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Easy-to-Make Play Binoculars

Craftastic: Play Binoculars Encourage Lil Ones to Go Forth and Explore

Can you see it? Here's a creative — and eco-friendly — activity perfect for lil ones. Instead of throwing away those cardboard toilet tubes, reuse them to make colorful binoculars just right for pretend play. And because they are made from recycled materials, it's OK if they don't last — you can always make another set! Have fun with color theory by mixing two colors of paint together for a colorful result. Simply tie on a length of twine, and your little one is ready for exploring.

Keep reading for the directions!

What You'll Need:

  • 2 cardboard tubes
  • Scrap paper
  • 2 colors of tempera paint
  • Small container
  • Paintbrush
  • Twine
  • Scissors


  1. Clean the tubes of any remaining paper, and place on a sheet of scrap paper in front of your tot. Decide together on two colors of paint to use for the binoculars. Squeeze the colors into a small container and offer it to your child along with a paintbrush.
  2. Encourage your child to coat the outsides of the cardboard tubes and observe what colors are created when the paint mixes together! Once the tubes are painted, allow them to dry until they aren't wet to the touch.
  3. Help your tot finish the binoculars by cutting a length of string, about one foot in length, and loop and then tie around the two tubes, securing them together.
  4. Now cut another length of string, around two feet in length, and loop and tie first around one tube of the binoculars, and then loop and tie around the other to make a strap perfect for your tot to hold the binoculars around his neck.
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