Kids STEM ActivitiesSeptember 6th 2018

Make a play Microscope

Pretend play lets kids, especially younger children, experiment with ideas and concepts by role playing.  A great way to support dramatic play with the OK!Dolls is by giving them props.

Play props help to develop language skills as kids create stories about what they’re doing, who is doing it and why.

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!

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!Doll

OKMini Amber Astronaut doll & Bex Biochemist doll and

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

Step 1. Trace shape of microscope using a marker pen. Remember to keep a thin piece to hold up the shelf


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


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

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 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

OKDOLL Bex Biochemist soft doll

This kids STEM activities can be used to promote:

Language skills: labelling the parts of the microscope, asking questions and inquiry, discussing procedural elements of the task

Social skills: Sharing ideas, working with a partner to create the shapes/stick down objects, turn taking

Fine motor skills: manipulating materials, using tools to create shapes/cut

Please don’t forget to share your creations on social media using the hashtag #inspiredbyokdolls

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.