The lore of the sea has always been attractive--the idea of far-away places and the stories of mermaids, and sea monsters captivate our imaginations. Lighthouses, as the last bastion of land before the sea, are a part of that magic and are still intriguing to us today as they have been through history. If your children love stories about the sea, they are sure to enjoy these lighthouse projects and activities.
Make a Model Lighthouse
Kids love to make models. Disney's Family Fun website shows step-by-step instructions to turn a 1.5 liter water bottle and a flashlight into a lighthouse that actually lights up, or make a non-lighting version using an assortment of plastic cups, paper plates and other simple materials. Stack smaller cups on top of larger cups and glue in place to make the tower. At the top, glue on a cardboard disk slightly larger than the diameter of the top cup. Cut the top couple of inches off a large cup and glue it in place upside down on the cardboard disk to make the top portion of the lighthouse. Paint the lighthouse, then glue it to an overturned heavy paper plate, and decorate the base with glued on pebbles and sand.
Lighthouse Activity Book
Print free coloring pages of the seashore, boats and lighthouses; stickers (on adhesive paper) and paper puzzles or games to create a fun activity book for kids to use when they cannot participate in physical activities--on car trips, for example. Let kids decorate heavy card stock of the same size to use as a cover and back for their book. Punch holes in all the pages and lace the book together with blue and white yarn for a nautical look.
Bake a Lighthouse Cake
Teach kids to cook and have a blast creating a lighthouse cake. Bake three cakes by dividing batter from one cake mix into a one inch layer in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, a one inch layer in an 8 inch round cake pan, and a full-sized cupcake in a muffin pan. When cool, turn the large cake out on a cutting board or table and use cookie cutters or drinking glasses to cut out several round shapes, each slightly smaller than the last--starting with one 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
On a cake plate, set the round cake to act as a base. Stack the cake circles on top of the base--from largest on the bottom to one just slightly smaller than the bottom of the cupcake at top--with icing between to act as glue--for the tower portion. Put the cupcake on top of the stack to act as the top and light area of the lighthouse. “Paint” the lighthouse with colored icing and add details with candies--licorice strings to outline windows or make rails, for example. Use candy rocks or leftover torn bits of cake to make rocks at the base of the lighthouse. Use blue icing to indicate water. Avoid stacking too tall, or you may have a leaning tower instead of a lighthouse.