Little pirates need a telescope and treasure map to navigate.

Telescope Crafts for Kids

by Susan Revermann

The excitement that comes with making your own telescope craft is more than the naked eye can see. Instead of spending a pretty penny on a really spiffy telescope that will probably get lost or discarded during your child’s travels, you can plan some homemade telescope crafts. Not only are these more economical and disposable, creating them is just as fun as playing with them.

Paper Towel Telescope

Imagination and a splash of color can magically turn an ordinary empty paper towel roll into an all-seeing telescope. Your child can use washable markers to make decorations on the roll. Star stickers and foam planet stickers work well, too. He can also use a small star-shaped sponge and some non-toxic acrylic or tempera paint to spiff it up a bit. Once the roll is completed and dried, he can use it on his next safari, space mission or any other adventure he finds himself on.

Pirate Crafts

Rrrrr you sure that’s your child and not a pirate seeking buried treasure? If he’s the latter, he will need a looking glass to guide him on his journey. Have your kiddo draw pirate decorations on a large piece of white paper. He can write his name, a treasure chest, a ship, skull and crossbones or a treasure map on the paper. Once he’s done with his artwork, tape the paper on the outside of an empty wrapping paper roll. Punch one hole about 1 inch from each end of the roll. Grab a 3- to 4-foot length of string and attach it to the telescope by threading each end through a hole and tying it in place. The telescope now has a handy sling for the pirate to conveniently tote it with him on his adventures. If you let your child dress up like a pirate and hunt for his buried treasure, he’s got an afternoon activity to keep him busy.

Star Gazing Craft

No need to travel out of this world when your child has a star gazing telescope at his disposal. Trace a 4-inch circle on some black construction paper and cut it out. Have your child use a hole punch to make five to seven holes in the circle. You’ll need to trace and cut out two 5-inch circles out of contact paper, too. Peel the back off one of the contact paper circles, lay it sticky side up on the table, and have your child sprinkle a pinch of glitter over it. When he’s finished, position the black circle on top of the glittery circle, as close to the middle as you can. Once you peel the back off of the other contact paper circle, line it up with the bottom circle, sticky side down, and press it into place. It should resemble a thin sandwich cookie. Fold the circles over the end of a paper towel roll and tape it in place. As you’re working on the circles, have your child use glitter glue to decorate a piece of construction paper. Let the glue dry completely and then tape the paper over the paper towel roll. If you want to speed up the glitter glue drying process, use a hair dryer or place the paper in the sunlight. Once it’s ready, your child can look through his telescope and see glitter stars.

Out of This World Craft

No space adventure is complete without an on-board space telescope and something to look at. Your child can decorate a large piece of black construction paper with glow-in-the-dark paint and some planet stickers. He can use the same materials to decorate a plain paper towel roll. Once everything is dry, he can dim the lights to look for planets or turn the lights off completely to see the glowing stars.

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