Having Fun with Kaleidoscopes
It’s Labor Day Weekend. Wanna have some fun? Let’s make a kaleidoscope!
I love kaleidoscopes. They’ve been one of my favorite toys since I was a kid. I'd play with them for hours on end, turning the tube or dial...fascinated by the incredible designs. And then I grew up. The fetish faded but not the memories.
Recently, I was driving through the Black Hills with my family. (Nothing new here. They’re in my backyard.) But this particular day, we stopped in a little shop, and my eyes landed on something I hadn’t seen in years…a Nature Kaleidoscope Kit. I snapped it up. My good intentions didn't get very far because it's been collecting dust on my shelf ever since. Well, now it’s time to shake that baby off and start spinnin’.
Wanna join me? Really? Well then...let’s go!
First things first I guess. We need to gather the supplies.
1 – 8 inch long cardboard tube approximately 1 ¼ inch in diameter
3 – Pieces of long reflective material to serve as the mirrors – they must be ½ inch shorter than the tube and (when formed into a triangle) fit inside the tube.
1 – Round plastic craft cup with translucent cap (must fit into one end of the tube)
1 – Cardboard washer – for eyepiece
2 – Coloring book (big enough to fit over tube)
Clear packing tape (if desired), scissors, and glue
Fillers for cup:
Okay, we have our supplies, it's time to make a KALEIDOSCOPE! Are you excited? I am!
I have all the stuff out and wow, what a mess! But, hey, it’s time to turn back time. (Oh great, now I’ll have that song in my head the rest of the day.)
All right…here we go! This is easy peasy. We’ll take it one step at a time.
1. You see that little eyepiece washer? Drop that in your tube first or secure it to one end.
2. Next, take your measured “mirrors” and fashion them into a triangle with the reflective side inwards. Make sure not to get any fingerprints on them now! If you do, clean them and try again. (Hint: a tiny piece of tape can be used to secure them in place before sliding them into the tube, if needed.) Note: you may need to remove a protective film from the shiny side of plastic mirrors.
3. Place the craft cup into the opposite end of the tube from the eye piece…using glue, if desired.
How’s it going? Believe it or not, you almost have a kaleidoscope! We’re almost done. Go ahead and look through the eyepiece. See what I mean? Time to finish this baby.
4. Pick a drawing or scene from your coloring book and color to your heart’s content. Use your scissors and cut the drawing to fit your tube. Tape or glue the paper to your kaleidoscope. Protect and waterproof by covering with clear packing tape, if desired.
5. Select a few gemstones, marbles, seashells, whatever you wish and add it to your craft cup. Close the cap.
Guess what? We’re finished! We’ve made our very own kaleidoscope. To view your creation, point your tube into a light or the sun and turn it in your hand. WOW!
I’d love to see what you came up with. Send me a picture and I'll share them on my website, www.reneeblare.com!
Oh, I almost forgot. Do you want to see what my kaleidoscope looks like on the INSIDE?
|The INSIDE of Renee's Kaleidoscope|
Isn't that cool? I want to see yours as well. Pictures, pictures, pictures, send me pictures!
Do you have a DIY project or craft you’d like to share on Renee’s blog? Contact her at email@example.com.
Credit: Nature Kaleidoscope Kit, made by Gemini Kaleidoscopes, Sumner WA
Handcrafted in the U.S.A., for ages 7 & up. Available from Amazon.