What is the best outdoor activity for kids on a cold and snowy day? Good question! Try making beautiful ice lanterns. 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 to fill our evenings with beautiful nature crafts. 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 ice lanterns?! 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 thin 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 ice lanterns are 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 ice lanterns. They offer an inviting spot to gather around on those cold days that you would rather stay inside.
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 kids busy and active for a while!
If it’s too cold to be outdoors, then place the ice lanterns near a window so you can enjoy them from indoors.
Pin it and save it for later!
I hope you try making these ice lanterns! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.