Simple as pie, but endlessly fun for a preschooler, homemade binoculars could be the start of all sorts of amazing adventures at home or at school. There are several ways to make them, but I always like to stick with easy and cheap. So, recycle your toilet paper or paper towel rolls! Grab some crayons, markers, and tape from your art cupboard, and let’s get started! (You can also buy empty rolls online if you need to.)
Make it Open Ended
Making a pair of binoculars is not exactly an open-ended idea. But giving your kids the freedom to decorate them (or not) as they wish throws in some of that “process over product” that I love. So bring out whatever art materials they like, help when needed, and let them color and create on those little cardboard tubes as much as they’d like.
Soon they’ll have their t.p. rolls looking just the way they like them. Next, all you have to do is line up two tubes next to each other. Then, connect them at each end using some tape. The kids might even like to wrap the tape around both rolls to really make them extra awesome looking. (I speak from experience 😉 ) Now, I’m a safety first kind of girl. I skip the strangulation hazard created by attaching a neck loop to your creation (yikes!). The kids like to keep their binoculars in their hands as they go searching for things anyway, so it all works out.
Now, why did we go to the trouble to make these again? Oh yes–exploring! Homemade binoculars can be used for exploring your house, classroom, garden or a local park. They can be a great incentive at clean up time (‘use your binoculars to go find all the green toys and put them away!’). Hunt for your afternoon snack with these things! And of course the pretend play options abound.
You can come up with a myriad of ways to use these guys, but I thought you and your kids might like to go on a color hunt. You can do this inside or outside, hunting for toys, household stuff, nature items… This activity will get your kids started, and will likely inspire them (and you) to come up with even more ideas of what they can go find! Look at that: gross motor, visual discrimination, language building, early math skills… Who knew homemade binoculars could be so amazing?