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Kids STEM Activities

Make a play Microscope

Steps to show you how to make your own DIY pretend play Microscope at home!

Steps to make a pretend play microscope from recycled materials

Recently I was doing a photo shoot for our dolls when Miss 2.5 wanted to play with the microscope, sadly it was too fiddly and breakable for her to play with and it gave me the idea to create one for her – it is currently her most played with toy!

Pretend play lets kids, especially younger children, experiment with ideas and concepts by role playing.  Giving them props to aid in this supports language development as they create stories about what they’re doing.  For us it has meant getting some books from the local library about bugs and explaining why a scientist or researcher would use a microsope. Her play microscope now has pride of play in the bedroom next to her Bex the Biochemist OK!Dolls

Lets make a play microscope!

You will need:


  • Recycled Plastic bottle
  • Long recycled cardboard tube
  • Small recycled cardboard tube – toilet paper ones are great for this as they are thin
  • Small piece of cardboard
  • Black paper
  • Craft knife or scissors
  • Marker pen
  • Glue or tape


Step 1. Trace shape of microscope using a marker pen.

Remember to keep a thing piece to hold up the shelf


Step 2. Place small cardboard tube over the end of the bottle to cover the neck.

Cut slits down to create flaps to bend into the neck of the bottle – this helps to keep you long cardboard tube in place.  You might need to shorten the small tube depending on your bottle.

Step 3. Push long cardboard tube down and angle.  Tape or glue it to secure



Step 4. decide how big to make your microscope shelf, cut down the cardboard as necessary

Step 5. Cover the cardboard in black paper (or you could paint)

Additional: You could add bottle tops or circles of card to make knobs and the microscope can be painted

Remember to share your creations with us use the hashtag #inspiredbyokdolls to show us your DIY microscope and how its being used in your house


Have you seen our other STEM activities?

free printable Anatomy playdough mats by OK!Dolls  easy at home science and art BIOLOGY activity inspired by our OK!Dolls



Printables are for home and educator/classroom use.

Terms of use: Please do not edit artwork, crop or cut any graphic/logo/website of original.

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