A microscope allows kids to see things on a smaller scale and explore the elements that make up the world around them. While old-school microscopes got the job done, new models use digital technology to add some extra cool features that will appeal to the kids of today. Handheld digital models provide lots of zoom at a relatively low cost, and make it easy for kids to take the microscope out into the woods or to the park. Some even contain removable memory sticks, allowing kids to take pictures to record their discoveries. Small digital models plug into a computer, making it easy to study and record observations at home. When choosing a microscope for kids, stick for monocular versions -- ones you look through with one eye -- as kids can have trouble focusing on other types of units. Choose a microscope with real glass lenses, and skip plastic bodies, as they're too fragile for young users [source: Pappas]. Younger children may be satisfied with basic models that offer moderate zoom, while older children will likely be interested in the finer details provided by higher zooming capabilities.