Science: Make a Kaleidoscope


• Empty toilet paper roll
• Mylar sheets (thicker sheets, not rolls of thin paper) or mirrored sheets
• Scissors and/or paper cutter
• Tape
• White cardstock
• Bendy straw
• Markers, stickers, or other materials for decorating your spinning circle
• Optional: Paint for decorating your cardboard tube



• If you wish to paint your cardboard tube, do that first. Set it aside to dry.

• Next, cut the mylar sheets or mirrored sheets into three equal strips. The size should make sure the finished kaleidoscope insert fits snuggly in your cardboard tube and won’t fall out.

• Practice sizing yours using cardstock first so as not to waste the mylar.

• Line up your mylar strips, leave a tiny space between each one. (Place the shiniest/least scratched sides face down.) Tape them together over the spaces.

• Fold the taped mylar into a triangular prism and tape along the top to hold in place. This should fit snuggly inside your cardboard tube

• Cut off the bendy end of a flexible straw.

• Tape it along the top of your tube with the flexible part of the straw hanging over the edge. Rainbow | 2019-20

• Cut out 3 circles from cardstock. Poke a hole in the center of your circle. Decorate the circle using markers, stickers, crayons etc. Try out different designs, shapes, and letters!

• Place the circle onto your straw with the design facing the kaleidoscope. You want the hole to fit over the flexible portion of the straw so it will turn easily.

• Look into your kaleidoscope and explore all the reflections created by your design!

• If you have trouble getting your triangular prism to fit snuggly into your cardboard tube, it will work on its own. Simply tape the straw directly on top of the prism rather than using a tube.

• Make as many cardstock circles as you want and try them all out!