Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Binoculars & Telescopes

Take your Ankle Biters on an adventure!
Hi Friends!  Long time no blog....been super busy lately, but I'm back with this new tutorial in which I'll show you two different ways to construct fun binoculars and telescopes.  Both methods can be used for either.  The binocular tutorial is the way I'd do this project with a pre-school class.  Because project time may be limited and you may have a large class, I'd put together the base binoculars during my prep-time and let the children decorate them.  If you have an assistant or lots of project time, the children could absolutely do the construction themselves with a bit of help...they would look wonky and awesome.  The telescopes are less involved than the binoculars.  This method leaves the construction after the decoration, but both are easy.  In addition to the supply list and instructions, I'll provide some fun activities to go along with this craft project.  Here we go!

  • Paper towel & toilet paper rolls
  • Plain white drawing paper
  • Glue - rubber cement (if you are putting them together) or glue sticks
  • Drawing utensils - crayons, colored pencils or markers
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Stapler
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon or string

1.) Use two toilet paper rolls or cut a paper towel roll in half.
2.) Cut two lengths of paper long enough to cover the circumference of the of the rolls and wide enough that there is at least an inch extra on each side (you'll be tucking these in later)
3. & 4.) If using rubber cement, cover the rolls with the rubber cement and the whole page with a thin layer and let dry before putting them together (this is the trick).  It holds better and if you mess up, just pull the paper up and you'll be able to re-adhere without needing to re-apply more glue.  A glue stick woll totally work, I just happen to love rubber's one of my favorite things.
5.) Add the rolls to the center of the paper.
6.) Roll the tubes attaching them to the paper and trim any excess.
7.) Tuck in the paper on the sides.
8.) Add a line of glue to one of the tubes (optional...this is just for better hold)
9.) Press them together
10.) Staple the two tubes together where they meet in the center.
11.) Punch a hole on the outside of each tube (not too close to the end to avoid ripping).
12.) Tie the ends of the ribbon or string (measured to the appropriate length of the child, allowing them to easily put on over their head and take off) in the punched holes.
13.) Decorate. The end.

1.) If you are using legal sized white paper, you probably won't have to cut the paper towel roll down, but I just had regular sized printing paper, so I did.  Cut about an inch or inch and a half off the tip of the roll.  You'll want to have the extra paper on the sides (for tucking) just like the binoculars.
2.) Trim the paper lengthwise leaving enough to cover the circumference of the roll without having too much overlap (because you'll end up covering up some of the drawing).
3.) Have the children decorate the trimmed piece of paper.  Love my excellent drawing skills?  Yeah, me too.  I've somehow forgotten how to draw since college, but it was never really my strong suite to begin with.  Anyway, back to telescopes!
4.) Add some glue along the bottom of the backside of the drawing and attach the tube to the center of the paper (leaving extra paper on the sides to tuck in later).
5.) Add glue to the surface of the tube and roll it up adding more glue as you need it.
6.) Glue the bit of overlap and finish rolling the tube up in the paper.
Tuck in the edges of the paper and you are done.

All of these can be used as fun educational games or just plan ole pass the time games.  Use your imagination and have fun!
  • Play Eye Spy!
  • Hide a "treasure," make an X marks the spot map and be Pirates on a treasure hunt!
  • Place toy animals all over and go on Safari!
  • "Going on a Bear Hunt" - interactive song!  I use to do this with my pre-school classes and they LOVED IT.  Learn this's easy and repetitive and leaves room for ad-libbing.  Copy him or make it your own.  Commit to the hand gestures and body movement...sure it's great for their gross motor skills, but they'll think you are the most fun thing since bubbles and Elmo.  This is the original video below, but there are lots of version on YouTube for you to choose from.


Have fun & get messy!
Miss Jenna