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Crafts And Conversation: Homemade Binoculars With The DUCK Lab

Get crafty with the DUCK Lab! Each Friday, trained research assistants from the UNCG Psychology Department’s DUCK Lab will guide at-home crafts for children ages 3 to 12. Parents can join too to learn fun facts about crafts that foster age-appropriate skills or learn about the DUCK Lab’s nonprofit child development research projects. We will also be at LeBauer Park on Saturday with some to-go craft bags to make crafts at home!

This Friday, the DUCK Lab invites all elementary age friends to join Kathleen and make binoculars. Follow along as Kathleen takes you through each step and see how you can turn some card stock into binoculars!

Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity for children to show off their language and categorization abilities. Read on below for more info. about the connection between these types of activities and age-appropriate developmental milestones.

We also invite you to check out our child development research opportunities, which are now modified for the virtual world! Please click here to learn more or sign up to participate with us.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Two toilet paper rolls or two pieces of cardstock

  • Tape

  • String

  • Hole puncher

  • Foam shapes, markers, or other decorative material


  1. If using cardstock: Roll each piece into a cylinder and staple at each end to hold together.

  2. Punch one hole in each roll toward the edge of an opening.

  3. Place the rolls together. Make sure that the ends of the rolls that have the punched holes are facing you and that the non-punched sides of the rolls are touching each other. Tape the rolls together, wrapping tape all the way around the rolls.

  4. Tie one end of your piece of string to each punched hole to create a neck strap.

  5. Decorate the binoculars with markers (or other materials, as desired).

The DUCK Lab: Homemade Binoculars

Relation to Developmental Science:

Language is a powerful tool in shaping and communicating category knowledge. Language development is important in categorization because the use of common labels across multiple items highlights common features of that category. In relation to this craft, 6- to 8-year-olds might enjoy using their binoculars to demonstrate their perceptual categorization skills and vocabulary to others. For example, parents can ask their children to use the binoculars to find all the blue things in the room. This similarity-based categorization uses visual cues (e.g., color) to allow children to demonstrate their grouping and labeling knowledge. To challenge your child, parents can ask children to find objects that fit multiple variables. For example, they must find something that is both a rectangle and big. Parents could also ask more conceptual questions that go beyond visual cues, such as asking children to find things that can be used for entertainment. Further, as children grow older, they will be able to categorize and think about things more abstractly. For example, parents can ask children to “look” for something that is not necessarily physical.

*Great for children in middle childhood, but fun for older kids too!

The DUCK Lab is a partner in the nonprofit Child Development Research Center in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They conduct studies of social and cognitive development with 2- to 12- year-olds. Families who participate in their research studies are volunteers in the Greensboro community who generously offer their time to help support research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

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