The pool noodle periscope is a fun way for kids to explore reflections and to learn a bit about math, measurements and angles. Decorate your periscope to add some art to your project! This is one of the activities I created for the new STEAM Kids book. There are over 50 awesome STEAM learning projects featured in the book. Don’t miss out on this amazing resource!
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We have been wanting to make a periscope for a while but when I went to the store to price out some PVC piping I was hit with MAJOR sticker shock. It was going to cost me close to $80 in materials to build a periscope. So I set out to create a periscope with items we had around the house and a dollar store pool noodle was the perfect solution!
For this Pool Noodle Periscope project you will need:
A pool noodle, pick a nice straight one.
Scissors or a knife for cutting the pool noodle (ensure adult supervision at all times when cutting).Small round mirrors – 2″ worked perfectly in our pool noodles
Tape (include pretty tape or electrical tape if you want to decorate your creation).
Pool Noodle Periscope Instructions:
Measure the pool noodle marking 4 inches from the end with a dot on one side, then again at 6 inches from the end with a dot on the other side. These will mark the ends of your cuts and results in a 4 inch end piece.
Using a protractor mark off a 45 degree angle between your marks, using the dots as your end points. Cut. Turn and confirm it attaches to form a 90 degree angle. Adjust your cuts until you have a perfect 90 degree angle.
Insert the mirror so it dissects the 90 degree corner.
Tape your corner together securely.
Repeat on the other end but ensure your cuts are reversed so your periscope looks to the front.
Once your periscope is built, use brightly colored tape, such as electrical tape, to decorate your pool noodle periscope.
For younger children you may not feel safe using mirrors. Instead you can take tinfoil and wrap it tightly around cardboard to create a reflective surface. This eliminates the need for a mirror which could break if the periscope is handled roughly.
For older kids, challenge them to make periscopes that look behind them.