Make your own Kaleidoscope Craft


Have fun making this Kaleidoscope craft with the kids. This simple kaleidoscope works best when it is held up to the light. Move the tube around to see the pretty colours, glitter and sequins dance around.


What is a Kaleidoscope?

A kaleidoscope (/kəˈlaɪdəskoʊp/) is an optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces tilted to each other at an angle, so that one or more (parts of) objects on one end of the mirrors are seen as a regular symmetrical pattern when viewed from the other end, due to repeated reflection (definition from Wikipedia)

Kaleidoscopes work by reflecting light, so this is a fun science project for kids, as they think about how the light bumps into the shiny surfaces, changes direction, reflects back and forth and makes the kaleidoscope work – with such cool results.

To make this Kaleidoscope craft you will need

  • Cardboard tube
  • Ruler, pencil and scissors
  • A4 sheet of reflective
    silver card
  • A4 sheet of acetate or
    clear plastic
  • A4 sheet of coloured paper
  • Masking tape
  • Coloured tissue-paper scraps
  • Glitter and sequins
  • Scrap of black card, about
    3½ x 3½in (9 x 9cm)
  • Glue stick
  • Pretty, patterned tape

1 Measure across one end of the tube as shown, a few millimetres in from the edge.


2 Cut out three pieces of silver card to this width and ½in (1cm) shorter than the length of the tube.


3 With the silver side on the inside, join the three card pieces into a triangle with masking tape.


4 Slide the triangle into the cardboard tube.


5 Draw around the base of the cardboard tube onto the acetate. Then draw a second circle, about ¼in (5mm) wider, around the first. Cut around the outer circle and snip evenly spaced tabs towards the inner circle. Fold the tabs up. Repeat this step to make a second tabbed circle. With the tabs facing out, push one circle about ½in (1cm) into one end of the tube.


6 Tape torn or cut out tissue-paper shapes onto the inside of the second circle, making sure the tabs are towards you. Pour a sprinkle of glitter and sequins into the circle.


7 Seal the circle into the tube by taping the tabs onto the outside using masking tape.


8 Draw around the other end of the tube onto the black card. Cut out a tabbed circle as before. Snip a tiny peephole at the centre and then attach the circle onto the outside of the tube using masking tape.


9 Glue coloured paper around the tube and then decorate it with stickers, sequins or pretty, patterned tape.


Published online with permission from GMC Publications, The Big Book of 100 Little Activities © 2016 by Laura Minter and Tia Williams, RRP £14.99. Available from all good bookshops and


Download the page extracts in PDF format here and here

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