If you are looking for a fun Winter STEM Activity for Kids, Ice Lanterns are just for you! Beautiful and dreamy, making Ice lanterns is super easy to make and perfect for chilly days when kids are confined indoors.
One of the most wonderful Holiday activities for preschoolers, kindergarteners and older kids, Ice lanterns are just perfect for Christmas and look straight out of a magical land.
DIY Ice Lantern Activity For Kids
Kids of all ages love making ice lanterns. The beauty of ice lantern winter activity lies in its simplicity and the magical glow stemming out of them, transforming a frozen landscape into an almost magical winter wonderland!
But before we get started with this easy winter STEM activity for kids, here is a fun fact about ice lanterns – It is believed Ice lanterns were invented in cold Arctic countries and placed on the decks of ancient ships to help them see and be seen.
Supplies Needed To Make An Ice Lantern
- 1 Big Paper Cup (soda cup)
- 1 Small Paper Cup (coffee cup)
- Decorations like pom poms, beads, pipe cleaners
- Food coloring – optional
- Tea Light – Battery operated
How to Make An Ice Lantern
Step 1: Place the smaller cup inside the larger cup. Add pebbles to the small coffee cup to make it heavy and prevent it from floating up.
Step 2: Slowly add water to the big cup, that is between the cups, till it is almost half full.
Step 3: Add a few drops of food coloring and decorations to the water. You can use natural materials like fallen flowers, twigs or leaves.
Step 4: Add water again to the big cup till the water is an inch or two from the rim of the small cup. Make sure not to fill up the cup as the water expands on freezing and needs this extra space.
Step 5: Place the cups in the freezer or outside if you are making it during the snowy winter season. It is best if you leave it overnight outside or for 6 hours in the freezer till completely frozen.
Step 6: Once the water is frozen, take out your cups. Using a scissor peel off the outer paper cup.
Step 7: Pour warm water in a smaller paper cup and carefully remove it. Warm water will melt the ice around the cup, thus making it easy to remove.
Step 8: Lastly, place a battery operated tea light or a normal tea light (or fairy lights) in the cavity of the ice lantern. You can use a wax candle as well, but we advise using a battery operated candle with kids for safety concerns.
Step 9: Turn on the battery operated candle for that warm glow of the ice lantern.
This ice experiment is a must to practice hygge at home and looks straight out of a Disney movie. It is just perfect with a cup of hot chocolate, a winter picture book and a snuggly blanket to make memories with kids.
Quick Tip: While you bask in the glow of this Ice lantern, entertain your kids with Disney Trivia and check their smarts.
Transform them into Christmas Ice Lanterns by replacing pom-poms, pipe cleaners with Christmassy red and green decorations like stars, pine leaves, cinnamon sticks. They make for wonderful holiday decorations and reserve a special place in Winter Solstice celebrations of Scandinavian countries.
This easy STEM activity combines history, engineering, science with arts, making it a perfect winter STEM activity for school as well as home.
In case, you want to make a weather proof lantern, we recommend making a Luminary. It is an easy origami craft for kids that is just as beautiful and perfect for solstice and every season.
More Winter Inspired Science Activities
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For more activities, hop-on to 42 Winter STEM Activities For Kids.