Magnifiers and bug drawings

I am always on the look out for unusual items to add to my classroom and recently I picked up two different kinds of magnifiers at a local IAEYC conference I attended…

We have been talking about bugs recently, so I invited the children to draw some of their own bugs and then see how they look underneath a magnifier…

I set out our permanent markers that the children always use (they are starting to dry out now) and white post card sized paper for the children to draw on…

The children spent quite some time drawing “bugs” and perhaps other little objects then putting them underneath magnifier to take a closer look…

One thing we talked about is how you don’t have to put your eyeball directly on the magnifier. And that if you will move the magnifier around on the paper, you can see the objects get large and smaller…

The children are still figuring out how best to use the magnifiers but this was one way to integrate a little drawing into our exploration and use of the magnifiers…

Oh, and this is the other magnifier I found. It actually stands up on a stand and some of the children liked to look through the lens while they drew their bugs.

And one of their favorite things with all the magnifiers was to look at their hands (some of the children came to school with tattoos on their hands)…

Both types of magnifiers were a big hit. The children used them all throughout the day and we will continue to use them for other types of exploration as well…

These children are quite the scientists!

Now – why are all those marker lids off? Hmmm…. So that’s why all the markers are drying out!

Am I the only one with a whole bunch of markers and no lids? I wonder where all those lids went?

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By |2012-05-10T07:00:23+00:00May 10th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. School Sparks Renee May 10, 2012 at 8:33 am - Reply

    I love the pictures of your kids exploring. What a wonderful lesson! Renee

  2. Great idea. My daughter is always using her magnifying glass to look at insects. I wish this same magic could continue through all of school. You do such wonderful activities with your children. Your students are blessed. Thank you for all your hard work for kids!

  3. Magnifying glasses are such great science tools! Yay, you, for allowing your students to experiencing them. 🙂

  4. Allison May 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    How fun! I love that you had them explore their own creations. My oldest is great about marker and pen lids, but my three year old? Not so much…

  5. Kelly at Little Wonders' Days May 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    This looks like a fun project. They look very engaged in exploring and creating. Happy Teachers’ Week too!!

  6. amy peca May 11, 2012 at 8:07 am - Reply

    I LOVE that you allow them to use permanent markers for special events. I find that when you allow a child to write with you pen or “special marker” that is usually when I get the best writing sample. It’s that little tease of something new and fun that up’s the excitement level just enough!!! great work!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      My students love writing with the permanent markers and you are right – I do get their best writing when they use them. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that permanent markers work so much better than “kid markers”..

  7. Janet May 11, 2012 at 8:57 am - Reply

    I had to laugh about your marker lid comment. I loose so many marker lids, I have learned to save all of them when tossing used up markers. I now have a bin of them which we use for colors and counting, as people when playing blocks and cars, as circle ‘stamps’ for wheels, etc and a variety of other things. And I almost always have the right color lid when a good marker is missing the lid.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      I have started saving my lids now too – great ideas for what I can do with them! I never thought of using the saved lids for markers that turn up with missing lids!

  8. Christian May 11, 2012 at 11:21 am - Reply

    At the end of the year I always find a bunch of marker caps around the room as I’m moving furniture. Unfortunately, the loss of caps leads to the early death of many markers. Maybe I should clean more often.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      Haha! and Haha again:)

  9. maryanne @ mama smiles May 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    We have a stand-up magnifier like that, and my kids LOVE it! I need to get them some hand-held ones.

  10. Amber May 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Fun! We usually have a science tub out all the time that include magnify glasses but like most things they are used for a time and then they aren’t for awhile. This week I added bug themed magnify glasses, which renewed the interest with our basic magnify glasses. We, too, were learning about looking into the glass with some distance between their eye and the glass. 😀 Also, I had to smile with your markers without caps picture. It’s amazing what I see in the background of many of my pictures! Eye openers sometimes!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      Isn’t it interesting to see what is in the background of photos? It really can be quite eye opening. What is even more interesting to me is when others see something in the background of my photos and write me to ask about it. Makes me worry what else do I have in these photos:)

  11. Jill @ A Mom With A Lesson Plan May 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Fantastic idea to have them look at their own drawings. I bet that really added understanding to the experience.

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