Having made several varieties of kaleidoscope in a Kiwi Crate recently, today Travis helped me tackle a DIY version. Ours didn’t come out exactly as intended, but the materials were fun and it quickly became a prop in Travis’s make-believe games!
First, wrap an empty toilet paper tube in colorful construction paper; Travis chose purple. Tape on.
Trace the bottom of the tube three times on a plastic lid. We used the lid of an oatmeal can, which was not entirely clear, and perhaps why our results weren’t 100%. But oh well! Cut out the three circles and hot glue one circle to one end of the tube.
Meanwhile, cut a piece of reflective paper so it is 1 inch shorter than the tube.
Fold into thirds and then open back up again. Fold it up to form a prism (making sure the reflective side is on the inside) and tape to secure.
Slide the prism into the tube, all the way back against the hot-glued circle.
Slip the second circle over the prism. Fill the remaining space with multi-colored pony beads. Hot glue the final circle to the other end of the tube.
Kids can decorate the outside of the tube with colored tape or markers, if desired.
We found that this worked best when we held it directly up toward a light source. But even with slightly cloudy viewing, it worked great as a “viewfinder” or “telescope” or “homing device” in Travis’s games!