One of the 7yo’s Christmas presents was a kaleidoscope making kit.
It came with a cardboard tube, and eyepiece, a clear object chamber with cap, mirror strips and a variety of objects (gemstones, glass marbles and dried flowers) to view.
Once the eyepiece had been inserted into bottom of the tube, it was time to fit the three mirror strips (these also held the eyepiece in place). This was the trickiest bit and more than one pair of hands was needed to hold the three pieces together to make a triangle, with the shiny side facing in (we used tape to keep them in place). We inserted the mirrors into the tube and then placed the object chamber into the end of the tube.
Then it was time to place some of the gemstones and marbles into the object chamber to view them.
Success! The 7yo was fascinated by the patterns that the kaleidoscope made and he spent a good half an hour changing the objects around and seeing how different things looked. He liked the glass marbles best.
Now, he can experiment with other objects :)
Did you know? The kaleidoscope was invented by Sir David Brewster, a Scottish scientist (us Scots invent all the best things!), in 1813 and was patented in 1816. It was a huge success as a Victorian parlour toy. The word kaleidoscope comes from the Greek words for beautiful-shape-to see. Brewster is also credited with discovering the colour wheel and determining that red, blue and yellow are the primary colours. (Gemini Kaleidoscopes)