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Science Kids on the Loose

Magnification Observation

Learn about using magnifying glasses. We'll use them to observe things that are too tiny to see with our eyes alone.

Download this activity (pdf)


  • Magnifying glasses
  • Objects with tiny parts or details that are difficult to see such as leaves, flowers, shells, etc.


  • Inexpensive magnifying glasses can be found at toy stores, school supply outlets, and general merchandise stores.
  • Use descriptive language to talk about what you are observing. Encourage children to do so, too.
  • Children can record what they’ve observed in their journals.


  1. If children haven’t used a magnifying glass before, we can almost guarantee that they’ll need some time to just play around with it. Kids love just “making things bigger” without worrying too much about how that helps them observe in new ways. Grab your own magnifying glass and join the fun.
  2. Eventually, you can begin to focus the exploration. Find something that would be hard to see without the magnifier. The patterns on your fingertips are a good example. Can your child see something new with the magnifying glass?
  3. As you and the children observe the patterns on the ends of your fingers, compare and contrast what you observe with and without the magnifiers.
  4. Observe some of the other hard-to-see items and patterns. Describe what you see.

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Produced by: Funding is provided by:
Jim Hensen Corporation logo CPB ViNCi MetLife The Rosehills Foundation S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation logo The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations logo

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