Fun microscope experiments for kids #3

Introducing a few more fun and educational activities for kids!

Give your child the opportunity to spark their curiosity and make new discoveries with the help of a microscope and a few everyday objects. 


This experiment into the fascinating world of plants might make you shed a tear (literally!).

The humble onion might not look like much, but with a childrens microscope, it transforms into a breathtaking miniature world, revealing the intricate structure and composition of cells.

With a simple preparation, you’ll be able to observe the onion’s cell walls, the cytoplasm, and even the nucleus if you have a cheap stain like methylene blue or iodine solution.

You simply need to peel off a thin layer of an onion and place it on a microscope slide.

What you’ll need

  • An onion (and knife to cut it)
  • Tweezers
  • Dropper or pipette
  • Glass microscope slide
  • Cover slip
  • Methylene blue or iodine solution (optional)


To keep the onion from drying out, you’ll need to create a ‘wet mount’ by suspending it in a small amount of water.

  1. Put a few drops of water on a microscope slide.
  2. Take an onion and cut it open. (You may shed a tear or two!)
  3. Using tweezers, carefully peel off one of the thin, transparent membranes found in between the onion layers.
  4. Place the membrane flat on the slide with the tweezers.
  5. If you have any methylene blue or iodine solution, add a drop to the slide (optional).
  6. Place a cover slip on top of the slide. Try to avoid any air bubbles.
  7. Place your slide under the microscope and take a look at your plant cells.

This experiment is quick and easy and will give you a glimpse of the amazing beauty of the natural world at the cellular level.

Salt versus sugar

You may think that salt and sugar are just plain white powders, but when you take a closer look under the microscope, you’ll see they are very different!

They are tiny crystals with their own unique shapes and features.

This easy experiment, which you can do using just household items, is a fun way for kids to learn about the hidden qualities of everyday substances. It’s also a great introduction to crystals and minerals.

What you’ll need


  1. Put a small amount of salt on a glass slide. See if a cover slip will comfortably sit on the salt – if it doesn’t, just leave it off. But be careful to avoid bumping any grains of sale into the microscope lenses.
  2. Pop your salt slide under your microscope and take a look at the true shape of your table salt.
  3. Now do the same again, but with sugar. What differences do you see?
  4. For a little bonus experiment, take a salt or sugar slide and add a drop or two of water. (Be sure to place a cover slip over your slide.)
  5. Have a look under the microscope at the dissolving crystals. They can be beautiful in their own way.

Now that you’ve seen the difference between salt and sugar under the microscope, you can try exploring other household powders, like spices (or maybe sand). It's always fun to see what secrets they hold!


Do you want to check whether money is real or fake? Well, with a microscope, you can see all the tiny details that your eyes can’t see on their own.

For example, if you look at an Australian banknote through the kids microscope, you will discover amazing things like colourful patterns, small printing and fancy artwork. This is because Australia makes their money extra special so people can't copy it. Let's take a closer look!

What you’ll need

  • A five-dollar note (or any banknote)


  1. Place the banknote flat on the microscope’s stage.
  2. Turn up the light by opening the iris diaphragm and increasing the illumination. This will make it easier to see through the opaque banknote.
  3. Start with the lowest magnification and move the banknote around to see all the intricate details and anti-counterfeiting measures.
  4. For an even more interesting experience, try comparing banknotes from different countries.


Have you ever wondered what your clothes look like up close?

Let’s find out by taking a look at some threads from different clothing materials.

You can use threads from any piece of clothing you have such as jeans, T-shirts, blankets or an old jumper. Try to get threads made from different fibres, such as cotton, wool or nylon.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to ruin any clothes. Just grab a couple of threads that are shorter than 2 cm.

What you’ll need


  1. Use tweezers to collect a few threads from the different fabrics you want to examine.
  2. Place a drop or two of water onto the centre of a glass slide.
  3. Carefully place the threads onto the water drops, using separate slides for each type of fabric so they can be easily distinguished.
  4. Cover the threads with a cover slip. (Try to avoid any air bubbles.)
  5. Place your fibre slide under the microscope and take a closer look at the fibres in your clothes. Shape, texture, colour and thickness – you might be in for a surprise. Get ready to discover the fascinating world of fashion!

Microscope experiments are an exciting and effortless way to ignite children’s curiosity in science and the natural world. Don’t hesitate to discover more experiments or even create your own!

For more Fun microscope experiments for kids refer to our other blog posts:

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