Play Telescope

What happens in your backyard at night? 

Once the sun sets, everything looks a little different. It may even seem a little scary. But once you let your eyes and mind adjust, you see nighttime is magical.

The sun slowly descends, pulling open the curtain so we can again see the glowing stars and the moon take their places to light our way. It’s a masterpiece in the sky. They shine and twinkle and, every once in awhile, you can see a shooting star fly across the sky or a satellite circle over.

Our daytime friends, like the silly squirrels, cheery birds and graceful deer, are eating just one more late-night snack before they get cozy or cuddle with their family—dreaming of tomorrow’s possibilities.

Our nocturnal friends, many of whom we may not yet have met, are just waking up with big stretches and hungry bellies. The crickets begin their nighttime chorus. The fox explores his favorite spots with an eye for adventure. The racoons set their eyes on a garbage can and hatch silly plans to bring it home. And the owl keeps an alert eye on the comings and goings, timing his majestic flight just right.

As the sun rises, yawns begin and eyelids feel heavy. The warmth of the sun helps them cozy up in the tall grass, their den or their nests. Just as we are beginning to wake up in our own beds to face the day, they have completed theirs.

Make your telescope


  • RELAMP tube 
  • RELAMP packing slip
  • RELAMP sticker sheet
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors and a parent to help you use them
  • Glue or tape


  1. Grab the packing slip and turn it over. You’ll see a nighttime scene illustrated just for you by artist Nicholas Moegly. Then reach into the RELAMP shipping box to find the adjoining sticker sheet. Use the stickers and your favorite coloring tool to decorate it
  2. With a parent, cut along the dashed line on the coloring page and across the image (you'll see cut lines at the top in case you want to connect it for small kiddos). 
  3. Using glue or tape, affix the coloring page to the tube. If necessary, let it dry.
  4. Ask you parent to carefully cut out the hole in the bottom. Note that the cardboard is thick, so it may take a few tries to get through. Use a stronger tool as you see fit.


  • Draw scenes on the lens for everything from space explorations to trips to the midnight zone.
  • For little hands, add in a hand strap by gluing a ½” width ribbon to the side, glued down on both ends, with space in the middle for them to slip their hands in.
  • When it’s a little worse for wear, look up a new project from our Recreate Challenge, like a squirrel feeder, or recycle it.

 Fun Activities

Keep the fun going with some creative play and imaginative books!


  • Take your own nighttime adventure under the stars, with your trusty RELAMP telescope, exploring your favorite places with your parent or guardian. Visit the park or your backyard to see what the animals in residence are up to. Use flashlights for safety when needed, but also choose a spot to turn them off and let your eyes adjust to the darkness, so you can take it all in and talk together about what you see.
  • Pretend to be a nocturnal animal and build a cozy spot outside or inside with help from a trusty adult. Research what they eat, how they play and what special abilities they have that makes them thrive in the night.


  • Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
  • Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs by Linda Ashman
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen 


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