Jar Lanterns

jarlanterns This activity is a fun and creative way for children to explore light and colors.


  • To learn about how light reflects off of different objects
  • To become familiar with different shapes

Before You Start: Gather materials needed: an empty jar (jam, peanut butter, mason jar, etc.), translucent color tiles, tacky glue, and a light source (battery-powered tea light or glow stick – no candles).

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Dab a small amount of tacky glue to the back of a tile and attach it to the outside of the jar.

Step 2. Repeat this process using tiles of different shapes, sizes, and colors, until all sides of the jar are covered.

Step 3. Allow the glue to dry completely.

Step 4. Place the light source in the jar and turn out all the lights in the room.

Step 5. Observe how the light reflects around the room and ask the children to describe the changes to the light that they can now see.

Furthermore: Glue non-translucent items between the color tiles, such as pennies, beads, buttons, or pom poms. Turn out all the lights again and ask the children to describe how these new items have changed the way the light in their jar looks.

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