How to make Ice Lanterns

5 February 2021

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With snow flurries in so many places during world wide quarantines, I’ve had an unusual  number of inquiries  (+ interview requests) about winter play and snowy creativity.  I’m thinking of you and wanted to share one of my favorites: Ice Lanterns.

If we’re longtime willowday friends, then you know that Ice Play is something I embrace. The Swedish phrase,  “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”  is real.  From the moment a child is born in Sweden, this hearty lifestyle is a part of Swedish living.  Babies travel in snuggly sleeping bags in minus zero weather in their buggies and in sleds.  Some Swedish pre-schools guarantee children will stay outdoors all day, including naps. Weather stops no one here and ideas to embrace it’s fun are important.

For me, Ice Lanterns , are where Willowday began.  The first month I began a blog, I posted the project, ” How to Make Ice Lanterns” and it went viral.  Ice Lanterns came into being in our house after story time and my oldest son’s imagination. We read a Curious George book about Ice Bowling. Headed outside. Ice Lanterns were born.

  1. Winter Day (or mimic for your freezer) 2. Latex balloons 3. Water: a faucet, hose or water botttle 4. Fill balloons with water and tie 5. Let balloons freeze and then unpeel. 6. Place tea light inside some lanterns . | Full original post HERE 


In “art speak:”I set out material as an invitation to create — almost an outdoor Reggio Emilia table or process art —  preceeded by story time.  I helped with the tying knots in the balloon but, the kids filled balloon after balloon. Later, at their own pace, they had fun unpeeling the balloons from their icy globe interiors. Some had frozen solid and others remained hollow. Like so many creative projects, the expected outcome (to bowl with ice bowling balls) was overshadowed by the pleasure of the actions involved in creating.  For me, these usher in wintery decor that I repeat as often as I can.

To me, these mean, Brody — my oldest son, and afternoon adventures.

These are so beautiful I love receiving photos from you who have made these with kids — but, also: for elegant dinners, weddings, outside shop doors and magazines.  I share a more in-depth, original, post HERE . I love seeing what you do with my tutorials. Please tag me on Instagram (or Facebook) when you use my tutorials or are sparked my an idea. 

My work as an illustrator and artist takes most of my time right now while also balancing online school and the unexpected ebbs of flows of the past year.  When this overlaps with nature, everyday creativity and children, I share some work and have also slowly added a few cards and prints for sale (but, work mostly on commission + selling cards in select locations. If interested, please contact me directly.)

I’m also a mother, friend, aunt and have have spent many many years teaching children, too.  It’s been easier to share more in my Instagram account  + in stories| HERE  but, I also respond to emails. You can email me at willowtweet (at) gmail (dot) com.  With so many requests for winter actives and Valentine’s Day approaching, I’ll share a few upcoming posts.

As quarantines continue, I feel for so many who are working for an equalibrium and ways to keep kids stimulated and entertained.
This has me thinking of what I can do for you here at willowday. I’m dedicated to spreading everyday creativity with my own artwork and with project for your kids.   (In fact, did you download my free ebook, 12 Fun Things to make for slow days at Home” It’s FREE and you can download it HERE .  


If you’re looking for Winter fun, I round up 15 Ice Project to make with kids in this post / HERE

If you’re homebound and can’t get outside:


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