How to Make a Water Drop Magnifier

This lesson developed by Reach Out!
Recommended Ages: Preschool and Early Elementary


What does magnify mean?
Can I make a water magnifier?

What You Need

  1. Styrofoam plate
  2. Plastic food wrap
  3. Tape
  4. Scissors
  5. Eye dropper
  6. Bowl or container
  7. Blades of grass, flowers, coins, stamps, beetle, ant, fly
  8. Water

What You Do

  1. Cut a hole out of the middle of the styrofoam plate.

  2. Tape a piece of plastic food wrap across the hole.

  3. Put some water in a bowl.

  4. Fill up the eye dropper with water.

  5. Put a few drops of water on the plastic covering.

  6. Hold up your plate- keep it steady!
    Put it on top of some small objects.
    Look through the water drops and see what the small objects look like.

What Is Happening

You have made what we call a "lens." When you look through this lens, things look bigger than they really are. Magnify means to make bigger- so you have made your own magnifier!

Have you ever looked down into the water of a lake, stream or river? Did you see plants and fish? What did they look like? They probably looked bigger than they really were. Water can be a great magnifier!