope is fantastic, it has up to 30x magnification, it is very strong and robust and the lenses were able to show us objects in a very surprising amount of detail! We’ve been really impressed with this kit, it can be used time and time again and the quality is outstanding. The BYO Kits Microscope retails at £16.99 and you can buy it directly from Build Your Own.