Before moving to Alaska, winter solstice wasn’t really something on my radar, and we definitely didn’t do anything to celebrate it. However, when you live in a area that gets so little light during this time of year and so much during summer solstice, you start to take notice. As we began our homeschooling journey and started to complete nature studies and study the seasons, I learned more and more about the solstices. Now we try to do something special each year for the winter solstice. This year we created solstice lanterns!

Supplies:

  • A balloon
  • A cup
  • Water
  • Paper torn into strips
  • School glue
  • Pencil or hole punch
  • String
  • LED candle


To create our solstice lanterns, I blew up a balloon and set it, tied side down in the cup. Then I mixed equal parts water and glue until they became a watery paste. Using the torn straps of paper, I dipped them into the paste mixture, removing the excess with my finger. Then I layered the paste covered paper on the outside of the balloon to create a bowl shape on the bottom of the balloon. After letting the first layer dry completely, I added a second layer of paste covered paper, again allowing it to dry completely. Next I popped the balloon. This will leave a solid, bowl-shaped paper lantern. Because I couldn’t find my hole punch, I used a sharp pencil to punch a small hole in each side of the lantern. From these holes I tied string to make a handle for the lantern. Inside I placed a LED candle.
This is a cheap and easy craft that children of almost any age can help with! Kids also love to run around on dark evenings, swinging their lanterns. It is the perfect craft for celebrating solstice!

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