Make a Homemade Kaleidoscope

How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments
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Learn how to make a homemade kaleidoscope from best out of waste materials at home with your children! It’s amazingly easy to make this favored toy and we all know how much fun it is to use an actual kaleidoscope, right? The changing colours give endless hours of fun.

How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Make a homemade Kaleidoscope from best out of waste materials

It’s incredible, really, that you can turn two toilet paper rolls (or one kitchen towel roll), a lid from a take away container, a few beads and mirror stickers into this fun toy! My kids really loved making it too and we have had hours of fun with it afterwards too. This is also one of those few craft activities that kids of all ages can enjoy. We each made one and my 5-year old, 9-year old and 12-year old all had fun making it.

How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

What do you need to make a kaleidoscope:

Kitchen towel rolls. You will need one for each kaleidoscope. Otherwise you can tape two toilet paper rolls together. We did that too.

Acrylic mirrors. If you have cutting the tools for it, you can buy a bigger mirror and cut long thin rectangles out of it. We didn’t want to over-complicate it, so we used these square mirrors. They are not sharp so no one is going to get cut during this activity -which is always a plus! They also already have sticky tape on one side, so no glue is needed.

Paper. Any paper will do. I found an old roll of handmade paper but even an A4 sheet of printer paper would do.

Tape. Any transparent tape will work.

Take away container lids. Or any similar semi-hard plastic which is transparent and easy to cut into a circle.

Beads. We used any kind of big beads. I later realized that translucent beads are best for this project as the wooden beads become quite dark inside the kaleidoscope. The translucent coloured beads show the colours much better.

Paper or paint to decorate the kaleidoscope. We used a piece of glitter foam paper and covered the end with some leftover glittery tape.

Hole punch. Or even a small pointy stick will do to make the hole. The hole punch will be more accurate but use whatever you have available.

How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMomentsMy top tips to make a homemade kaleidoscope with kids

I love when everyone feels they did a good job and everyone has fun. To accomplish this, I stick to these basic principles:

  • Keep all the ingredients ready before you start.
  • Let everyone make their own and only help whenever it’s needed. Let the kids do as much as they can by themselves. They are so proud afterwards and that joy is to be treasured.
  • Follow the detailed steps below the ingredients to make it easier (and if possible read ahead a little so you know what to do next)
  • Wait for each other so you are all on the same step. It’s important that no one feels left behind and it becomes a joined activity.

How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMomentsIf you love best out of waste as much as we do, you might also like these ideas:

Please note that you need to adjust the amount of mirrors to the length of your kitchen towel roll. You can always add another small piece of another toilet paper roll (or cut a little off) to make it fit properly. You need approximately 18-21 square mirrors for one kaleidoscope.

How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Ingredients

Directions

Step 1
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Keep all the ingredients ready

Step 2
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Tape the toilet paper rolls together (if you haven't got ant kitchen paper rolls)

Step 3
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

On a roughly cut paper stick 3 rows of mirrors. Leave a little space between the rows so they can fold afterwards.

Step 4
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

We used 3 rows with 6 or 7 mirrors in each depending on the length of the roll. Cut the paper around the mirror off.

Step 5
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Fold the mirror and fix it with tape

Step 6
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Put the triangular folded paper with mirrors inside the kitchen paper roll.

Step 7
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Cut a circle (it doesn't have to be neat) bigger than the end of the kitchen towel roll. The diameter should be about 2cm bigger than the end of the kitchen towel roll. Draw a circle in the middle of the paper the size of the kitchen towel roll.

Step 8
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Make small cuts around the circle that reach the inner circle you just made. Punch a hole in the middle by folding the paper. It is important that this hole is in the center of the paper. Use tape to stick it on one side of the kitchen towel roll.

Step 9
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Cut off another small piece of toilet paper roll. Draw and cut out two transparent plastic pieces.

Step 10
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Tape the transparent plastic piece to the end of the small kitchen paper roll, add the beads (about 10 of them depending on the size) and close it with another piece of transparent plastic. Stick this at the end of the kitchen paper roll.

Step 11
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

You will now have a working kaleidoscope which needs a little something to make it prettier

Step 12
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Measure out the paper and cut the required piece off

Step 13
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Add glue and roll the paper on

Step 14
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Use rubber bands to keep the paper in place while the glue dries

Step 15
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Use decorative tape, sequins or other decorative materials to make it extra sparkly and pretty

Step 16
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

Let the glue dry and remove the rubber bands. And your kaleidoscope is ready.

Step 17
How to make a homemade Kaleidoscope MomMadeMoments

So pretty :-)

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