We have rarely made a craft that has been as big a hit as these simple little binoculars (I think only bathtub paints compares!). Alex has been on an exploring kick – we go on extended adventures all over the neighborhood every day. He takes a little notebook with him and a crayon to record all his discoveries, such as the “garden” (a field full of weeds), the “beach” (a bunch of pinecones that he holds are seashells), and the “farm” (our neighbors have chickens).
A while ago I decided to surprise him with some binoculars, but it took a while to get the requisite toilet paper tubes. Everyone at my house suddenly got all responsible and started changing the roll. But finally, today, I got to surprise him with these beauties when he got up from his nap. He has not put them down since, and had to be talked out of sleeping with them. For all their many good points, toilet paper tube binoculars are a little bit on the squishy side…
What do I like about this project, other than it made my kid happy? Well, it takes basically no time and no materials. I keep construction paper around my house, along with Elmer’s glue and yarn, so as long as I catch the toilet paper tubes before they hit the trash can, I can make one of these basically any time.
It’s also pretty much no cost – literally pennies to make a pair. Also, you need about 10 minutes to put these together, and the kids can do it by themselves. There are also endless decorating options. Bottom line: Cheap, easy, convenient, fun, and versatile. That’s what I love about this project!
Start by cutting your construction paper into two 4 1/4″ by 5 5/8″ rectangles.
Then, wrap the rectangles around the tubes, making sure to overlap the ends and glue them down well.
Now, glue the tubes together. I like to put the seams of each tube together to make sure the paper doesn’t unwrap.
You can actually stop here if you like, but I added some contrasting bands for decor. To make the bands, cut two 1/2″ by 12″ strips, then wrap them around the binoculars and glue them.
When I picked the colors for this, I did not realize they were going to end up looking like Ninja Turtle binoculars.
Anyway, kids can decorate these with markers, stickers, glitter, etc. The last step is to add the string. You can do it one of two ways.
The way I did it was to thread the yarn through a yarn needle, poke it through the tubes, and tie it off. You could also use a hole punch to punch a hole in either side, thread the yarn through, and then tie it off.
And that’s it! Go send your little explorers out to see what they can see!