Did you know a clear glue stick (for a hot glue gun) can be used as a magnifying glass? The way the light bounces around the cylinder and refracts because of the change in material causes the glue stick to act as a lens. Lay it over some small type and see how much larger it appears.
Some other objects that can be used in the same way:
--a glass stirring rod
--a test tube filled with water (sealed with a stopper)