Last November the 4-Winds outdoor science program I volunteer with at the kid’s school did a unit on birds and migration. As part of the training for the session, we learned a quick and cool thing. Binoculars out of toilet paper tubes!

Two toilet paper tubes, two pieces of tape, one at each end,TP Binoculars and presto! Adventures await!

And even though they’re perfect for pretending, they’re not just for pretend. They don’t have lenses or magnification, but they really do help you see things far away, like birds or whatever critter is moving through the grass in that field down by the river. By narrowing your field of vision they help your eyes focus on the thing you really want to see.

Another binocular tip (for use with these and even fancier binoculars):

When you spot something you want to take a closer look at, don’t look down, put your binoculars to your eyes and then try looking back with the binoculars on your face. You’ll never be able to find what you were looking at. Instead, without taking your eyes off the thing you want to see, bring the binoculars up to your eyes. That way, they’re already pointed at the right thing as soon as you get them up!

Bingo!

(Bonus: Want to go Exploring? Check out some ideas from my friends at Faraday’s Candle.)