This is a beautiful project to showcase finds from winter nature walks! It’s a multi-day project, requiring two separate rounds of freezing, but kids will love the final glowing result.
First you’ll need those winter treasures – think holly leaves, little berries, pinecones, and pine needles.
Arrange some of the items in a plastic container (or multiple containers, if you have enough nature items), and fill halfway with water. Freeze overnight.
The next day, Travis was very eager to check out the layer of ice we’d created.
Add a second layer of winter finds over the ice, and also place a glass jelly jar inside. Add water to the top of the plastic container, and freeze again overnight.
Note: If the weather is cold enough, you can even do the freezing outside!
For the final lantern, you need to release the glass jelly jar, leaving behind a hole for a candle. Fill the jelly jar with warm water just for a minute or two, and it should slip out.
Now run water around the outside of the plastic container, and release your whole ice lantern.
Note: Because our pinecone extended past the middle of our container, our jelly jar wasn’t centered. This didn’t present a problem; it just meant that our final ice lantern wasn’t going to glow as evenly! You can see in the above photo how our candle hole is on one side of the lantern, instead of directly centered.
Finally, place a battery operated tea light inside, and watch the lantern light up the winter night!
You can leave these outside, or take them inside for a warm winter glow.