How best to see the things that move

  • Time Length
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    1-2 hours

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
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Feel free to use whatever type of recyclables, that are easy and safe to look through that you have on hand. It is helpful to have a bin to collect items such as these for future craft and art projects.

Should you need more help making your binoculars here is a youtube video on, How to make binoculars, to give you some ideas.

Further exploration:

  • Real Magnifying glass
  • Real Binoculars

Question and Wonder:

Often times, when scientists are observing objects in motion, they need appropriate tools to put up to their eyes to use to see them closely. Some things are so small that they need to be made bigger. Other objects or animals are very far away and need a tool such as a pair of binoculars, to get a closer view. Let’s try making a pair of binoculars.

  • Where would you be if you were going to watch things far in the distance?
  • What do you want watch using your binoculars? Animals, cars, planes?
  • Who would you think would need to use binoculars?
  • Have you tried your hands to make binoculars?

Imagine and Design:

  • How big do you want your binoculars to be? Will you use toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls?
  • Do they need to blend in with your environment?
  • Do you need them to fit in a pocket or should they hang around your neck?
  • How can we put together the two rolls to make each lens of the binoculars?
  • What do you want to use to put the neck strap on with?
  • How long do you think it should be?

Test and Discuss:

Take the binoculars outside and look around and explore. Try a nearby park or a walk around the block. Animals, insect, people and other objects in motion can be sighted everywhere.

  • Can you see that cloud up there? What shape is it now? What is it changing to?
  • Did you see that bee? Where do you think it is going?
  • Can you see things in a more focused view rather than in a wide view.
  • Do your binoculars help you see things better? If not how could we make them better?


If you enjoy the binoculars, try this and make a collapsible telescope to see more moving things that are really far away.

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