Polar Express Inspired Lantern

Polar Express Inspired Lantern

This fun lantern activity will make children's faces light up with excitement as they celebrate the beloved children's book The Polar Express. If you have a Polar Express Day in your classroom, the Polar Express Inspired Lantern is the perfect complement to wearing pajamas to school and drinking hot chocolate! The lanterns are simple to make and only require a few materials. Children can choose the color of glitter they put on their jar to make them more customized.

Battery-operated tea lights make a wonderful light source for the lantern. Be sure to turn your classroom lights off for a minute and let children see how the lanterns look in the dark. This activity provides the perfect opportunity to discuss the role of the conductor in the book. You can also make your own Polar Express train tickets to give students as a fun add-on to the activity!

Download our FREE printable below!

 Lantern Activity Printable

Required Materials:

1Decorate the Jar

Use a paintbrush to cover the bottom half of the outside of the jar in decoupage glue. Cover the glue with pieces of tissue paper, and then put another layer of decoupage glue on top of the tissue paper. Sprinkle glitter over the glue and let dry.

2Make the Handle

Loop one end of a pipe cleaner around the jar band, and then do the same with the other end to make the lantern handle.

3Assemble the Lantern

Place a battery-operated tea light into the jar. Insert the jar lid into the jar band, and then screw the lid on the glass jar to make the lantern.


The Polar Express Inspired Lantern is a wonderful activity you can do to celebrate Polar Express Day or the holiday season in your classroom. Be sure to shop our selection of art supplies and browse our numerous activity ideas and seasonal crafts for more inspiration!