How to make a homemade microscope for children?

There is no doubt that a microscope is a fascinating tool, which allows us to observe objects that would be impossible for our naked eyes. Having a microscope at home will allow your children to approach and gradually enter the fascinating world of science.

Thanks to our tutorial, you will save some money by creating your own homemade microscope in the company of your children. Doing this accompanied by them will help them to carry out a fun and very interesting activity, where your children will be able to know exactly how it works and what is the purpose of having this useful tool.

In addition to everything, they can have fun for hours, analyzing various materials, looking in detail at everything that is hidden in the micro world.

Pay close attention to detail.

Cardboard microscope for children.

This fascinating home microscope is very easy to make and we assure you that your children will love the result.

This construction includes all the basic elements, so that our children can have fun analyzing various objects, materials and animals such as insects or other species.

These are the materials we will need:

  • Cardboard tubes
  • 2 1.5” pvc couplings
  • 2 simple magnifiers
  • Gun and silicone
  • Plasticine
  • A box of tea
  • A small circular pocket mirror
  • Cutter (if you have a long tube)
  • Scissors
  • Paint (optional)

Let's start with the construction

You will need a cardboard tube about 10 centimeters. For this we will occupy the tubes of our toilet paper. You can also take a longer tube and cut it with the help of your cutter.

Next, you will have to detach the lenses from the magnifying glasses with the help of tweezers.

Once this is done, add hot silicone to one of your couplings, on the edge that it has in the middle (both above and below). Take your two lenses and place them on that stopper, one on each side. Wait a bit for them to dry

Attention! Only the first coupler contains the lenses, the second one is merely decorative.

Add silicone around the tip of the tube, and insert it into the socket containing the lenses. Do the same on the other side, with our remaining coupling (the one without the magnifying glasses).

Take another cardboard tube and make a slight diagonal cut on the end. The objective is to form a T with the two tubes and that the tube that contains the magnifying glasses is inclined about 20 degrees.

Run through your masking tape and stick both tubes and couplings together. Don't worry if it looks bad at first, we can fix it later.

At the moment our result should be a slightly curious T.

Now let's use our box

Then we'll take our scissors and make some cuts to our thin cardboard box. Pay close attention as this is essential.

  • You are going to cut the entire front face, just as if you wanted to allow a hamster to enter its house, do not leave any edges, the cut must be complete.
  • Then you will make a cut on the surface of the box or on the ceiling. Only this time you will leave a small frame of approximately 1 cm.

At this time you can paint both your microscope and your little box, in the shape and with the colors that you like the most.

Lighting is essential for our microscope

Alright, we're almost done! Now that you have cut two sides of your little box. Insert a medium ball of plasticine through the front face until it hits the wall, fix it very well so that it does not move.

Take your mirror and insert it in the same way through the front face of the box, tilt it or lay it approximately 45 degrees on the clay. Also place it until it hits the wall.

Perfect! Remember the cut we made on the surface? This is where you will place the clear lenses. Paste one above and one inside the box, facing the front.

You got it!

Your microscope will be placed at the back of the box, directing its gaze towards the mica. Place a light (it can be your cell phone or a flashlight) on the front face of the box, to better observe the details.

Use the mica to place the objects of your choice and discover the characteristics of each of them.

Easy, right?

Our recommendations

We recommend that you include your children in this construction activity, so that they can recognize how the elements are grouped and why they are necessary for the proper functioning of our microscope.

At the same time, we suggest you pay close attention to tools that can cause damage, such as scissors, a cutter and a glue gun. Explain to them why these tools are important and make them see that they should be used with great caution.

Share this with your children: A brief history of the microscope.

We couldn't close our tutorial without giving you a little extra information. Share it with your children when doing this fun activity.

It was in the 11th century that an Arab named Alhazan detailed in his texts the operation of magnifying lenses and their application. However, the first magnifying glasses were designed and built at the end of the 13th century.


The invention of the microscope is attributed to ZachariasJanssen in the 17th century, a Dutch lensmaker who worked together with his father Hans. However, many people firmly believe that the inventor could have been Galileo Galilei or Hans Lippershey.


The best that was achieved with these microscopes was being able to observe objects 30 times their normal size. However, it took approximately 60 more years for Antony van Leeuwenhoek , who made his own lenses, to improve magnification and magnify objects up to 200 times his size. Having the opportunity to appreciate microorganisms, cells, animal tissues and many other things.

The modern age

In the 19th century there were already microscopes that could see objects 1000 times larger and today there are those that allow you to see a large number of things, up to a million times their normal size.

Do you realize how powerful modern microscopes are?

We hope that this tutorial and this information have been very useful to you.Get closer to science and discover a whole world of possibilities.Until next time.