We certainly are. Maybe not this year but sometime soon and I've read page after page of recommendations to try and educate myself. Then comes PZ over at Pharyngula with the most wonderfully informative, straightforward and practical guide to buying a microscope for kids that I've ever come across - Holiday microscope shopping.
He clearly gets what kids need. Cheap microscopes are dismissed. Compound microscopes get the thumbs down too for their fussy slides preparations. In the end it's the stereoscope or dissecting scope that gets the nod and I think his best reason for it is that there's, "enough space for someone to put their hand under there and look at nifty dermal papillae or scabs or their pet gerbil, without squishing or cutting them into thin sections." No fiddling around and lots of opportunity for touching what's being examined.
PZ also supplies links to sites where you can purchase the stereoscopes. I'll add Boreal Northwest for those who want a Canadian supplier.
Thank you PZ!