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We know Science is fun to learn. BYJU’S has been focusing on demonstrating the facts and figures of science through an activity-based way of teaching. In this article, let us learn how to make a kaleidoscope in a step by step interactive way.

Before we learn how to make a kaleidoscope, let us know what a kaleidoscope is?

What is a Kaleidoscope?

A kaleidoscope is an optical instrument consisting of two or more reflecting surfaces. These surfaces are tilted towards each other at a certain angle to obtain symmetrical patterns when viewed from the other end. The tube with reflecting surfaces consists of coloured pieces of glass. By rotating the tube, symmetrical images are created.

The word kaleidoscope is derived from the Ancient Greek word called “kalos” meaning “beautiful beauty”, “eidos” meaning “that which is seen” and “skopeo” meaning “to look”. David Brewster, a Scottish inventor, invented kaleidoscope on July 10, 1817.

In a kaleidoscope, the sunlight is bounced by the glass, and coloured beads present inside and are reflected in the mirrors to create magnificent picturesque patterns. These patterns offer an excellent visual treat to the person who looks through the kaleidoscope. It’s fun to watch and observe the mixing and matching pattern created insides the kaleidoscopes.


Principle Of Kaleidoscope

The basic principles used in the kaleidoscope are the law of reflection, and white light is a combination of VIBGYOR. When the white light hits the surface of the mirror, it gets reflected at an angle such that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. Due to these multiple reflections of light, there is a creation of these beautiful patterns.

According to the second principle, white light passes through the coloured objects present in the kaleidoscope so that most of the light is absorbed by these objects.

Kaleidoscope Uses

Kaleidoscope is an optical toy consisting of two mirrors at a particular angle. Some common uses of the kaleidoscope are:

  • Kaleidoscope produces beautiful patterns that are used by fashion designers.
  • A kaleidoscope is used as a toy for entertainment.

How to Make A Kaleidoscope?

Create a kaleidoscope and enjoy the various colours and patterns. Kaleidoscope works on the principle of reflection. Let us learn how to make a kaleidoscope.

Things you will need:

  • Plastic (See-through and coloured)
  • Overhead Transparency Paper
  • Pencil
  • Masking/Duct tape (One Roll)
  • Mirrored Perspex (3 Pieces)


  1. Use the three pieces of mirrored perspex and roll them as tape in the form of a triangle. Try to ensure that it has a solid and it is taped on the outside of the triangle.
  2. Sketch the small triangle located at the edge of the kaleidoscope to the overhead transparency paper (set aside 1 cm extra around the triangle to allow folding of the paper).
  3. Keep the transparency paper to the kaleidoscope edge and cut the narrow openings at the corners, which would facilitate the folding of the corners easily.
  4. Attach the paper into a separate place.
  5. Make another triangle by drawing it, and this time it should be 2 cm larger than the earlier one
  6. Choose the kind of plastic colour you would like to put inside the kaleidoscope. Take off small paper cuttings that would sit well on the transparent paper.
  7. Place the coloured plastic at the end of the kaleidoscope that has a transparency paper and add another transparency paper (triangle) a little bigger than the earlier one. Keep the second triangle upside down so that there would be ample space for plastic to shift between the two transparencies.
  8. Once you have finished making the kaleidoscope, design it beautifully with colours, glitters and so on.

What Happens Next?

You might have noticed that the kaleidoscope works on white light shifting through the mirrors inside. When students look through the mirror, they will find different colour patterns owing to the symmetrical design formed by the mirrors placed at the right places.

Hope you have understood how to make a kaleidoscope. Give it a try and enjoy creating your kaleidoscope. 

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is interference of light?

Interference is the phenomenon in which two light waves superpose to form the resultant wave of the lower, higher or same amplitude.

Kaleidoscope features how many reflecting surfaces?

Kaleidoscope features two or more reflecting surfaces.

Who invented kaleidoscope?

Kaleidoscope was invented by David Brewster.

Kaleidoscope works on which principle of light.?

Kaleidoscope works on the principle of reflection.

What is a Kaleidoscope?

Kaleidoscope is an optical instrument that features two mirrors at a particular angle.

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Test your knowledge on Kaleidoscope


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  2. It is very usefull 👍🏻👍🏻and also useful for our school work ✍🏻✍🏻

  3. It’s very nice for our study and other activities. Also best for our school works!!👍👍💯💯

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