Arts & Crafts

How to Make a Recycled Microscope

By: Highlights Editorial
You can recycle a cup, a water bottle and plastic wrap to make a fun science activity at home.
minute activity
Ages 3+
Critical Thinking

Kids are basically born scientists. They’re great at noticing small details, and they possess a natural curiosity that inspires them to examine their environment. Support your child’s inquisitiveness by helping put together this simple microscope. You’ll both be surprised at what you can see.

What You'll Need

What to Do

  1. Cut a hole in the side of the container. Make it large enough to stick your palm partway through it.

  2. Lay clear plastic wrap over the top of the container and secure it with a rubber band.

  3. Press down gently in the middle to make the plastic wrap sink a little and pour water on top so a pool forms.

  4. Place a small object in the palm of your hand and put your palm through the hole in the container.

  5. Look down at the object and see it magnified by the pool of water.

    Using a DIY microscope is a great summer activity for kids.

Extend the Fun

Younger kids: Pick a variety of objects to examine under the water microscope. Head to the kitchen for a favorite food so you can get a closer look at what you eat. Or compare a tennis ball you play with to a tennis ball your dog plays with. Find out what your shirt looks like up close. Look for things from nature—a rock, a flower, a ladybug—as well as items from around your house.

Older kids: Draw pictures of the objects before and after you examine them under the water microscope. The before” picture will reflect what you see without any help. The “after” picture will show new details. Pay attention to outlines, shapes and texture. Under your drawings, make notes about what you observed.

Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial