We made this craft back in January, when we were watching birds at the feeder in front of our living room window.
Allie thought it was so cool to have her own binoculars to stare at the birds fifteen feet away. She carried those binoculars around all the time, abusing them as any 3-year-old would. Thanks to the duct tape, they stayed together.
They're still around here somewhere even now, 7 months later.
- A heavy pair of scissors
- Two empty toilet paper tubes
- A roll or two of fancy duct tape - A note about the tape in the photo above: I do not allow my children to watch SpongeBob. They don't even know who he is. However, Allie's favorite color is yellow, and she thinks this yellow tape with big happy faces on it is terrific. I let her get it because it means nothing more than happy faces.
1. Wrap the tape around the toilet paper tubes. Cover the two ends first and then cover the center last. You'll see why below.
2. Cover the center of the tube with another piece of tape.
3. Repeat for the second tube.
4. Holding the tubes together tightly, wrap a piece of tape the whole way around both of them. Make sure this piece of tape is long enough to go around at least once with lots to overlap.
This is embarrassingly easy. That's the end. If you're so inclined, you could wrap a long piece of yarn in the last step so that the binoculars have a neck strap. We did that on the next ones we made.
Books to Go with Your DIY Binoculars
Since we're on a bird theme, I thought I'd share some of our favorite picture books about birds:
- Burgess Bird Book for Children - This one is a Charlotte Mason standard because it's a living book (read: interesting and full of stories) and a classic. Despite its being made up of stories, though, your children (and YOU) will learn a whole lot about many different kinds of birds.
- George Flies South - This is a charming story about a little birdie who's not ready to leave his nest yet when a big gust of wind comes along and blows him out. It's a gentle and delightful story that your kids will talk about for a long time.
- The Birdwatchers - A little girl and her grandfather go birdwatching together, and he tells her stories. At first, nothing happens, but then they discover great things. They actually use binoculars in the book!
- Mama Built a Little Nest - I love this book because it brings real, honest science to preschoolers and early elementary kiddos. The book uses rhymes to tell about the actual nests made by different kinds of birds - different locations, different materials, and different shapes.
- The Busy Tree - This beautiful book is perfect for binoculars because it encourages children to study everything that's going on in and around a big tree. There are ants, chipmunks, a spider, a ladybug, and even grubs, and of course respiring leaves, winding roots, and waving branches. I really love this book.
- Feathers: Not Just for Flying - This is another non-fiction book, and this one reads more like non-fiction than poetry. It's full of beautiful illustrations of feathers, and it explains what the different feathers do, from keeping birds warm or cool to helping them swim to protecting them from the sun.
- A Nest is Noisy - This beautifully illustrated book talks about all kinds of nests, not just birds, and there are lots of details to delight elementary age kids.