Who does’t love Optical Illusions?
“Walter Wick’s Optical Tricks” is an awesome book, full of crazy optical illusions, and explanations for how they were created. Kids and adults alike find it incredibly interesting. You’ll love how it gets your kids talking and thinking! It’s always been a huge hit in my classroom, and now I’ve compiled a list of hands-on activities you can do with it to extend the learning and fun!
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Optical Illusion Activity #1: Make a Mirror Box!
A while ago, I was inspired by the Imagination Tree’s mirror box (here) but I wanted to save a little money, so I made my own using a different technique. Mine’s a little smaller, cheaper, and I think, more sturdy. This is a perfect activity to go with “Walter Wick’s Optical Tricks” because so many of the illusions in the book use mirrors, and having the three-way mirror opens up so many possibilities for exploration and play!
To make the mirror box you need;
-a cardboard box
–Adhesive Flexible Mirror Sheets (Amazon Link)
Trim one of the mirror sheets into a square so all three will fit together evenly.
(Save the scrap for some other amazing craft project!)
Line them up in the corner of a box and trace, then trim the cardboard around them.
If necessary, use some hot glue to assemble the box corner again.
Peel the adhesive off of your mirror sheet;
And line it up carefully with the corner!
Repeat with the other two;
And peel the protective film off! Your mirror box is done!
I guarantee that your kids will love putting different toys on it to see how they look! It creates crazy optical illusions as the toys seem to be floating on copies of themselves and duplicated out into space!
We tried it with our Magformers;
And with our Baby Bottle Rainbow Rattles! (Can you guess how many are really there?)
Optical Illusion #2
Another cool optical illusion in the book involves a picture with images pressed into clay, viewed upside down so it looks like they’re popping out. Of course we had to try it! (I used kinetic sand here. Playdough would work even better. Check out our Pumpkin Spice Play-Dough Cupcakes if you need a recipe!) If you squint it kind of looks like the spheres are sticking out, doesn’t it?
If you enjoyed those ideas, here are some links to other cool optical illusion activities you can try!
Optical Illusion #3-
Optical Illusion #4-
These tops are easy and fun to make, and kids will love seeing what happens when they spin!
Optical Illusion #5-
This tutorial from Jane Hayes creative is sure to be a big hit! Kids will love the fact that they’re emojis and they’ll totally be wowed when they twist them and the picture changes!
Optical Illusion #6-
Flip books are the original animation! There are lots of high-tech ways to do stop motion animation these days, but there’s something really satisfying about drawing a stick figure over and over and flipping the pages to see it move.
Optical Illusion #7-
This one looks super easy and seriously awesome. I’d like to figure out how to make my own, but luckily for now, “Easy Peasy And Fun” have a printable template you can download. Kids will LOVE the way the image changes as you turn it from side to side!
Finally, if your kids loved these activities, you can send them off with some printable Optical Illusion Lunchbox Notes!
Which optical illusion activity are you most excited to try? Leave a comment and let me know!
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