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Curious
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Make a Recycled Microscope

Highlights 4Cs

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Creative
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Curious
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.
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Caring
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Confident
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Kids are basically born scientists. They’re great at noticing small details, and they possess a natural curiosity that inspires them to examine their environment. Support your child’s inquisitiveness by helping put together this simple microscope. You’ll both be surprised at what you can see.
Water Microscope
What You’ll Need
  • Tall plastic container, such as a yogurt container
  • Scissors
  • Clear plastic wrap
  • Rubber band
  • Water
  • Small objects
What You'll Do
  1. Cut a hole in the side of the container. Make it large enough to stick your palm partway through it.
  2. Lay clear plastic wrap over the top of the container and secure it with a rubber band.
  3. Press down gently in the middle to make the plastic wrap sink a little and pour water on top so a pool forms.
  4. Place a small object in the palm of your hand and put your palm through the hole in the container.
  5. Look down at the object and see it magnified by the pool of water.

Expand the Fun

Younger kids: Pick a variety objects to examine under the water microscope. Head to the kitchen for a favorite food so you can get a closer look at what you eat. Or compare a tennis ball you play with and a tennis ball your dog plays with. Find out what your shirt looks like up close. Look for things from nature—a rock, a flower, a ladybug—as well as items from around your house.

Older kids: Draw pictures of the objects before and after you examine them under the water microscope. The “before” picture will reflect what you see without any help. The “after” picture will show new details. Pay attention to outlines, shapes, and texture. Under your drawings, make notes about what you observed.

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