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The Best Kaleidoscopes to Gaze Into

a girl in a striped shirt looking through a silvery kaleidoscope

You’ve most likely played with a kaleidoscope before. If you haven’t, it’s a tubular instrument that reflects light to create abstract, colorful patterns to enjoy. When the kaleidoscope is rotated, the patterns swirl in motion, creating a stunning visual effect that you can’t experience any other way. Whether you enjoy the bursts of bright color or the finer details and subtle movements, here are four great kaleidoscopes that you’ll love.

What to Look for in a Kaleidoscope

You can expect to see some differentiation between kaleidoscopes. Here are the basics:

  • Durability: Cheaply-made kaleidoscopes aren’t the best for long-term use, although they do have their place. Strong materials like tin or plastic are less vulnerable to being broken easily, especially if handled by children.
  • Visuals: Ultimately, the visuals of the kaleidoscope will determine how enjoyable it is to use. Kaleidoscopes are typically made with plastic beads of varying shapes and colors to create the kaleidoscope effect. While this is effective, if you’re looking for high-quality visuals, opt for kaleidoscopes made with better materials and design choices.

Best for Kids: Schylling Classic Tin Kaleidoscope

a multicolored tin kaleidoscope with kaleidoscope visuals illustrated on its body.

This kaleidoscope from Schylling is great for children over the age of 3. The tin construction of this kaleidoscope allows for a high-quality feel over ones made of plastic or cardboard. It utilizes beads of different colors and shapes to achieve its colorful visuals and has a rotating mechanism to create pattern movement. This kaleidoscope is a great tool that can nurture creativity and entertain your child.

Best for Kids

Schylling Classic Tin Kaleidoscope

This kaleidoscope delivers awesome patterns with its different colored bead shapes.

Best Premium: GloFX Liquid X-Kaleidoscope

upright kaleidoscope with two liquid-filled wands inserted in its base.

This kaleidoscope from GloFX is certainly your best bet if you’re looking for an upgrade over the typical kaleidoscopes you may come across. The kaleidoscope is designed with two liquid-glitter-filled wands that have different colors and shapes of glitter. These wands can be inserted into the kaleidoscope to create an amazing, high-quality visual effect. Moreover, the glitter in these liquid-filled wands can be rotated to allow for pattern movement when viewed.

Best Premium

GloFX Liquid X-Kaleidoscope Tube Toy - Rave EDM Kaleidoscope Toy

The kaleidoscope comes with two liquid-glitter-filled wands for high-quality visuals.

Best DIY Kit: 4M Kidzlabs Kaleidoscope Making Kit

collection of crafts and materials provided in the kit.

What’s more exciting than viewing a kaleidoscope is actually creating the colorful patterns yourself. With this DIY kit, you can make that a reality. This kit allows you to build your own kaleidoscope and customize its patterns. It offers four different styles of patterns: holographic, glow-in-the-dark, snow, and color. Because the kit comes with small parts that could be a potential hazard, this kit is recommended for children over 8. However, all of its parts are high-quality and safe.

Best DIY Kit

Best Variety Pack: HAPTIME Classic Kaleidoscopes

front-facing view of six kaleidoscopes with unique illustrations.

Kaleidoscopes are often gifted through classroom prizes, goodie bags, or stocking stuffers. The best kaleidoscopes for this purpose are these kaleidoscopes from HAPTIME. This set provides six kaleidoscopes, each with a pleasant, cartoonish design. The toys are made from safe and eco-friendly materials as well, as the lens is made of plastic and the surface is made of cardboard. The kaleidoscope also allows for 360-degree rotation for the “motion” effect.

Jonah Chin Jonah Chin
Jonah Chin is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy where he's able to openly share his thorough product considerations, critiques, and recommendations for you to benefit from. When he's away from the keyboard, he enjoys competing in sports like wrestling and playing instruments like the guitar. Read Full Bio »

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