You know when your budget is tight but you have a desire to teach your children about the microscope what do you do? You make your own homemade microscope slides! I had already swapped some Virtual Assistant work for the microscope so that was a big win for our family to begin with. The Amscope microscope was barely used and came with the charge cable, batteries, dust cover and a box of microscope slides and cover slips!
I wanted to have something for my children to look at through the micrscope but slide sets that I was looking at cost between $25-$45 for only a dozen or so slides in each set. That’s way out of our current budget so I began to Google how to make your own microscope slides. I came up with a handful of decent websites and even a video or two.
I decided to take some natural items that had been on our nature shelf on our front porch and use those objects to create slides. I found some dandelion fuzz, praying mantis egg sac, and canine hair.
Homemade Microscope Slides Supplies:
I gathered my supplies to create the slides: microscope slides, cover slips, clear nail polish, labels, tweezers, pen, black paper plate and clear packaging tape. When I opened the tweezers box from the medicine cabinet I found a dozen or so eyebrow hairs-SCORE! Another item to be made into a slide.
I used a box knife to careful cut a very thin layer of praying mantis egg sac. Then I placed a few drops of clear nail polish onto the slide. I used the tweezers to place the egg sac onto the nail polish and then tried to put on a cover slip. The egg sac was too thick and the cover slip broke! I took the pieces and carefully placed in the trash. Then I placed another couple drops of nail polish onto the egg sac to seal it onto the slide.
I moved on to the dandelion fluff and canine hair. Then I realized I could floss my teeth and create a slide for tooth plaque. Then I thought about ear wax since we are studying Anatomy after all! I know that this might be gross to some of you mama’s out there but I am fascinated by all this FREE Science stuff!
I am sure that you will hear more about our homemade microscope slides in upcoming Anatomy posts!
I love this!! We picked up a fairly nice school microscope at a garage sale and have looked at buying slides but know that there is so much around us that we can look at that I don’t need to pay for. I never would have thought to use clear polish to seal the slide, brilliant!!! Can’t wait for my kids to start looking for things to look at. Thanks for a the great tips and inspiration.