Summer Science Underwater Viewer

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Summer days are a perfect time to take your children to a nearby pond or stream. Children love to wade in the water and explore the shoreline.

We came across an old story book last week at our cottage.  The author suggested making a water kaleidoscope for underwater viewing.  The children and I decided to give it a try.

The instructions suggest using a rinsed out milk carton.  Open up one end and then cut the bottom off the other end of the carton.  Take some kitchen cling wrap and cover the end you cut off.  Secure the cling wrap with an elastic.


I wasn’t sure how well the milk carton and cling wrap would stand up after a bit of use so we went hunting in our recycle bin to see what else we could find.

We found a big lemonade jug and a tiny water bottle.  I cut the ends off the water bottle and used cling wrap again with an elastic.

I turned the lemonade jug sideways and cut a square viewing hole in the side.  This would allow us to look through the clear plastic side.


Off we went to the water to hopefully spot some minnows.  The minnows were scared off as we entered the water but we did spot some bugs and some interesting underwater plants.

I was surprised at how well the viewers worked. They gave us a clearer peek into the underwater world without getting our heads wet.


The viewers focus your attention to one small area.  This helped the children study tiny features and worked on their observation skills.


The milk jug was nice and long, allowing us to look deep into the water.  This worked well for looking over the side of the canoe.

The sideways lemonade jug gave us the clearest view because of the smooth plastic.  The water bottle was too tiny to see much.


Next time you visit a lake or stream consider taking along a homemade underwater viewer.  It will help open the children’s eyes to the wonders of life below the water’s surface.