Every Fall, when the days start to shorten and a chill is sent through the air, my children start going on lantern walks. These walks are inspired by the same practice at first Connor's and now Helen's school.
In preparation for the walks, Connor and Helen get out the lanterns they made in prior years, set to making sure the candle still has some wax left in it, and then choose which lantern will guide them through the darkness.
For the walk at school this year, we were especially lucky. Helen's three youngest cousins were able to join us. And though I was certain this would finally be the year that a small fire would be started by a candle gone astray, especially as we walked through the crunching leaves at a nearby park and not one but TWO children tripped on their walks, not a single leaf caught fire. The little candles glowed through the park and welcomed the season.
This wasn't the first of our lantern walks this year, and it won't be our last.
Making the lantern:
Except one lantern which Connor made by poking nail holes in a tin can, the rest of our set is made from paper.
Take a piece of watercolor paper, cut out shapes, paste tissue paper into those shapes. Form the paper into a tube, add a bottom, wire handle, and then connect that wire handle with a wooden stick. Glue a candle to the bottom and you have a lantern! Helen explained to me that her lantern this year didn't even have shapes cut out of the base paper. Instead, she cut out leaves from tissue paper and attached them to the outside of the lantern with "water glue". Simple, eh - yet always beautiful.