Thursday, July 29, 2010

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Back to School 2010 Giveaway: Microscope Set from Constructive Playthings [CLOSED]

Since Constructive Playthings is known for its selection of educational and developmental toys, I am so happy to be able to share one of their best learning toys with 3G2S readers for back to school. Like with many children, our 6-1/2 year old son has developed a fascination with science, especially as it pertains to his world. That is why I was happy to help him take his understanding of science one step further by using this child's microscope set to show him what the naked eye cannot see. We also received a separate box of prepared insect slides to make using the microscope even more enjoyable for my son.

This microscope is a combination of metal and plastic, there for it is lighter weight than the metal microscopes I remembered using in grade school. I think it is perfect for a child's first microscope. It is heavy enough to remain upright, but not too heavy for a child to have trouble lifting it.

I am not sure shoppers realize how much they are getting with this microscope set since the product image does not show the carrying case or all the included accessories.

This Microscope Set retails for $39.99 and includes the following:
  • 9" microscope
  • spare light bulb
  • 3 collection vials with lids
  • pipette
  • graduated test tube with lid
  • petri dish
  • 3 prepared slides
  • 8 blank slides
  • 14-slide storage case
  • 16 slide covers
  • 8 labels
  • tweezers
  • stirring rod
  • spatula
  • scalpel
  • plastic carrying case
  • instruction manual
Two AA batteries are required to use the microscope and they are not included.

Although this microscope is recommended for ages 8 and up, my son had no problems using it after I showed him three main things . . . how to clip on the slide and line it up in the right spot, how to change the magnification and focus, and how to adjust the light for the best results. I think the hardest part to master is lining up the specimen's slide right over the hole and adjusting the light, which has a mirror on the other side, to shine directly through the hole. By the way, there is no power switch for the light bulb. You need only turn it so that the light bulb is facing downward with the mirror facing up, which causes the light bulb to not have contact with the electrical current.

Since the set comes with just 3 prepared slides, I was very happy that Constructive Playthings also included a set of prepared insect slides. After a little more practice, we will be branching out into collecting our own specimens and looking at them under the microscope.

I do want to point out that you need to handle the prepared slides carefully . . . not because they will break, but because the labels start to peel off on the ends that are wrapped behind the slide all on their own.

Some upcoming activities I have planned will be to look at what is in our tap water and to look at a layer of onion. If my son wants to look at more insect parts, then that will be my husband's department.

To see what other great items Constructive Playthings has for back-to-school, visit . Don't forget to shop with your special reader's discount by clicking through the animated Constructive Moms button on my site. By doing so, you will save 15% off your Constructive Playthings purchase.

Constructive Playthings Parent / Family

Thank you to Constructive Playthings for sending us sample products free of charge to base this review upon and for providing a second set of products for our contest prize.

What you can win:
One lucky reader will receive a Microscope Set plus a bonus box of Insect Slides.

This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian entries only. You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. If you enter anonymously and do not include a valid email address in your comment entries, I will not be able to notify you should you win this random drawing.

How to Gain Entries:
Browse the selection of toys offered by Constructive Playthings. Then leave a comment telling me what toy you saw that would be great for back-to-school (aside from the toy reviewed in this article). You MUST do this to be eligible to win this contest. You may do this once per day until the end of the contest.

Extra Entries:

1) For 5 extra entries, leave a relevant comment on one of my non-giveaway posts. Then leave FIVE separate comments with the name of the post on which you commented. You will earn 5 extra entries for each different non-contest post you comment on.


For 5 extra entries, enter one of my other contests. Leave FIVE separate comments here telling me which contest you entered. You will earn 5 extra entries for each contest you enter.

For 10 extra entries, blog about this contest linking back to this post AND . Then come back here and leave TEN separate comments with the link to your blog post.


For 1 extra entry each, if you are a Friend of mine on Facebook and/or if you have "liked" the 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires Facebook page, then leave a separate comment here telling me so with the link to your Facebook profile.

5) For 1 extra entry each
, follow ConstructiveMom on Twitter and/or "Like" Constructive Playthings on Facebook. Then leave a separate comment for each with the link to your Twitter or Facebook profile.


Follow me on Twitter. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your Twitter profile.


Tweet about this giveaway linking back to this post. Then come back here and leave the link to your tweet in a separate comment. You may do this once per day until the end of the contest.


Subscribe to this blog's feed. Or you can follow me through Blogger or subscribe via email (widget is on sidebar). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.


Subscribe to A Blog of Goodies' feed (the sister site to 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.


Add my button or blog link to your blog's sidebar. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.

(All entries will be verified prior to awarding this prize.)

Random Drawing:

This contest will be closed on Monday, August 16th, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. A random number drawing will be held shortly after. The winner will be announced here and will be contact via email or through their blog. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new number will be drawn.

Good luck in the drawing!