Magnification Experiments for Children

By Erica Loop
Help your child explore the magnification process.
Help your child explore the magnification process.

Help your child see the world that lies beneath her regular vision. Magnification experiments for children provide an ideal opportunity for kids in preschool and older to explore the scientific process, make discoveries and learn more about their environment. Match the experiment with your child's interests, encouraging her to magnify items, objects and living entities that she enjoys learning about.

Introduction Exploration

Before getting in-depth with your child's magnification experiments, try a simple introductory exploration. If your young child hasn't had the opportunity to magnify anything before, introduce her to the tools and the process before trying a more complex lesson. Start by letting your child handle and explore a magnifying glass. Ask him a few questions such as, "What do you think you can do with the magnifier?" or "What do you think will happen when you put the glass over an object?" Move on to using the magnifying glass. Encourage your child to experiment with magnifying different objects in the room such as toys, furniture or his own hand.

Plant Life Cycle

Although your child might take the plants that grow all around her yard, at school or even in pots inside of the house for granted, flora provides an array of options for a magnification experiment. Kids in preschool or kindergarten can study the different parts of a plant such as the leaves, stems or flowers under a magnification glass. Have your child record what she sees by drawing the magnified plant parts. Add another layer to this experiment, and have your child explore the plant's life cycle. Start with a seed that your child can magnify. After planting the seed, in a clear container or baggie, ask your child to magnify the growing roots. Continue on with the magnification exploration as the plant grows into a seedling and then full-grown flower.

Fingerprint Science

Kids can study the intricacies of fingerprints, acting as mini detectives with a magnification experiment. For a no-mess experiment, have your child look at his fingertips under a magnification glass. Have him turn the glass on your fingers, or his sibling's, to compare the differences in prints. Ask him to describe the shapes, lines and patterns of the prints. For a more in-depth option, have your child make his own ink prints on a piece of white paper. Create your own set of prints by printing dad's and your child's friends. Magnify the ink prints to see the bold differences.

Changing Sizes

Instead of changing what your child magnifies, have your child change the distance that she magnifies the object at. For example, have her put the magnifying glass directly over a feather and ask her what she sees. Use a ruler to measure 6 inches up from the feather, and have your child magnify from a greater distance. Ask her she thinks that the size seems to change. Have her make predictions as to what will happen if she moves the glass even farther away next time.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.