“ Manufacturer: ELC / Type: Magnifying Glass „
In our house one of the things my son enjoys the most is exploring the world around him and looking for bugs beasties and other creatures in the garden or on trips out to the woods or parks. For his birthday in January this year we got him various items to put together to make up an explores kit. In this were the bug carrier, child's binoculars and this magnifying glass. The one we have is green but for girly explores there is also one available in pink.
One of the things I was very pleased to see that ELC do is to put a health and safety advice sticker on the product getting parents to tell children not to look at the sun using this product. I know this is an obvious thing not to do to adults due to burn reasons but it may not always occur to us to tell a child not to do this.
The handle and the glass itself are all made from a robust plastic that seems to cope well with being dropped without any difficulties in our experience as my son has dropped this whilst out in the woods on to rocks and other such hard objects. The handle is a nice short length about 15 cm and has curved plastic holes on either side. The handle is nice and easy to hold for young children so they can manipulate it around. My only criticism really is the holes are hard to clean if they get full of mud and leafs and other dirt as we explore the undergrowth for bugs. The glass itself can get slimed up really quickly if like my son they hold it to close to things but a baby wipe and a tissue to dry it quickly sort this out without any smearing of the glass to stop it being useable.
The ELC refers to this a pocket magnifying glass but even I find it hard to fit in some of my adult sizes pockets so it really wont fit into a child's one. We usually have it in a bag that we have out with us and it sits nicely alongside snack wipes and other such preschool child essentials.
As this is a first "fun" magnifier it doesn't come with any indication of the strength of the magnification on it. Whilst the glass itself isn't very powerful it does make them a reasonable degree larger so you can see more detail for example on a caterpillar such as its legs which are hard to see with the naked eye. It also makes it easier to see individual details on feather such as the hooks on the feathers. This is especially true if you use the small section on the glass that is more powerful and it has taken my son a few months to realise that this section helps him sees things more clearly. Once he did this he used it to examine not only wildlife around us but things at home such as feathers, his toys and some of his books to.
One of the things I like about the magnifying glass as parent is it is such a simple thing with no whizzy lights or sounds but it actually enthrals my son totally. When we are out and it encourages him to see nature and animals in the world which I just love. It stimulates so many questions from him and he is always desperate to share his finds with us and that gives me a lot of pleasure. It adds a lot to our trips out to the woods as we look at not only bugs but budding leaves and blossom on trees fallen feathers and it is really does show that the world is a magical and amazing place at times to a child as he gets excited about his finds.
The age range of this toy is 3-8 years according to the ELC but really I don't see why younger children that are supervised to make sure they don't look at the sun can't use this, I seen any other safety reasons why they can't. So my advice would be to if your child loves to explore the world around them and likes to look at things give it a go.
I do think this magnifying glass does the job really well and is great for encouraging children to take an interest in the world about them and to explore. I can't recommend it enough and at £2.50 it isn't going to break the bank either. My only criticism is that it can be tricky to keep clean if the hole in the handle get mud in them but as it gives us so much pleasure I am not going to deduct a star as my son defiantly thinks it's a 5 star product.