How to adjust safety glasses to fit toddlers & young kids

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There are a few basic science supplies that are on my ‘wish list’, and the first of these we purchased was a set of safety glasses for each of the girls.

Toddler eye protection for safe and fun science play

Safety glasses for 5 year old science girl

Safety glasses are designed to protect kids’ eyes from projectiles (like DIY rockets), splashes (when making things that bubble and fizz), and from kids accidentally rubbing their eyes with potentially damaging materials (like Borax) on their hands. They are also really cool for dressing up like ‘real’ scientists!

At the end of the day however, safety glasses are only effective if kids wear them, and finding a pair that fit comfortably is a huge factor. The (Bolle Overlight) safety glasses I’d bought had arms that were too wide to fit comfortably on my 2.5 & 5 year olds’ heads. The glasses kept slipping down their noses. Bumble and Jewel tended to take them off mid-activity.

But good news! I discovered a little hack that helps them fit better on both Bumble and Jewel.

Science project safety how to adjust safety glasses so they stay on kids heads

All I did, was tie on some thin stretchy sewing elastic to the arms of the glasses. Our glasses have handy holes in each arm end, which made it super easy. For the first pair, I stretched elastic between the two arms, tying a knot on each side. For the second pair, I looped elastic between the two knots, which meant I only had to tie on knot. Both methods worked equally well, with Bumble and Jewel now using either pair interchangeably. They put on their safety glasses as they would if they were putting on goggles; by sitting the bottom of the front lenses on their cheek bones, and then sliding the arms of the glasses (with elastic pre-attached) over the back of their heads. (I usually help Bumble put on hers.)

Eye safety for science experiments with kids

Since making this minor alternation, I’ve noticed a huge difference in how happy the girls are to put their safety glasses on, and keep them on for the duration of an science experiment or activity. Yay!

You might be able to find safety glasses that fit better straight out of the box than what ours did. (We certainly haven’t tried out many pairs.)  But if you are facing the same problem that we were, then I hope this little trick helps.

How to adjust safety glasses to fit young kids

And in case you are wondering, the photos taken here are of the messy play that happened after our after prehistoric erupting volcano science experiment. We are huge messy play fans at our house, because – mess is fun! In this case, the resulting mixture was more messy than particularly harmful; I didn’t expect any of it to actually get in their eyes. But I asked the girls to put the safety glasses on just the same. It’s good for us to get into the habit of wearing them in these situations, and… better safe than sorry.

Do you have a pair of safety glasses at your place? Which ones do you use?


Please note…

This post is more about the safety glasses than the particular activity featured, however all kids’ activities on this blog assume attentive adult supervision. Parents and carers will need to judge whether a particular activity is appropriate their child’s age and skill level. Click here for more information.

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