Lotus Lantern Activity

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Updated on Apr 22, 2014

Buddha Day, the approximate anniversary of the Buddha’s birth, is celebrated around the world in many countries with followers of Buddhism. Buddha Day usually falls in early May, often accompanied by lantern festivals. Light up your child’s knowledge of Buddhism and her love of crafts with a pretty and delicate lotus lantern, perfect for celebrating Buddha Day!  

What You Need:

  • Tissue paper in lotus flower colors: yellow, orange, purple, pink, and green for leaves
  • Internet 
  • Liquid glue
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • Paper or plastic small size (3 ounce) cup
  • LED tea light with battery-operated “flame”

What You Do:

  1. Your child can make a lotus lantern in celebration of Buddha Day: Lotus flowers appear frequently in Buddhist art, often representing purity.
  2. To start, take your cup. Use scissors to poke a hole and then cut out a circle in the bottom of the cup.  (The LED light will poke up through this hole later).
  3. Use the Internet to research what lotus flower petals look like. Your child can choose a color of lotus flower (like yellow, orange, purple, or pink) and cut out several (around 12) petals from the tissue paper. 
  4. Next, your child should cut out five or six green tissue papers in the same shape for leaves.  
  5. With the bottom of the cup facing up, have your child glue around the edge of the cup and start gluing petals around that edge. Glue another round of petals below that first round. Have her continue gluing petals until the outside of the cup is decorated.  
  6. Next, have her intersperse some green petal tissues around the cup for leaves, and glue those around the cup.  
  7. Have your child use double-sided sticky tape to attach the top of the tea light (not the flame part) to the inside of the cup bottom, with the flame light sticking out the hole in the cup bottom.  
  8. Turn on the LED light when ready to light up your lantern with birthday wishes for Buddha!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

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