What is the best outdoor activity for kids on a cold and snowy day? Good question! Try making a beautiful ice lantern. Freeze them during the day and illuminate them at night! You can make a single lantern or a bunch of them at one time. Either way, they look gorgeous and can be enjoyed from inside or outside your home.
As winter approaches and the days grow shorter, we lean into our winter traditions and fill our evenings with beautiful nature crafts. We return to many of these activities year after year and turn a dreary time of year into a time to celebrate light and love. We’ve been making these ice lanterns for many years now and it never gets old. They add a touch of magic and whole lot of beauty to our winter days and nights!
Ready to make a few?! Here’s what you’ll need–
- Tin cans- 2 sizes
- Pieces of nature
This post contains Affiliate links for your convenience.
Related: Check out Create a Magical Snow Garden
Here’s How We Made these Beautiful Ice Lanterns:
Fill up your larger can, a little less than half way with water. If you add too much, just pour some out!
Fill the smaller can with stones and place it in the center of the larger can. Tape the cans to anchor the smaller can in the center of the larger can. Make sure the smaller can isn’t tipping to one side or your lantern will have one very thing side.
Place your pieces of nature into the water. We used various types of evergreens and burning bush berries from our yard. The color combination looks really beautiful and festive!
Place your lanterns in the freezer or outside if it’s cold enough.
Once your lantern is frozen, peel the tape off and take the stones out of the smaller can. Gently run warm water around the larger can and fill the smaller can with warm water as well. Melt just enough of the ice to wiggle the cans free from the lantern. Don’t let the warm water sit too long or it might melt too much of the lantern.
Place a flameless tea light inside of them and enjoy the beautiful glow!
My boys love sitting by the lanterns. They offer an inviting spot to gather around on those cold days that you would rather stay inside. Try reading a book or playing a board game near the glow of the lanterns.
Make these ice lanterns on a cold winter day and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate near them!
If you are looking for a fun winter solstice activity, try making a nature mandala around an ice lantern! It makes a gorgeous centerpiece for your mandala and will keep your kids busy and active for a while!
Pin it and save it for later!
I hope you give this simple nature activity a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.