A child's imagination can lead to wondrous adventures -- sailing the open sea scoping for pirates, flying through the galaxy jumping from star to star or embarking on a journey into the great unknown. Adults can help children make props, costumes and crafts that encourage imaginative play. Telescope crafts ranging from simple to complex are sure to spark a grand adventure.
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Create this simple version of a telescope with children as young as two. Use one long cardboard tube or tape together three smaller tubes. Provide stickers, markers or paints for your child to decorate the tube. Show her how to gaze down the tube and focus on different objects. Finally, hide various items or toys throughout the house for a scavenger hunt.
Children age six and up can craft this telescope with an adult's help. Cover the end of a long cardboard tube with cling film, then cover the edge of the plastic with a ring of construction paper. Cover the rest of the outer tube with construction paper. Cover a smaller tube with construction paper as well, then place the smaller tube inside the larger tube. Cut four vertical slits placed equally around the outer tube, each starting and ending about one-half inch from the top and bottom of the long tube. Make sure to cut through both tubes. Push a wooden stick into one slit and push the other end of it out of the neighbouring slit to keep the inside tube in place. Do the same on the other side with the second wooden stick. Trim the ends of the sticks so one-quarter inch is sticking out, then tape the sticks in place. Slide the outer tube back and forth to mimic a telescoping lens.
Kids age five and up can pretend to focus this realistic telescope. Cut the top two inches off a cardboard tube, then cut the longer tube in half lengthwise and retape to make it small enough to slide into the two-inch ring. Glue a plastic milk cap ring to the end of long tube to prevent the small ring from sliding off the tube. The small ring will rest against the plastic ring at the end of the tube and turn like a telescope's focus. Attach a string to the bottom end of the telescope so the child can hang it around his neck.
Use 15 small cardboard tubes to create a telescope that rests upon a tripod. Tape five tubes together to make the telescope. Wrap with outer space-themed wrapping paper to decorate. Tape together three tubes for each leg. Wrap in aluminium foil or wrapping paper. Trim the bottom of each leg to rest on a flat surface. Attach the telescope to the tripod with tape. Create caps to slide on the end of the telescope by cutting another tube into 1-inch rings. Tape pictures of stars and planets to the bottom of each ring for celestial viewing.
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