Science Club – Kaleidoscopes

Kaleidoscopes and symmetry.

Arrival Craft: make symmetrical pictures by painting on one half of a piece of paper, then folding the paper in half.


I also took small mirrors and plasticine and encouraged those children who always need something to fiddle with to play with reflections during the session.

Demonstration: use the lenses kit to show how a kaleidoscope is made, talk about mirrors and reflections.
I got my kit from a secondhand sale, and it was an amazing deal, but I’m sure similar products are available.


Individual Task: bigger children make kaleidoscopes; smaller children decorate their ready-made kaleidoscopes and have a go at looking through them.
I bought the kits from Baker Ross, which I love and use quite a lot.


Gather together: Find a place where there is a wall with plenty of space around it. Attach the mirror at eye level on a wall with masking tape. Cover the mirror with a piece of paper.

Ask the children to guess where they need to stand to see my reflection on the mirror. Remove the paper from the mirror. Stand at your chosen place to determine if you can see each other in the mirror.

Show the straight lines that the light has been moving along.


Break for drink and snack, read Augustus’ Smile.


Active Science: pair up and mirror one another’s movements, what happens if you try to shake hands with your mirror partner?


Optional Extension:

  • Make paper snowflakes.
  • image

  • Older children could have a go at making a kaleidoscope and a periscope with the lenses kit.

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