How To Make Your Own Kaleidoscope Craft

Have fun making this DIY 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.

How to Make a Kaleidoscope

We will take you step by step how to make a kaleidoscope in this educational fun craft for kids, that includes a bit of science.

Get your STEM on and make your own kaleidoscope today!

diy kaleidoscope craft for kids

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 DIY Kaleidoscope craft you will need just a few basic supplies from around the house

  • Cardboard tube (you can use a toilet paper roll, kitchen roll tube, a Pringles tube, a cardboard roll that a small poster was mailed in… etc)
  • 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

How to Make The Kaleidoscope Step by Step

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

kaleidoscope1

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

kaleidoscope2

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

kaleidoscope2b

4 Slide the triangle into the cardboard tube.

kaleidoscope2c

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.

kaleidoscope3b

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.

kaleidoscope4a

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

kaleidoscope4b

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.

kaleidoscope5

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

kaleidoscopefinal

You might also like these Kids Crafts

DIY Chalk Recipe

Secret Castle Trinket Box craft from The Princess Craft Book

Dragon Cape Tutorial from The Knight Craft Book

Rainbow Sun Catcher Shadow Art

More Science Activities for kids

Fun Science For Kindergarten With Water

Coffee Filter Process Art Science Activity : Exploring Absorption

Egg Science Experiments

Making Sun Prints

Growing Gummy Bears

Download and Print the Kaleidoscope Activity

bigbookof

Download the page extracts in PDF format below.

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 www.thegmcgroup.com.

How to Make a DIY Kaleidoscope Craft with Kids
Yield: 1

How to Make a DIY Kaleidoscope Craft with Kids

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

How to make your own kaleidoscope craft with kids. essy science craft activity to try at home

Materials

  • Cardboard tube
  • Reflective silver card
  • Sheet of acetate or clear plastic
  • Coloured paper
  • Masking tape
  • Coloured tissue-paper scraps
  • Glitter and sequins
  • Scrap of black card
  • Pretty, patterned tape

Tools

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Instructions

    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.

    6. Then draw a second circle, about ¼in (5mm) wider, around the first.

    7. Cut around the outer circle and snip evenly spaced tabs towards the inner circle. Fold the tabs up.

    8. Repeat this step to make a second tabbed circle.

    9. With the tabs facing out, push one circle about ½in (1cm) into one end of the tube.

    10. 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.

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

    12. 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.

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

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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If you enjoyed this Kaleidoscope for kids please share with friends and family or pin to your Pinterest board.

Thanks so much!

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