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Curious
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.

Build a Water Microscope

By Lisa Glover

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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Curious
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.
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Creative
The paint brush icon represents creativity. For content about raising a creative child, look for this icon.
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Caring
The holding hands icon represents caring. For content about raising a caring child, look for this icon.
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Confident
The thumbs up icon represents confidence. For content about raising a confident child, look for this icon.
Work with your child to build this water microscope from The Highlights Book of Things to Do. Together, discuss how looking at the objects under a microscope is different from looking with the naked eye.
water microscope

You don’t need a big contraption to view objects under a microscope. You can make a simple one at home.

What You'll Need

· Large googly eye (1 inch or more)

· Scissors

· Paper cup

· Pencil

· Tape

· Spoon

· Water

· Small objects you’d like to see close up, such as parts of a flower, a slice of fruit, a shell, or a leaf

What to Do

1. Carefully cut the cover off the googly eye. Take it apart. Have an adult help with anything sharp.

2. Trace the plastic eye cover onto the bottom of the cup. Then draw an upside-down U on each side of the cup. Cut along all the lines you’ve made, so the cup has a hole in the bottom and two open sides.

3. Cut four thin, small pieces of tape. Tape just the edges of the eye cover to the inside of the cup so the curve goes inside.

4. Spoon a little water into the eye cover so it forms a pool. Now you can put small objects under it and see them magnified. You may have to move the cup a bit to get the right spot.

Why It Works:

The pool of water on the googly eye creates a convex lens. Convex lenses are thicker in the middle and thinner around the edges. They bend the light passing through them, making the object underneath appear larger.