This easy winter lantern craft for kids would be perfect as a winter solstice craft or just as an easy craft to bring some light into your home during the darker months.
It takes it’s inspiration from the classic paper lantern crafts that my kids have made for years (and which I’m pretty certain I made at preschool too) but gives it a cute winter twist.
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Lantern Crafts for Kids
I like winter, hot chocolates and snow sound like fun to me but once winter actually arrives it seems to last forever and the short days? Wow, they’re not great are they!
I think everyone needs a bit more light during the winter months so a lantern craft is a good idea to make, this would also make great winter solstice lantern craft if you celebrate it with your children.
We’ve made some easy lanterns crafts for toddlers before which you could easily adapt by changing the stars to snowflakes but I like the fact that this craft is good for scissor skills too, in my opinion it certainly makes a good preschool lantern craft although older kids can enjoy it too.
You could also adapt this activity to change it into a Chinese New Year craft if you would prefer – just change your lantern colour to red and maybe use yellow or gold paints instead.
As with most things I’ll be giving you a few additional ideas on how you could adapt this activity depending on what materials you have at home and of course on your kids interests too.
You’ll also find details of some of our favourite and most popular winter crafts for kids at the end of this post.
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Free Lantern Template
These lanterns are really easy to make following the instructions below but if you’d prefer to use a template to help you then grab our printable paper lantern template.
So the first thing that you’ll need for your lanterns is paper or card. I’ve gone with card as our winter lanterns have paint on them (and card tends to cope with large amounts of paint much better) and also because you want your lantern to be nice and sturdy but paper should also be ok.
The first thing to do is to cut a strip from across your card, this will become the handle to your winter lantern later.
Because you’ll want your lantern to stand up straight I’d recommend using a ruler to get a straight line for this. Put the strip of paper aside for later.
Next up is decorating the main part of your lantern.
As you can see we’ve used two different techniques for this although of course the only real limit is your imagination, you can check out the ideas to adapt this craft below for more suggestions.
For the dark blue lantern the decorations are made with silver paint and have been finger painted – I think these look a bit like little snowflakes.
The light blue lantern has bigger blobs of paint made using a cotton wool ball pipped in blue and white paint, this is a great option if you have a kid that doesn’t like getting their hands messy with paint, you could even pop the cotton wool onto the end of a peg if you wanted.
Once the paint is dry it’s time to turn your artwork into a lantern. Start by folding the paper in half length ways and push down firmly on the crease to make sure that you get a nice, bouncy lantern!
Next is the cutting and a chance to practice some scissor skills.
I’ve shared details of our paper lantern templates above that have the guide for where to cut printed on to them but this paper craft really is super easy to make and gives your child a bit more of choice in how thick or thin they want the strips to be.
Cut from the folded edge of the card towards the other side being sure that you leave room at the end and don’t cut all the way though.
Open up your lantern and join the two ends together to form the lantern shape and then staple these in place or use double sided tape. I don’t recommend using glue for this as it can be hard to get it to set and hold the two ends in place.
Finally grab the strip of paper you cut off at the beginning and staple this across the top. These would be fun to display with a little LED light in the middle.
Ways To Adapt Your Winter Lantern
- Use markers or crayons instead of paint and draw on snowflakes, a winter scene or a squiggle if you have very young kids!
- Wait until after you’ve made the lantern to decorate and add some stickers instead of colouring it.
- Roll a piece of coloured card and put this on the inside of your lantern (don’t do this one if you’re using an LED light as you won’t be able to see the light shining.)
Winter Paper Lantern Craft
- A reusable plate
- Blue card
- Silver, blue or white paint
- Cotton wool (optional)
- Cut a strip from one side of your cardboard.
- Decorate the larger piece of card using finger painting, cotton wool dabbed in paint (poured onto the plate first) or whatever way your child would like to decorate it.
- Once the paint is dry fold the card in half length ways with the painted side on the outside.
- Cut strips into the card around an inch apart from the folded over side towards the open side but leaving room at the end.
- Open up the card and staple the two shorter ends together.
- Staple the thin part of card that was cut off earlier across the top to make a handle.
More Winter Crafts for Kids
We love this cute pom pom printed snowman craft.
This snowflake paper plate twirler is another one that’s good for practising scissor skills and my daughter loved making one!