How to Make a Magnifying Glass

Kids love experimenting, and one of the best ways to spark their curiosity is to give them something they can use and play with while they are learning. Making a simple magnifying glass with water and a test slide can provide hours of fun for your children while they learn about the properties of water and look at a variety of things in their world more closely.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass or plastic slide
  • Eye dropper
  • Water
  • Something flat to magnify (books are good for this)

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Place the surface to be magnified flat on a table or another sturdy surface. It needs to not wobble or shake; otherwise you'll dislodge your homemade magnifying glass.

Place the plastic slide or glass on top of a word or picture you want to magnify. You will be able to slide it around but probably not pick it up once you have made the magnifying glass, so be sure that it is positioned over a place that you want to magnify.

Use the eye dropper to drop several drops of water onto the slide. The drops will stick together and form a large droplet. Add one drop at a time, making sure that your drop does not get so big that it overflows to the side.

Look through the water droplet. Everything underneath the droplet will be magnified to several times its size. Your child can enjoy reading through the droplet, examining paper fibers or looking at details in illustrations much more closely than before. You can also teach you child a small science lesson by talking about how water is cohesive (meaning it likes to stick to itself whenever possible).

Tips & Warnings

  • Alter the water droplet size and add color to see how that impacts magnification.
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