source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
only for private using

The kaleidoscope



  • 1 card tube 20 cm long with a diameter of 5 cm
  • 3 mirrors measuring 2 x 18 cm
  • 1 transparent plastic folder
  • Matt, transparent sticky strips

The kaleidoscope is a toy which was created in the last century. It is not the first choice toy nowadays but it is still fascinating. Just like the multi-scope; images are reproduced. Due to the fact that three mirrors are used the images which are produced are much more varied.

The eyepiece is attached to the end of the tube and the optical block – made of the mirrors and the coloured pieces – at the other end.

The eyepiece is cut from stiff paper: Draw a circle with a radius of 3 cm onto the paper.

Using the centre point of the circle, draw another circle with a radius of 2.5 cm inside it. Cut the 0.5 cm wide edge into the middle so that it can be stuck over the tube. Cut a hole in middle with a diameter of 1 cm beforehand. Stick a piece of transparent plastic behind the hole so that dust and dirt cannot get into the tube.

The optical block is made from a 1 cm wide cardboard ring which is cut from the tube.

Reduce the diameter a little so that the ring can be placed inside the tube: cut through the ring with paper scissors and stick it back together again. Close off once side of the ring with a piece of tissue paper. Apply several piece of coloured plastic with different sizes.

Now close off the other side of the ring with a piece of transparent plastic. Stick the block inside the tube so that the side with the tissue is outside. The dimensions which are given here are easy to change if you have a tube with different measurements.

You could also use a cylindrical metal can. In this case the size of the mirrors would have to be worked out. The length of the mirrors is length of the tube minus the thickness of the optical block. In order to find out the width of the mirror, draw a circle with the same diameter as the tube. Split the circle into six equal parts by drawing the radius of the circle six times. Always connect two points with each other (see sketch). How subtract the thickness of the mirror; this is usually approx. 2 mm.

You can now discover the light and colourful pictures of the kaleidoscope! Turn the Kaleidoscope towards a source of the light, place your eye in front of the eyepiece and turn the tube slowly... the geometrical and colourful images constantly change.

The word »Kaleidoscope« originated in Greece: kalos= beautiful; eidos = picture; skopein = look.

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