Our kids love their technology. Some days, particularly the gloomy ones, getting an hour or so to play games or watch TV shows on their tablet is their favourite part of the day. Because we’re such a DIY enthusiastic family, however, we’re proud to have instilled an appreciation for other, more crafty and creative activities in them as well. Of course, that’s not to say that technology and simple modern tools like tablets can’t be included in creative and learning processes; we’re just glad that our kids also have an active interest in things that don’t have screens or charging cords. In fact, ever since they were very little, they’ve adored one particularly cool but much more old fashioned toy than you’ll usually find kids picking up now- they absolutely love marvelling at and playing with kaleidoscopes! Naturally, we’ll take anything our kids enjoy as an opportunity to meld what they liked with the world of DIY, so we’ve always kept stock of crafting ideas that centre around the idea of how a kaleidoscope lets you see infinite stunning colours and patterns.
Just in case the idea of making your own kaleidoscope with your kids (or perhaps even just making crafts inspired by what you’d see when you look inside of a kaleidoscope) appeals to you as much as it always has to us, here are 15 of the coolest concepts anre tutorials we’ve either already tried or saved on our crafting list to try later!
1. Preschool tissue paper and toilet roll kaleidoscope
Have you always been a huge fan of encouraging your kids to get crafty with things you already have sitting around the house, especially if it involves upcycling something rather than throwing it out? Then we might just have found the best idea for you right off the bat! The Wielded Pen shows you how a cute, easy kaleidoscope can be made from materials as simple as an empty toilet paper roll, a piece of wax paper, and some bits of coloured tissue paper cut into all different tiny shapes.
2. Pringles tube kaleidoscope
If you’re going to go to the trouble of making your own cardboard kaleidoscopes with your kids, would you rather make one that’s a little longer so they really feel like they’re looking, say, through a telescope and into colourful, geometric space? Well, you could cut a piece from a cardboard wrapping paper tube or wait until you’ve got an empty paper towel roll, but we like the idea of using something that’s already the right length and a little thicker, giving you more space for the fun, colorful pieces. Check out how The Chocolate Muffin Tree created a DIY telescope with a fun outer paint job using an emptied Pringles tube! The big bonus in this project is that you can your kids get to eat the chips inside.
3. Paper towel tube and beads kaleidoscope
Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about using an emptied paper towel roll to make a DIY kaleidoscope because you actually just finished one today, making the idea very convenient? Then here’s an idea that will guide you through the steps for doing that specifically! We have made this paper towel and plastic bead project from She Knows with our kids before and enjoyed it very much, particularly because it makes a sort of soothing clinking sound when you turn it thanks to the beads moving around in the end.
4. Shaped sequin kaleidoscope
When you finally sit down with your kids to teach them about how kaleidoscopes are made, do you want to make sure you’re guiding them through the most exciting looking project they’ve done in a long time, even though you’re also helping them learn something new? Then we have a feeling you’re going to enjoy this cute and colourful idea from Shine Kids Crafts that’s covered in brightly patterned paper on the outside but that also features adorably shaped sequins on the inside. Rather than just cutting random shapes into paper or using beads that have all one silhouette, this tutorial shows you how awesome the inside of a kaleidoscope can look if you fill it with miniature stars, hearts, and butterflies.