Telescope Crafts for Kids

Pirates. Treasure hunters. Star gazers. Aspiring astronauts. Telescope crafts can take your kids on adventures as wide and deep as their imaginations run. Designs range from simple paper cylinders to two-piece spyglasses. No matter your child's age, she can make a telescope craft that fits her attention span and skill level.

Construction Paper

The simplest telescope for your youngest crafters is a simple paper tube. Roll a sheet of construction paper into a cylinder 1 to 2 inches in diameter and tape the edge. For a longer paper telescope, use a large sheet of poster board. Your child can decorate his telescope with stickers, glitter glue or markers.

Cardboard Tubes

Cardboard tubes of any size work as an easy telescope craft. Your child can paint the tube or wrap it in construction paper or decorative wrapping paper. Stickers, glitter glue or markers can transform a plain telescope into your child's personal creation. Wrap clear plastic wrap over one opening and secure it in place with a rubber band. Alternately, cut a circle the same diameter as the tube out of a clear plastic transparency and tape over one end as the lens.

Plastic Cylinders

A plastic cylinder such as some types of chips and nuts come packaged in can be recycled as a telescope craft for your child's enjoyment. Cut out the bottom and tape over the sharp edges with duct tape or electrical tape for safety. Punch a small hole through the center of the lid as the eyepiece. Cover the open end with clear plastic wrap or a round piece of clear transparency plastic. Your child can use the telescope unadorned or cover it with wrapping paper or construction paper and decorate with stickers, glitter glue or markers.


A spyglass telescope craft requires two pieces to allow for retractable, moving parts. Two paper, cardboard or plastic tubes, one slightly smaller than the other work nicely. Another option is one tube and a large paper or plastic cup with the bottom cut out to the size of the tube. Fit the smaller tube into the larger one so it slides easily. Cover the end of the outer tube with clear plastic wrap or plastic transparency. Your child can cover the tubes or cup with construction paper or wrapping paper and decorate with puffy paints, glitter glue, stickers or markers.