I don't know a kid (or an adult) who doesn't love playing with a magnifying glass. They're just mesmerizing! The "water lens" experiment is such a fun activity that allows kids to not only play with a magnifying glass, but it shows kids how to make one too. So much discovering going on here!
-a plastic bucket (we used a large coffee container)
-knife and/or scissors
-clear, plastic material (a dry-cleaners bag is best, but plastic wrap would work too!)
-large rubber band
First, draw three large circles on your bucket or plastic container. They need to be big enough to get one's hand in-and-out easily. Our coffee container had a funky handle part, so we just drew and cut a rectangle shape around it. Modify your circles however you need to to make it work!
Using your knife and/or scissors, cut the circles out. Try making smooth edges so no little hands get cut going in-and-out.
Next, lay the plastic material loosely over the bucket and secure it with the large rubber band. If you don't have a rubber band big enough, you could always cut and tie a couple together to make it work.
Since water is involved, it's best to do this activity outside, in the bath tub or in a water-safe area. We put a beach towel down on our kitchen floor and put our water lens inside a baking pan to catch any splashes...worked great!
Pour warm water onto the plastic material...as much as will fit without spilling over. And now your water lens is ready for play!
Have your kids take turns holding various objects underneath the "magnifying glass." They can experiment by moving their hands up and down, and by adjusting the amount of water in the lens. So simple to make, but so much fun!
Make sure the water you use is warm...if you use cold water the lens will fog up quickly! We made that mistake for you! Ha!
L had a ball with this one today! Tomorrow morning we plan to venture outside and collect more flowers, sticks, snail shells, leaves, etc. to examine up close with our homemade magnifying glass! Where will this discovering activity take you? Enjoy!!!