Little Four Eyes for Kids: How do glasses work?

This is my first attempt in the Little Four Eyes for Kids series.  The series is targeted at kids in preschool through kindergarten.  I’d love your feedback!

How do glasses work?

Glasses help people to see better.  Just like some people use a cane or crutches to walk better, and some people wear hearing aids to hear better, some people – including you! – wear glasses to see better.

Some people see things blurry when they aren’t wearing glasses.  Their glasses help them see things more clearly:

some people see things blurry without glasses

but with glasses, things are clear!

Some people see double without glasses.  Their glasses help them see only one of everything:

some people see double without glasses

but with glasses, they see only one!

Some people see things clearly without glasses, but their eyes have to work extra hard.  They might get headaches, or have very tired eyes without glasses.  With glasses, seeing is easier!

→ Try this!

  • Take a look around you.  Pay close attention to how things look.  Can you see lots of lines or shapes?
  • Now take off your glasses and look at the things you were looking at before.  Do they look different to you?  How do they look?

How do they do that?

Your glasses have different parts to them:

The nosepiece sits on your nose.  It is sometimes called the bridge.  The earpieces go over your ears, they are sometimes called the temples.  Those parts help keep your glasses in the right spot on your face.

  • What color are the nosepieces and earpieces on your glasses?

The lenses are the parts of your glasses that do the cool stuff.  You can see when light comes in to your eyes and makes the pictures of what’s around us.  If you need glasses to see better, it’s because light isn’t hitting in quite the right spot on your eye.  The lenses of your glasses will actually bend the light so that it hits just the right spot in your eye.

Want to see your glasses bend the light?

You’ll need:

  • A strong flashlight (one with only one bulb)
  • A kind of dark room, with a blank wall
  • A chair or stool
  • Your glasses

Set up:

Put the flashlight on the chair (I used a step stool), and shine it on the wall.  Make sure it’s pointing straight at the wall.

You should see a circle of light on the wall.  That light is coming straight from the flashlight.

Now we’re going to bend some of the light!

Slowly move your glasses in front of the flashlight so some of the light is going through one lens of your glasses.

Look at the circle on the wall now!

It looks different doesn’t it? It’s changed because the lens of your glasses bent some of the light so it hits the wall in a different spot.

This is what it looks like if you put glasses for a nearsighted person in front of the light.

This is what it looks like when you put glasses for a farsighted person in front of the light

Do you know other people with glasses?  You can try doing the same thing with their glasses, too.  Does the circle look the same through their glasses?  Different people have differently shaped lenses in their glasses because everyone’s eyes are different, and they need different lenses to see clearly!  If you try on someone else’s glasses, things probably won’t look as clear to you.  But they look clear to the person who wears those glasses!

5 responses to “Little Four Eyes for Kids: How do glasses work?

  1. Pingback: Little Four Eyes for Kids « little four eyes·

  2. Ann, this is a great post and a wonderful idea for a series! How glasses work is a perfect place to start. I will be keeping this close at hand to share with the parents and children that I work with. And I’m pinning it too! Looking forward to the next segment! Thanks for bring this information to us.


  3. Ann, You did a wonderful job on explaining the different scenario’s of wearing glasses, and how other children’s prescriptions can be different from theirs! Great visual chart like pictures! Looking forward to seeing other post!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.