With all the new screens and gadgets around, it seems to me like the humble kaleidoscope has gotten lost in the shuffle. I remember using these toys as a child, and marveling at the crazy and beautiful patterns they create. And while I haven't seen one in a while, you can make your very own simple version with this tutorial from Handmade Charlotte.
Kaleidoscopes are a relatively old technology; invented in 1817 by Scottish inventor Sir David Brewster, they use the principle of multiple reflection to create unusual patterns and images. To make this homemade piece, you need only some cardboard and adhesive foil, which you can easily find in most craft stores. Instead of a closed end, this kaleidoscope has an open end so that when you look through it at an object, you get a reflected pattern.
The pattern possibilities are endless since you can look through the tube at anything. Kids will love helping construct and playing with this old fashioned toy.
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(Image credits: Rachel Faucett)