I Never Leave Home Without My... Microscope?

We recently had some family friends stay with us for a few days. My husband's large reef aquarium is very interesting to everyone who visits us so he pulled out some algae for the kids to look at. "I'll just pull out my pocket microscope so we can take a better look at it," my friend exclaimed. 

I laughed. 

She was not kidding. 

So cute! So tiny! So handy!


We were so intrigued that our friends sent us a few of our own. They are great to get a closer look at anything you want in your home. We found cool patterns and textures on packing material, cat fur, shells, and fabric. You just turn on the light and put the lens side directly on what you want to see. It is so simple, my 6 year old uses it with ease. The magnification is 45x.

I can actually have a microscope with me at all times! How have I never known about this before?

A couple days later, I happened to come across these on Amazon:


They were perfect! No fuss and my 6 year old was fascinated. It has everything from cow hair to tulip pollen. I wished our pocket microscope had slightly stronger magnification, but I couldn't complain. We saw some very cool things.

Fast-forward to this week when I was working on my newest Asha Loves Science video. For one scene, I needed a magnified image. The pocket microscope is not meant to take pictures, but I managed to hold my camera up to the viewing side and snap a couple of pictures. It was okay, but I wanted more. 
 


So I searched Amazon and found this:

Hooray for better magnification! The magnification range on this one is between 60x and 120x. It is slightly larger so it probably won't fit in a pocket, but it definitely will fit in a bag or larger purse. It is slightly more complex than the pocket microscope above because the focus has to be adjusted depending on what magnification you set it to. It's still pretty simple, though! Just turn the little lever to adjust the magnification level and then rotate the center until it is focused.

I had a lot of trouble lining up my camera to it, so I held it still with this handy tabletop tripod:


The images came out perfect for what I needed.

Oh, yeah.  

How cool is that? I can't wait to look at our slides and other objects around the house.

With a microscopic investment, you can have gigantic science fun in your house, too! Stay tuned to the Asha Loves Science YouTube channel to see if you can find the magnified images.

This post contains affiliate links which help to fund future Asha Loves Science endeavors. Thank you!

The Big Day is Finally Here!

Today, the first Asha Loves Science video was uploaded to YouTube! This song features Hindi / Urdu numbers and animal names. It also has a read along book!  

The book also has a section of fun science facts for kids! 

I hope you enjoy Asha Loves Science. There will be much much MUCH more to come!!

Science At Home

Do you want to do fun science experiments at home with your kids? Sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Luckily, you can buy a science kit! I tried the My First Mind Blowing Science Kit (affiliate link.) My 5 year old and I really enjoyed it.

Inside the kit is everything you need other than water and a tray to put the experiments on. All of the classics are included: baking soda, red cabbage juice powder, citric acid, and more! It comes with all the cups, beakers, and measuring spoons you need for the experiments. It even has stirring sticks! My 5 year old loved measuring, mixing, pouring, and observing. 

Though she may be a little young to grasp every concept presented, she had a lot of fun with science... and isn't that the whole point? On top of that, she has been exposed words like "acid," "base," and "neutral." Early exposure leads to early understanding. 

If you don't have a kit, you can still do simple science experiments for kids with items you probably already have at home.  One of our recent experiments was what we called "Travelling Water." 

Travelling Water Supplies

For this simple science experiment, you only need three cups, a paper towel, water, and two different colors of food coloring. For the food coloring, I offered my daughter the primary colors and let her pick two of them.

1) Elevate two of the cups and pour water in them until they are about 1/3 full. Add a few drops of food coloring in one elevated cup and a few drops of the other color in the other elevated cup.  Stir if necessary.

2) Make two strips of paper towel. Take the first strip and put one side in one of the elevated cups. Put the other side in the empty (non-elevated) cup. Take the second strip and put one side in the other elevated cup. Put the other side in the empty (non-elevated) cup. 

When it is all set up, it should look like this:

Travelling Water Setup

This experiment is perfect for little ones because, as you can see, it starts moving right away! I took this picture right after everything was set up. This also shows why I only offered primary colors as food coloring choices. It is much more exciting to see two colors turn into a whole new color (red + blue = purple!) than colors that just change slightly in shade. 

Did it work? Yes it did! The colors started mixing and turning purple fairly quickly. 

Once you are done, you can even put all the cups on the same level and watch how a little bit of the new color water travels back into the first cups.  

You can explain to your kids that capillary action lets the water travel up the paper towel and then down into the empty. Adhesion causes water molecules to "walk" up the paper towel and cohesion causes water molecules to stick to each other. 

Need more inspiration for home science experiments? Check out the Asha Loves Science "Science Experiments for Kids" Pinterest Board!

Animating My Imagination

Once I had come up with the idea for Asha Loves Science, I had to figure out how to bring it to life. I once took a Multimedia class at my time at Wellesley College where we used Adobe Director (then Macromedia Director... am I dating myself??) , so I knew that I was capable of animating. After looking around and trying different software, I decided to use Smith Micro's Anime Studio Pro.

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Get Ready!

As many of you know, I've been working on Asha Loves Science for quite some time now. Well, I have some great news. Asha Loves Science will launch very soon! Do you think kids with South Asian heritage need better representation in the media? Do you think girls and boys need a female role model who loves science? Then share Asha Loves Science with your friends! Tell them to like the Asha Loves Science Facebook page and visit this website to get more information. 

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