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June 21, 2012

Pin-Hole Camera

This is a great activity for the PreK classrooms and School Age groups. How does a camera turn a big image into a tiny picture?

You will need: Oatmeal or potato chip canister, wax paper, pencil, tape or rubberband.


  • Take the canister and punch a hole through the center of the bottom by pushing a pencil through it.
  • Place a piece of waxed paper over the open end of the canister and hold it there with tape or a rubber band.
  • Sit in a dim room that has a bright object in it, such as a lamp or a window that lets in day-light. Lay a blanket over your head while you hold the pinhole camera.
  • Hold the camera at arms length, with the waxed paper toward you and the punched-out hole sticking out from under the blanket.
  • Point the camera at the bright object. In the surface of the waxed paper, you will see a picture of the object – backward AND upside down!

A real camera uses the same principle as your pinhole camera. A real camera holds a piece of film instead of the waxed paper. The film is coated with chemicals that are changed by light. They make the image into a lasting picture. In a real camera, the lens does the same kind of job as the little hole – it forms a backward, upside down image. But the lens lets in a lot more light so the film can do its work quickly.

Reference: http://www.highlightskids.com