DIY Cell Batteries

Warning! Not for children under 3 years. Adult supervision required. Follow approved procedures. Choking hazard, glass


  • Craft Roll
  • 4 Mirrors
  • Masking Tape
  • Mini Petri Dish
  • Beads
  • Pack of Crayons
  • Star Stickers
  • Neon Straw
  • Circle Template

  1. Place the four mirrors face down. Arrange them in a row in which they are all parallel to one another. Leave a very small gap between each.
  2. Use a strip of masking tape to tape across the backs of all four.
  3. ‘Fold’ the four mirrors into a rectangular prism shape and secure them. You will be able to look through one end and see out the other.
  4. Place the rectangular prism into one end of the craft roll and use masking tape to secure it to create the kaleidoscope.
  5. Decorate the tube with the stickers or add your own decorations.
  6. Open the mini petri dish and place the beads inside. Place the lid on and use a small amount of tape to keep the lid on. Do not tape over the top or bottom of the petri dish.
  7. Hold the kaleidoscope in one hand and the petri dish in the other. Look through the end of the kaleidoscope with the mirrors, and hold the petri dish on the other end and rotate it. What do you notice?
  8. Patterns also look cool when viewed through a kaleidoscope. Decorate the circle template with various patterns using the crayons.
  9. Poke a hole in the center of the circle using one of the crayons. Place the straw through the hole and tape the other end of the straw to the body of the kaleidoscope. Look through the kaleidoscope and rotate the circle to see the patterns move. What else can you look at with the kaleidoscope?

Science Behind it!

Kaleidoscopes create interesting patterns using mirrors to reflect light in many directions. A pattern is something that repeats. The patterns created by kaleidoscopes are symmetrical. An image or object is symmetrical when a line (or lines) can be drawn to divide it into mirror images (or images that appear the same but are flipped). For example, people’s faces are mostly symmetrical in two directions. A line can be drawn down the center, and the features are mirrored on both sides (one eye on each side, one ear on each side, etc. all the same distance from the center line). Snowflakes are symmetrical in six directions.

Mirrors work by reflecting light. Light can be any color and travels through space, air, water, or any transparent material. When light is reflected by something, it bounces off. Most things only reflect one color of light (for example, leaves reflect green, bananas reflect yellow, etc.), but mirrors reflect all colors, creating a mirror image.