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No-Prep Exciting Magnifying Glass Discovery Tray for Preschoolers

We have done a lot of STEM activities for kids, but most of them have been aimed at elementary school and middle school. However, I also like creating STEM projects for toddlers and preschool STEM activities, as their bright curiosity for the world is infectious and the perfect time to help them learn more about the world. Toddlers and preschoolers are absolutely old enough to do some easy STEM activities for preschoolers. So today, I had my preschool students explore textures and different objects with a simple magnifying glass discovery tray using supplies that I already had around the classroom. The kids loved it, and I also use this type of simple science activity for my older students with special needs.

How to set up a science magnifying glass discovery tray for preschoolers and toddlers! Easy science activity for preschool science centers!

Follow along to learn how to make a magnifying glass discovery tray as STEM projects for toddlers and preschool science centers!

How to Make a Magnifying Glass Discovery Tray for Science

It only takes a few household supplies to set up this preschool magnifying glass activity.

What is the magnifying glass activity for preschoolers?

This magnifying glass activity uses items from nature and the classroom arranged in a tray for preschoolers and toddlers to explore to see what the objects look like close up.

What is the science magnifying thing called?

While preschoolers often don’t have the eye coordination to close one eye and keep the other one open to use a microscope, they can explore magnification with traditional magnifying glasses. Handheld magnifying glasses are a fun way to show preschoolers how objects look in greater detail.

Here are some magnifying tools you can use in the preschool classroom:

What is the magnifying glass that scientists use?

Scientists use a lot of tools to magnifying objects. In a lab setting, scientists might use microscopes, pocket magnifiers, LCD microscopes, computer magnifiers, and camera microscopes to explore different items in greater detail.

STEM Classroom Decorations and Bulletin Boards

Here are some fun STEM themed classroom decorations and bulletin boards that will make any classroom more fun!

science cell posters

Cell Model Posters

science has all the solutions class decorating kit

Science Has All the Solutions Decorating Kit

what is a scientist bulletin board

What is a Scientist Decorating Kit

science all around us bulletin board

Science is All Around Us Decorating Kit

science posters

Scientific Method Classroom Posters

science matters classroom decorations

Scientific method posters

science bulletin board classroom set

Science sayings bulletin board decor

forces of motion bulletin board classroom set

Forces of motion bulletin board set

science lab safety rules

Science lab safety rules

we are steam powered classroom decoration kit

STEAM bulletin board set

science bulletin board set for the classroom

Scientific thinking bulletin board set

Supplies for the preschool magnifying glass discovery tray:

preschool stem challenges

My Favorite STEM Products for the Preschool Classroom

These STEM products are perfect for the preschool STEM classroom!


Homer Technology App for Kids 4-6

mel science microscope kit

Mel Science Classroom STEM Kits

classroom balance buckets

Classroom Balance Buckets

classroom sorting set

Primary Sorting Classroom Bundle

color cubes

Transparent Color Cubes

clixo rainbow pack

Clixo Rainbow Classroom Pack

pet homes stem challenge kit 938 pc 14268695

Pet Home STEM Challenge

mirrored stacking stem

Stacking Mirror Blocks

guidecraft magnification blocks13844710

Magnification Blocks

mystery ball stem preschool

Gravity Physics Tubes

preschool investigation specimins

Specimen Viewers Classroom Set

More Discovery Activities for Preschoolers

Making the Magnifying Glass Discovery Tray

Setting up your own science discovery tray is the easiest thing in the world. You only need a few objects and a strong magnifying glass. Use a tray to keep things together.

Most of the objects in our tray were items the girls had collected at some point, which made the activity even more interesting for them.

It only takes a few household supplies to set up this magnifying glass discovery activity for preschoolers! The perfect no-prep STEM activity for preschool!

You could also put together themed magnifying glass discovery trays to explore specific topics, like nature, water, plants, food, insects, toys, cloth, flowers, and hundreds more.

We will definitely be setting up more magnifying glass discovery trays for other types of items in the future.

STEM Teaching Resources

These teaching resources will make your STEM classroom more fun and rewarding for your students!

stem activity worksheet

STEM worksheets

Unleash the inner scientist in your students with our STEM experiment kits for elementary kids.

STEM experiment kits

space erasers

Space erasers

planet erasers

Planet erasers

star erasers

Star erasers

science stem noteboooks

Mini science notebooks

science straws

Science crazy straws

science notepads

Science sticky notes

Science themed stickers

stem journal

STEM journal

life cycle puzzles

Life Cycle Puzzles

How to Teach Toddlers and Preschoolers to Use a Science Magnifying Glass Discovery Tray

I love that this magnifying glass activity for preschoolers requires almost no set-up. You can even use it as part of your classroom science center in your preschool center rotations.

I don’t know what magnification our magnifying glasses had, but it was strong enough to allow the preschoolers to discover all sorts of things about the objects in our discovery tray.

It only takes a few household supplies to set up this magnifying glass discovery activity for preschoolers! The perfect no-prep STEM activity for preschool!

Since preschoolers and toddlers don’t usually doesn’t sit still for long, I was surprised at how long they were interested in the science discovery tray.

The preschool students picked the objects up carefully one by one and examined them with the magnifying glass.

Some of the preschoolers held the magnifying glass up extremely close to their faces, so I’m not sure how different the objects actually looked, but they still found it fascinating.

If your students have the same issue, show them how holding the magnifying glass farther from their face will make the objects appear bigger.

It only takes a few household supplies to set up this magnifying glass discovery activity for preschoolers! The perfect no-prep STEM activity for preschool!

While the students explored their science discovery tray, my preschoolers were interested in how the sand and the rocks looked similar, which launched a discussion about how sand and glass are made.

My students had fun discovering small “rocks” in the sand pile we had. I don’t know if they had ever made the connection between rocks and sand before, so the class really enjoyed that lesson.

preschool stem challenges

STEM Shirts for Teachers

These STEM shirts are adorable and super fun to wear while teaching STEM or science.

i love math
math teacher hero
math is funny
women in science
science pins
science teacher
figure it out
protractor turtle

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