We’ve shared a lot of crafts for toddlers over the years and these stained glass Christmas lanterns were one that my daughter really enjoyed making although of course you could make this with older kids too. We’ve made these as a simple Christmas craft but you could easily change the colours up and use them as a winter craft or for celebrating the winter solstice or Diwali. It’s a great craft for fine motor skills too and one that makes a lovely kid made decoration to have around the house!
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Stained Glass Christmas Lanterns
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This is a craft I made with my daughter a couple of years ago but I wanted to share it again as she loved it so much! You’ll also find some ideas for Christmas books to read together in this post and keep reading for some more of our favourite Christmas craft ideas! Like this craft? Make sure that you bookmark this page or pin an image so you don’t forget about it.
I prepped this easy activity a little in advance so that I would be able to just pop it down in front of my daughter, like a lot of toddlers she wasn’t a great fan of watching me prep activities (and who can blame her!) so getting things ready in advance meant that I was able to present it as ready to create. If you put all your materials onto a tray then I find that this makes it easier as not only can you easily move it from one place to another but your more likely to keep the materials contained in one area.
I stuck some clear contact paper (stick back plastic) on to a box sticky side up (you could tape it onto a table instead but I wanted to be able to move it to whatever room we were in). As contact paper is super sticky it will stick to itself if not held in place and I find that washi tape is less likely to leave any marks than traditional sellotape. I also prepared the coloured cellophane by cutting it into pieces and placing it in a bowl for my daughter with the fabric leaves in another bowl. You could of course get your child to practice their scissor skills by cutting up the cellophane themselves or you could swap out the fabric leaves and maybe add something like foil snowflakes instead. If you have tissue paper in your house you could use this instead of the cellophane but I find that the cellophane gives much brighter colours.
I let my daughter decorate the contact paper with cellophane and the fabric leaves, moving bits around until she had finished, then I put another bit of contact paper on top, sealing all the bits inside. The contact paper can now be cut into strips and rolled into cylinders that you can put led tea lights in. Obviously if you are doing this craft with young children then make sure that you use lights where they can’t access the battery at all. I was a bit concerned about how I would actually secure the lanterns but I left a bit of contact paper uncovered at the end and used this to hold it all in place (like sellotape) and this worked perfectly!
Making your cylinder out of one layer of your ‘stained glass’ will mean that more light can shine through, while wrapping it round twice will mean less light but that you can see more colours. We did it both ways and we loved both effects!
Christmas Books for Kids
We love sharing Christmas stories together and have built up our collection over the years so that now we have plenty to read throughout December, I think it’s a lovely way to finish each day with a story. Why not check out these books for some ideas to add to your own collection.
- The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan Ahlberg
- Dear Santa by Rod Campbell
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids
These scrunched paper Christmas trees are a great way for kids to practice their fine motor skills.
Or these paper plate snowflakes are good fun for kids to decorate.
Finally this round up of Christmas crafts for toddlers is full of fun ideas perfect for younger kids.