I’m slowly getting back into our regular school and work routines this week, but I missed blogging on Monday, my usual first post of the week. I had several appointments through the day that just threw my schedule right off. So here we are on Wednesday already, and I’m set to start off blogging about some of the fun gifts the kids received this year for Christmas. I do this because throughout the year your kids and my kids all have birthdays to attend and events that involve gift-giving and gift buying, and I like to post some great, affordable gifts that could be used by my readers all year long. If you see something really great, it’s nice to have it on your mental list as a go-to idea.
I know that everyone’s budgets are different, but nothing I’ll share here costs more than about $50. I know that if we’re buying for our own kids, our budget is higher and if we’re shopping for a birthday gift for someone else, it might be lower, so these gift ideas will have a good range for you.
Our girls have always tended to be kids who love hands-on activities, crafts and projects, but they’ve also tended to love, love, love science. They are interested in much of what the mayor of our city calls STEAM rather than just STEM. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, but STEAM adds in the Art component to that. During a recent interview that I did with one of our high school art teachers, she talked about the natural connection between art and science and even the fact that long, long ago, the scientists depended on the artists for accurate representations of what they were studying and discovering; something I’d never thought of before. I used to think that Art was involving one side of the brain, and Science and the like involved the other, and never the two shall meet, as they say. However, over the years I’ve come to learn that’s not true at all.
This year, Santa did a wonderful job of getting a great mix of artistic and creative gifts and a great job of mixing in some science, technology and engineering gifts, and best of all, he seemed to find gifts that were affordable. Great job Santa!!
Today’s focus (no pun intended) will be on the Quick Attach Microscope, which is a small, amazing tool. It’s a lens that fits onto one’s hand-held device, whether it’s a phone or an iPod, and uses the built in camera on the device along with the lens itself to magnify things 3x their normal size, just as a tabletop microscope would. Users can use the camera on their device to take a photo of whatever they’re looking at, and save it to their device, magnified at 3x its normal size.
I’ve added some photos to my post on the left side that shows just a couple of the close-up shots taken using this lens. Can you guess what they are? Answers will be at the end of my post. We’ve been doing mostly indoor shots, but the kids are excited for the warmer weather to return and along with it, things like bugs and worms so that they can take close up shots of those as well.
I like this tool for many reasons.
1) It’s fascinating to use and see so many things around the house, inside or out, at 3x their normal size.
2) It’s small and portable, easy to take anywhere with us, which is different than a tabletop microscope.
3) No slides needed, and things don’t need to be flat to be magnified.
4) Your pictures are saved right onto your device for quick and easy accessibility later on, any time.
5) Affordability. Ultimately, things often come down to budget, and this tool, as amazing as it is, costs $20 or less, depending where you get it and depending on sales, coupon codes etc. Doing a search today, I found it here for $2.98!!! At that cost, you could get a bunch and stock up on future birthday party gifts!! You can even pick it up in store, if you have one near you. I am pretty sure that I can guarantee that Santa probably did not have such luck when he was shopping!! If you can’t find it there, or it’s out of stock, here’s the Amazon link as well.
Now, I know you’ve all been making your mental notes as to what you think the two photos are, which are pictured on the left side of my post, so here you go:
Photo one, top of the page: Fur lining on the hood of a grey winter coat
Photo two, further down the page: Lips of one of the girls, not sure if it’s a lip selfie or if she took a photo of her sister’s lips, but either way, it’s lips!
We’ve also explored skin, scrapes, and human hair, for starters.
I hope you have enjoyed the first in my series of gift reviews today! Tune in Friday for the next one!