Age range: Simple shape (only halve potato): from 3 years - highlight form: from 5 years - Working time: approximately 4x 30 min.


The summer festival is one of the high points in the nursery year and is celebrated with parents and siblings of the children. Preparing and creating the mood for the celebration also involves the decoration of the environment in which the celebration will take place. Self-designed, cheerful shining lanterns are very well suited as a decoration because they spread a pleasant and cosy atmosphere both indoors and outdoors. The colourful lanterns are easy to make - even children lacking in fine motor skills can master the technique of potato printing - and guarantee success.

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Pedagogic aims

  • Learn a high pressure process
  • Design a simple pattern for the print block
  • Train fine motor skills in cutting and printing
  • Learn how to use a cutting tool
  • Learn and understand the printing process
  • Learn the basics of colour theory
  • Work with colours
  • Increase concentration and endurance

Summer lanterns
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Material and resources

For each lantern: lantern cover and lantern floor, 15.3 cm diameter, lantern bracket from wire; transparent paper in white (with or without printing, e.g. star pattern)

For the potato print: potatoes in different sizes; small kitchen knife;

Cutting board; kitchen towels; thin cardboard for templates; acrylic colours in yellow, orange, red, light green, blue; paper for test prints

For the design: water-resistant felt-tip pen in black; glitter pen in gold or silver

General: pencil; scissors; ruler; punch pliers; UHU All Purpose Adhesive Extra.


  • Gel-type synthetic resin adhesive for crystal-clear fast bonding.
  • Drip-free and clean.
  • No paper curling.

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Step-by-step plan

Summer lanterns

Step 1

For each lantern, cut a transparent paper strip 23 x 52.5 cm.

Summer lanterns

Step 2

The patterns should be simple shapes, e.g. square, triangle, right-angled triangle etc. Draw and cut the shapes on thin cardboard. Prepare templates for younger children.

Summer lanterns

Step 3

Explain and demonstrate handling of a kitchen knife. Select potatoes of a suitable size, halve them (even three-year olds can do this) and dry the cut surface with kitchen towels. Put a template on each potato half and trace the outlines with a pencil.

Summer lanterns

Step 4

Cut the contour to a depth of approx. 1 cm with a kitchen knife (adult). Allow older children to cut simple shapes such as triangles (from 5 years). Cut away the outer edge of the shape so that only the shape remains.

Summer lanterns

Step 5

Blot the cut surfaces dry with kitchen paper. With your fingers or with the brush, apply paint and press onto the practice material. Lots of paint produces a dense and rich print, a little paint produces a transparent print. Allow the children to perform some test prints and compare the results.

Summer lanterns

Step 6

Now print the transparent paper strips with patterns according to preference and allow to dry.

Summer lanterns

Step 7

Paint on details such as sensors, eyes, legs etc. with the felt pen. Apply glitter points and allow to dry.

Summer lanterns

Step 8

Stick the finished pattern strips with UHU All Purpose Adhesive Extra around the lantern base and the lantern cover. Then fix the longitudinal side. Adhesive tip: Since the transparent paper is not very absorbent, thinly apply the adhesive to both bonding surfaces, dry briefly, apply adhesive again and then press firmly together.

Summer lanterns

Step 9

With the punch pliers, punch two holes opposite each other for the lantern bracket and apply the lantern bracket.

Erika Bock

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©2011 UHU GmbH & Co. KG, Bühl (Baden) and Elke Fox. Photo Page 2: Erika Bock. Editorial staff and other photos: Elke Fox.