Homemade Periscope

What You Need:

  • 2 milk cartons, cardboard (clean and dry)
  • 2 mirrors, small rectangles to fit in milk cartons
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Paint markers (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Help your child open up the top of each milk carton completely to form square shapes.
  2. Measure about 1/2" from the bottom of the carton and cut a square hole on one side of the carton. The square should be cut from side to side of the carton, measuring the same dimension in height. Repeat for both cartons.
  3. If he wants, have your child decorate his milk cartons using paint markers.
  4. Ask him to attach the cartons together at the top. The tops should be touching, but the holes that were cut out should face opposite sides to create the periscope.
  5. Tape the cartons in place.
  6. Have him put a mirror in each cut-out hole, taping the front edge of the mirror to the bottom edge of the hole.
  7. Challenge your child by asking him to explain why he thinks a periscope has two mirrors.
  8. Help him to tape the opposite edge of the mirror on the far wall of the milk carton, helping the mirror rest at an angle.
  9. Once the mirrors are taped in place, he should be able to look into one mirror and see the what is being reflected in the other. He may have to slightly adjust the angle or fiddle with the angle of the milk cartons for the best view.
  10. Encourage him to hang his periscope in a corner of a hallway and observe what is going on in adjacent rooms.

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