Make this DIY Kaleidoscope for Kids with supplies you probably already have at home. The kids will have a blast making it and playing with it for the perfect rainy day activity.

DIY Kaleidoscope ready to play with.

DIY Kaleidoscope for Kids

I remember playing with a kaleidoscope as a child so I thought it would be fun for my kids to make this DIY Kaleidoscope. The colors are so bright and pretty and the entire activity is just a blast.

The supplies are really simple and you probably can shop your home for what you need. Don’t you love activities like that? This is a fun DIY and a great example that it does not have to be complicated or expensive to be fun!

How do you make a homemade kaleidoscope?

With just a few supplies and a couple of precise cuts, you can make your very own homemade kaleidoscope.

It is not difficult at all and a great activity to do together as a family. Keep reading to get all the fun details.

DIY Kaleidoscope ready to play with.

Supplies for a homemade kaleidoscope:

  • 2 empty cardboard tubes. You can toilet paper rolls or 1 empty paper towel roll cut into half.
  • 1 plastic shot glass or condiment cup. This will need to fit into the end of the tube.
  • Clear plastic beads. It is ideal to have a variety of the clear plastic beads.
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scrap cardboard. We used a cereal box.
  • Scissors
  • Clear Tape
  • Masking tape
  • Clear Packaging Tape
  • Colored paper. You can use scrapbook paper as well.
  • Washi tape or stickers
  • Push pin
DIY Kaleidoscope ready to play with.

How to make a kaleidoscope out of toilet paper rolls:

  • Step 1 – If using 2 toilet paper tubes, tape them together with masking tape.
Supplies for DIY Kaleidoscope.
Taking rolls together.
  • Step 2 – Next, fill the shot glass or condiment cup about ½ to ¾ of the way with beads. Transparent beads work the best for this project.
Beads in glass.
  • Step 3 – Fold a piece of clear packaging tape in half so neither side is sticky. Place over the end of the container holding the beads.
Covering the beads.
Container being secured.
  • Step 4 – Secure on the open end of the container with scotch tape. Slide into the end of the tube.
Cardboard being fitted.
  • Step 5 – To create the reflective prism, cut a piece of cardboard about 4″ x 5″ and fold it into a triangle shape making sure one ends overlap to seal shut.

    Cut a piece of foil a little larger than the cardboard and secure it on the card board with clear tape, but only one one end.
Cardboard being folded.

Create the form.

  • Step 6 – Carefully fold up the cardboard and foil together, keeping the foil on the inside and making sure not to tear the foil. Secure the end of the foil and fold the foils on the end down and secure with clear tape.
Triangle shape being taped.
  • Step 7 – Tape the triangle together with tape.
Triangle in tube.
  • Step 8 – Drop the triangle into the tube.
Placing triangle in tube.
  • Step 9 – Trace one end of the tube on a piece of card stock. Add “sunshine rays” about 1/2″ away from the outline and cut around the rays. Cut the rays.
Drawing the rays.
  • Step 10 – Place the round on one end of the tube and fold the edges down. Secure with tape. Use a push pin to push a hole into the center.
Cut out the circle.
  • Step 11 – This is easier to do than using scissors. Your hole should be at least 1/4″ to 1/2″ in diameter.
Placing circle on tube.
Covering tube with paper.
  • Step 12 – Cover the tube with wrapping paper or construction paper by securing it with tape. Decorate the tube with washi tape or stickers.
Decorating with washi tape.

How to use diy kaleidoscope for preschool:

Hold the kaleidoscope toward the light. Look through the eyepiece end while turning it to see fun designs and colors.

Not only is this super fun to make but it is a blast to play with. Everyone will have so much fun.

This is a great activity that is fun and also provides lots of teachable moments. Your kids will look back on this time together and have such great memories.

DIY Kaleidoscope ready to play with.

Variation ideas:

  • Beads. Use different colors and let kids choose their favorites.
  • Paper. Try using wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, leftover craft paper and more.
  • Glitter. Add glitter to the beads.
DIY Kaleidoscope ready to play with.

Tips for Homemade Kaleidoscope

  • Clear iridescent beads work the best in this activity for kids.
  • Make this for a fun science experiment at home.
DIY Kaleidoscope ready to play with.

Try these other easy craft ideas:

DIY Kaleidoscope ready to play with.

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