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Craft Ideas & Activities
Nature-Watching Binoculars
Nature-Watching Binoculars
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Nature-Watching Binoculars

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Students will love making their own decorative “binoculars” for summertime nature walks!

This activity is appropriate for:
preschool - 1st grade / 3 - 6 years

You will need:


  1. Cut each empty paper towel roll in half to make two equal-size tubes (about 5.5" each).
  2. Cut wrapping paper pieces to fit around each tube, with about ½-inch overlap. Each student will need two pieces.
  3. Cut the yarn into 20"–24" strings (one for each student).


  1. Give each student two paper towel roll halves, a string of yarn and glue. Have students select two wrapping paper pieces to decorate their binoculars.
  2. Help students glue the wrapping paper pieces around the outside of each tube.
  3. Cut a small (about ½-inch) piece of self-adhesive tape for each student. Show students how to stick the “hook” side of the tape onto the outside of one tube and the “loop” side onto the outside of the other. The edges of the tubes should line up and stick together to look like binoculars.
  4. Punch a hole at the top outside edge of each tube. Help students tie the ends of their yarn strings to each hole so they can wear the binoculars around their necks.

Language Extension:

Take your students on a nature walk with binoculars in hand. Encourage students to name all the different things they see (e.g., bushes, leaves, branches, pinecones, squirrels, lizards and so on). When you return to the classroom, have students draw a picture of what they saw and write a sentence about their picture. Encourage younger students to dictate a sentence for you to write.

Science Discovery Extension:

Research several different kinds of birds and print out some pictures of them to show students. Talk about how these birds are alike and how they are different. Then hide the pictures outdoors by taping them onto trees and bushes. Invite students to find the birds with their binoculars!

As students search, lead them in the simple chant below. After each verse, call on different students to share the birds they found.

Birds in the bushes,
Birds in the trees,
Look through your binoculars,
Which one do you see?

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