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How to make a lighthouse out of paper towel rolls

Updated July 20, 2017

Children are fascinated with lighthouses and their purpose. Reading stories and showing photographs of lighthouses to children encourages them to explore colour and patterns. An easy craft project using a paper towel roll allows children to use their creativity and to better visualise lighthouses.

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  1. Talk to the child or children about lighthouses and their purpose. If possible show several examples of lighthouses. Explain the importance of the light itself.

  2. Cut a small piece of yellow construction paper and glue it to one end of a paper towel tube. Explain to the children that this yellow paper represents the light. Depending on the age of the children in the activity, this "light" can be as simple as a piece of paper cut or torn unevenly or it can be cut in more complex geometrical shapes. This end will be the top of the lighthouse.

  3. Show the children examples of solid coloured light houses and ones with patterns. For a more creative activity, allow the children to use their imaginations to come up with their own patterns and designs. However, if a more uniform lighthouse pattern is desired, show the children specific patterns and limit their choice of paper colours and shapes.

  4. Cut out paper from the colours chosen to create the lighthouse. Glue the coloured paper either in a pattern or randomly to the paper towel tube. Patterns or randomness will depend on the age of the children.

  5. Tip

    Depending on the age of the children, they may need help using the scissors and glue. Encourage the children to be thoughtful in choosing their colours and the pattern for the lighthouse.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel tube
  • Multiple coloured construction paper - including yellow
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue stick

About the Author

Ren Hanson

Ren Hanson has been writing since 1985, contributing to various military and community publications. After earning her B.A. in industrial psychology, she went on to serve as a research analyst in the military and later as a teacher.

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