What you need

  • Thick piece of polystyrene
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Coloured pens and pencils
  • Four small sticks, such as lolly sticks or bamboo
  • Ruler
  • Sticky tape
  • A cup of rice
  • Tracing paper
  • Tea light candles

What to do

Get Ready:

  1. In some places, floating lanterns are traditionally lit to represent cares and worries being let go; your family’s lanterns can represent all kinds of hopes and aspirations as your kids ask family members to share their thoughts to be put inside each lantern. Are your kids ready to begin collecting their family’s dreams and wishes? To do this they will need to ask each family member if they could have one wish, what it would be, and document it… not forgetting to write down their own wish, too.
  2. Ensure they keep all the wishes secret until the lanterns are completed.
  3. Now it’s time for your kids to make the lanterns.

Have a go:

  1. To make a lantern, your kids will need to attach together three sheets of tracing paper. This can then be turned into a rectangular cube by folding the two outer pieces of paper in half as demonstrated in the video.
  2. Each of the four small sticks will then need to be secured into each corner with sticky tape, ensuring an inch of stick is left sticking out at the bottom of the tracing paper.
  3. Once all four sticks are in place complete the rectangular cube by attaching the two open sides together.
  4. Now place the candle at the centre of the polystyrene and secure in place.
  5. Take the rectangle lantern and ensure your kids carefully place the sticks into the polystyrene so there is no gap between the tracing paper and the base and the candle is in the centre.
  6. Once secured into place, pour the cup of rice into the lantern around the candle.

Try it out:

It’s now time to decorate the lantern with all the dreams and wishes your kids collected from the family and bring them to life in paintings or drawings. What will the dreams look like? A football trophy for a brother? A tropical holiday for Mum?

Once the paint is dry, the lantern is complete and ready to set sail.

For more information, download the Activity Guide.