What child doesn’t like to play pretend? Not only is pretend play an excellent way for children to develop their social and emotional skills, but it’s also a fun way for them to explore and make sense of the world around them. The key to taking a good pretend game and bringing it to the next level is often found in the form of an accessory–a child pretending to be a firefighter would be nothing without the helmet! A set of DIY binoculars are a necessity for getting into the zen-like mindset of bird watchers or perfecting the observatory gaze of animal behaviorists.
These binoculars are not only great for encouraging kids to engage with play-pretend professions that are STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, math) oriented, but also provide a good way for up-cycling toilet paper rolls. If you're like us, then you have a drawer or a cabinet filled with them (along with paper bags and egg cartons) waiting to either be put to use or thrown away.
The binoculars can be decorated and modified to be used in various ways, making them an excellent project for kids of all ages. No matter how your child decides to play with them–these binoculars are sure to be a hit!
Equipment / Tools
- 2 empty toilet paper rolls
- White glue
- String or ribbon
- Construction paper or butcher paper
- Decorating supplies, such as markers, crayons, stickers or tissue paper (optional)
Attach the Toilet Paper Rolls
Begin by connecting your toilet paper rolls. We chose to use three glue-dots to stick ours together. If the binoculars are going to be played with a lot, we recommend using white glue or hot glue for a stronger hold. Wait for the glue to dry before continuing to the next step.
Wrap the Rolls in Paper
This step is purely decorative, so feel free to skip to the next one if you'd like to skip this step!
Choose what paper you want to cover your binoculars in. Wrap the paper around the width of the binoculars and trim off the excess paper with scissors. Use glue dots to secure it around the rolls.
Decorate Your Binoculars
Decorate your binoculars however you choose! You can paint them, color them with crayons or markers, collage with tissue paper, cover them in washi tape or stickers, and even bedazzle. There is no wrong way to do this step!
For ours, we cut out tissue paper monstera leaves and glued them onto butcher paper.
Poke Holes Into the Sides
If you want to be able to wear your binoculars around your neck, make sure you add a strap.
Measure and cut your string.
Then use scissors to cut a small hole on the outside edge of each roll about a 1/2 inch from the top.
Tie on the String
Take one end of your string and thread it through the hole you made. Tie a knot to secure. Repeat with the other side of the string.
Go on a Safari
Use your new binoculars to go on a safari or expedition in your own home or backyard. Get up close to plants, play "I Spy inside," or lie down on some grass and look up at the clouds.