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This lightweight HandiScope is a portable tool to help a child take a closer look at the world around them.
The HandiScope is the perfect foundation level visual magnification tool. Its size and the ease of its use are perfect for a toddler or preschooler. The child simply places his/her eye against the soft rubber top and holds the handle to align the base of the scope with the object under examination.
The HandiScope relies on natural light and reflective mirrors to enhance the image of the object under examination. For a magnifier that reveals details even in dim light please take a look at the MiMicro.
The small green dial can be turned to focus the image to create the clearest possible exploration. This is a wonderful opportunity for a child to strengthen the communication between visual sensory input, the hand and the brain. As the dial is turned the eye must assess the change in clarity and inform the brain so that the hand can receive a message to stop or continue. Hitting that perfect 'sweet spot' is not as easy as it sounds so it's a great exercise for a little learner!
The HandiScope could be used to facilitate spontaneous, child-directed research or it could be presented as part of an intentional exploration. For instance, the tray below (from my own classroom) is intended to introduce the use of the HandiScope by examining the patterns and textures of a range of natural objects (including shells and crystals).
For more inspiration about using magnifying and microscopes for explorations of nature please read this great blog post by Racheous.