Camping: Brilliant Binoculars

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One of the best parts of CAMPING is that it gets your family outside and exploring the great outdoors.  In this craft, your little one will design their very own pair of binoculars, then go bird watching and discover the many wonders their world around them holds. Bonus: They get to snack on Cheerios after sharpening their fine motor skills by lacing them onto the lanyard for the binoculars.

Craft/Activity/Snack: Create and design your own “binoculars” to take bird watching and explore nature. The Cheerios lanyard is for an on-the-go snack that incorporates a lacing activity
Objective: To make a child led designed pair of binoculars to take bird watching, as well as practice fine motor skills by lacing Cheerios onto the lanyard
Skills Utilized: Creative thinking, fine motor skills, gross motor skills when outside exploring, color recognition
Suggested Reading: Eggs, Birds & Nests by Mel Boring
Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 7.12.25 AMMaterials: paper towel roll, various art supplies (markers, paint, glue, sequins, buttons, ribbon, etc.) Cheerios, string, scissors, glue, tape (Washi tape adds a fun pop of color)

First, cut the paper towel roll in half and glue the two halves together.  To create an even cut, I like to fold the roll in half first and cut on the fold.

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I added a small piece of clear tape in between the two openings to help them stick together a bit better.  Let dry completely.

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Next, let your child pick any medium they’d like to use to decorate.  One of the amazing families I nanny for have an incredibly well stocked craft cabinet, so I laid out many different supplies for the children to choose from.  Use whatever you have on hand!

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While Maddy went for the shiny sequins, her little friend picked out some squishy pom poms! Talk about the different colors and textures.  We also counted out the sequins and pom poms as we worked.

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We let the binoculars dry until the next day we saw our friend. Next on our list-to make the Cheerios lanyard! Carefully poke holes (or use a hole puncher) on either side of the binoculars and tie your string onto one side only. Describe and/or demonstrate how to put the Cheerio onto the string.

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I highly recommend doing this part when you have ample time. Little hands are just learning how to master skills such as this. I did help add some to Maddy’s because she was having a grand old time just eating Cheerios, too!

The day we finished our binoculars was a rainy one, but we still were able to go on the porch and look for some birds, and of course, enjoy the rest of that snack!

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After the Cheerios were gone, I removed the lanyard so she could safely play with the binoculars independently. Just a friendly reminder – if you decide to keep the lanyard attached, only let your child play with them under adult supervision.

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Ways to expand upon this activity:

  1.  Use the bird guidebook to pick out 1-3 birds to search for.
  2. For older children, have them create a nature journal to document what they see outside.
  3. Take pictures of the birds you see and then research them at your local library. My husband really enjoyed looking up the Latin names of the birds with Madeline.

I think these binoculars will be used all summer! Maddy has been taking them everywhere we go.  She has discovered birds, bugs, plants and more! Here in Boston, we have seen many bluebirds, cardinals, robins and geese. Comment below what birds you discover in your area!  Happy exploring!


Illustrated Avatar Amanda


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