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Make Your Own Kaleidoscope

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Creative
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Curious
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Things sure are different when looking through a simple kaleidoscope! Cut out some plastic strips from those ubiquitous takeout containers, add some black paper, and your kid is halfway there. It’s a fun little craft that can give a normal afternoon a different perspective.
Make Your Own Kaleidoscope
What You’ll Need
  • Clear plastic takeout container
  • Scissors
  • Black construction paper
  • Tape
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Rubber bands
  • Colored paper
  • Glue
  • Ruler
What to Do

1. Cut three 8-inch-by-2-inch strips of plastic from the takeout container.

2. Cut the black paper into an 8-inch-by-6 inch rectangle. Fold the paper to create three 2-inch segments so that it may form a triangular tube.

3. Lay a strip of plastic on each of three sections of the black paper. Tape the strips down at the ends. Fold the black paper inward so it forms a triangular tube with the plastic strips on the inside.

4. Cut out three 8-inch-by-2-inch pieces of cardboard. Place one strip of cardboard over each outer side of the triangular tube. Use tape or rubber bands to keep the cardboard in place.

5. Decorate the outside with stickers or by cutting up colored paper and gluing it on the cardboard.

Extend the Fun

Younger kids: Play I Spy when using the kaleidoscope. Have your child look for different colors or objects through the kaleidoscope. Remind him to turn the kaleidoscope and see how it looks again. Use directional words (near, next to, below, above) as you play I Spy, and encourage him to use geometry words in response (triangle, rectangle, square, circle).    

Older kids: Get some white paper and markers out and ask your child to draw what he sees through the kaleidoscope. It might be tricky because it’s not a “normal shape,” but whatever he gets down is great.  

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