Easy Paper Towel Roll Telescope Craft

This week and next week, Little M. and I are exploring the theme of space which is so exciting because it is one of Little M.'s favorite things to learn about. Yesterday I posted the Space Potato Stamping Process Art Activity, which was so much fun, so check it out. Today's really easy activity will enable your child to imagine themselves as a tiny Galileo, exploring the solar system from their own bedroom window.

Toddler putting the finishing touches on her telescope craft.

To complete this craft with your child, you will need:
  • a paper towel roll
  • non toxic/child safe paint
  • plastic lid or painter's pallet
  • paintbrush
  • star confetti
  • modge podge

Need a book to go with this space activity? Check out our list of space themed books!

Today, I asked Little M. if she wanted to make a toy telescope with me that she could use in her pretend play. She very enthusiastically agreed! First, Little M. picked out some colors of paint that she wanted to work with, which we poured onto the plastic lid (from a Chinese takeout container). I simply provided her with the paint, paper towel roll, and paintbrush and she set to work decorating her telescope. When I thought she was done, I gave her some silvery star confetti to press into the wet paint.

Easy toddler friendly telexcope craft.

I let the creation dry for a few hours and then covered it with a light coat of modge podge to keep the paint and the confetti in place during her play.

We had fun searching for objects around the room with these telescopes. We took turns choosing objects around the room and then “finding” them with the end of the paper towel roll. I think this is excellent practice for the kind of eye hand coordination that would be necessary to use a real telescope later (plus it's just a lot of fun). If you are wanting to include review of phonics with this activity, you could turn it into an I-spy game in which you take turns with your child choosing an object from around the room and giving a clue such as, “I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter A” (or the short /ă/ sound for phonemic awareness). You could also review colors or shapes by giving clues that reference those concepts.

Need another toddler friendly craft? Check out the Smelly Painting Process Art Activity.

Easy telescope craft for toddlers and preschoolers.

Thank you for reading about our Paper Towel Roll DIY Toy Telescope Craft for toddlers or preschoolers. If you enjoyed this idea, share on social media and/or leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!


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