Magnifying Play

5 October 2010 · 4 comments

in Outdoor Play, Science Outdoors

Magnifying glasses of all shapes and sizes are a key outdoor learning resource. Although traditionally associated with investigative science, they seem to appeal to children for their play value.

Every year in the village of Egremont, Cumbria, the World Gurning Championships are held. This involves put your head through a horse collar and pulling the worst face you can possibly manage. Here’s some typical entries.

Using a fresnel lens or a magnifying glass, can provide a similar competition. Have a look at these examples:

Aside from the joys of gurning, children will pick up and use magnifying glasses in all sorts of explorations…

There is nothing like going into a hedge and looking around with a magnifier

What happens when two people look at each other through fresnel lenses at the same time?

Bug boxes often have a magnifying lid which allows for closer observation.
Fresnel lenses are sheets of magnifying plastic that come in a range of different sizes from A3 to A6 depending on the supplier. Because they are flexible sheets, they are particularly lightweight, portable and easy to use.

My collection of magnifiers also includes the kaleidoscopes that mimic the lenses in house flies eyes, binoculars, miniature toy telescope, an old camera lens, prisms and a rock hunting pocket lens which is very small but powerful. What do you have in your collection of lenses?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly October 5, 2010 at 08:42

This is so fun! Ha! The kids look cute.


Abbie October 7, 2010 at 13:17

I wish I had a collection of lenses! Those all look like so much fun.

Reply October 10, 2010 at 11:15

So much fun. My father in law used magnifying glasses of varying sizes for reading – as he kept misplacing his reading glasses 😀 Was a fav. pasttime of my girls when visiting granddad to grab his magnifying glasses and go exploring 😀


Christie - Childhood 101 October 11, 2010 at 13:22

What fun and what a collection! *hastily adds magnifying glass to Christmas shopping list* LOL


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