Countdown to First Night Sanity Saver: Winter Solstice Lanterns

Presented by Independent Health

By: Will Kawalec, Play to Learn Facilitator

Download a PDF version of this lesson here!

Supply ideas:

Wax paper, construction paper, glue tape or stapler, electric tea lights, hole punch, string   


10 minutes 

Academic Subjects:

This lesson supports the following standards:    
3.4a People in world communities use legends, folktales, oral histories, biographies, and historical narratives to transmit cultural histories from one generation to the next.

Directions for Winter Solstice Lanterns  

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. This means we have the shortest amount of daylight and the longest night of the year. This year we celebrate the solstice on December 21st.  Solstice is a Latin word that translates to “sun stands still” Let’s celebrate this winter solstice by creating our own paper lanterns. 

  1. Cut a twelve by twelve piece of wax paper. 
  2. Cut two twelve inch by one inch strips of construction paper.  
  3. Tape the ends of your wax paper together to form an oval. 
  4. Tape the two strips of construction paper to the bottom and top of your lantern.
  5. Using your lantern as a guide, place it on top of your construction paper and trace the outline of your lantern onto the paper. Draw four half inch tabs on the circle. 
  6. Cut the circle out, then tape the tabs onto your lantern.   
  7. Hole punch two holes at the top of your lantern. Tie a piece of string through the holes. 
  8. Place an electric tea light into your lantern to guide you through the winter solstice! 

Winter Solstice Lanterns Vocabulary:   

Equator– The earth is divided by an imaginary line called the equator. The equator breaks the Earth into two parts. 

Hemisphere– The planet is divided into two parts, the north and south hemisphere. While we are celebrating the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, the people in the southern hemisphere will be celebrating the summer solstice.  

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