Making a homemade magnifier with tamariki is a fun and creative project. Magnifying objects supports observation skills, eye-hand coordination, communication strategies, vocabulary and encourages exploration of science and maths concepts.

Why do it?

  • It strengthens observation skills and the ability to notice details
  • It’s easy to make with your tamaiti using everyday materials

How to do it

You’ll need: a round pottle – an empty margarine container works well, some cling wrap, a rubber band and a small amount of water

  • Cut an opening low on one side of the container big enough for your tamaiti to slide things in to look at. Check for and tape along any sharp edges
  • Loosely drape cling wrap over the open top of the container, press it over the sides and secure it with a rubber band
  • Get your tamaiti to put a large spoonful of water onto the cling wrap to make a ‘lens’
  • Slide something into the magnifier through the small hole you cut in the side
  • Look down at it through the watery lens. Talk about what you can both see
  • Ask an open question like ‘What do you think will happen if you put in more water?’ Try it out.
  • When you’re out and about, look for interesting things to look at under your magnifier
    • Encourage exploration by asking questions like - What happens if we make the cling wrap looser? or tighter?
    • What about if you make the magnifier with a bigger, or smaller container?

Using more reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
To enlarge/magnify
Kei raro i te mea whakakaitā Under the magnifier
Mā roto i te āputa i te taha Through the gap in the side
Me titiro Have a look
Tētahi mea rerekē Something different
He nui rawa te āhua Looks bigger