Winter Solstice

Luminaries by Fran W.
Did you know…

The winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year and marks the first day of winter!



Activity: Make a luminary


Help light your way during the longest night of the year!


You will need...


  • A clean plastic milk or water jug any size – see through works best
  • Serrated kitchen knife - parental supervision suggested
  • Scissors
  • Black construction paper
  • Glue
  • Rice or sand (for use with a tealight with a flame)
  • A tealight candle flame-lit or battery powered, or a glow stick


Optional items: Foam stickers with a winter or Christmas theme, stencils, paper punches


What to do...

  • Starting from the bottom of the handle of your container, cut the top off with a scissor, or a serrated kitchen knife, and trim any jagged edges.
  • Cut out winter related icons from black construction paper and glue them to the outside of a plastic jug, or put foam stickers around the container.
  • Add your light source and turn out the lights or put the luminary outside.


Note: Put about an inch or two of sand or rice on the bottom of your container if you decide to use a flame-lit tealight candle and keep out of children's reach. If your flame is not bright enough, pop small holes in discrete places around the edge of the rice/sand to give the flame oxygen.


Here are some ideas...

Winter icons

Snowmen, snowballs, sled, candle, pine tree, snowflake, sleigh, holly, ice skates, penguin, mittens, cup of hot cocoa, hat/cap, cardinal, wreath, pine cone, gingerbread cookies, a bare tree, yule log, stag, a cabin with smoke coming from the chimney


Christmas icons

Santa, present, candy canes, reindeer, poinsettia, star, tree, Christmas ball, stocking, angel, bell  



Question of the day:


What is winter solstice?

Learn more:


The Winter Solstice

Explains the winter solstice

Sue Ellen's Scrapbook: Solstice

Read Sue Ellen's scrapbook to learn about solstice and the Yule celebration

Artists Helping Children: Winter Solstice

Crafts to celebrate the Winter Solstice

eThemes: Winter

This site provides educational links to other sites about the winter season



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