Jack-o'-lanterns are a Halloween staple, and a treat to make using all sorts of materials. In this activity, children will create their own lanterns using a mason jar and tissue paper while building dexterity and observing how light passes through various materials.
Set Up Ideas
Prepare by setting out all the supplies needed and consider providing additional items such as glitter glue and collage materials to personalize each pumpkin.
Let’s Get Started
To make these fun pumpkins, you'll need to gather mini tissue squares, mason jars, black construction paper or felt, orange tissue paper, Mod Podge, scissors and foam brushes. Mod Podge can get messy, so be sure to have cleaning supplies on hand.
Brush a light layer of Mod Podge all around a mason jar. You'll need just enough to hold the tissue paper in place in the next step.
Add pieces of orange tissue paper around the jar and then brush on another layer of Mod Podge to seal them in place.
While the jars are drying, cut eye, nose and mouth shapes from either black construction paper or black felt.
Adhere the facial features to the jar with a final brush of Mod Podge. You may wish to add an LED candle and either green ribbon, foam or felt to make a stem and leaves.
Children may create spooky or silly faces for their jack-o'-lanterns. Discuss their choices and what parts of Halloween they like the best. Some children may prefer sillier costumes while others enjoy the thrill of spooky décor. Discuss whether they've ever seen or made a jack-o'-lantern using an actual pumpkin or other materials.
Tips and Tricks
Provide additional collage materials for more personalized pumpkins. Use LED candles for a safe and simple way to illuminate your lanterns. You may find some with flickering effects or color-cycling.
Follow up Activity
Passing a flashlight around the room and telling spooky stories is a common Halloween activity. Put a twist on it by having the children take turns illuminating their lantern and adding to the story.