How to Make a Lighthouse Out of Paper Towel Rolls


Children are fascinated with lighthouses and their purpose, which is to keep ships safe in storms with a beam of light. Reading stories and showing photographs of lighthouses to children encourages them to explore color and patterns, which can be incorporated into an uncomplicated cardboard project. This craft project using a paper towel roll allows children to use their creativity and to better visualize lighthouses. Once the lighthouse is finished, it will decorate a child's bedroom.

Things You'll Need

  • Books about lighthouses
  • Paper towel tube
  • Multiple colored construction paper - including yellow
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Talk to the child or children about lighthouses and their purpose. Show the child several examples of lighthouses in books. Explain the importance of the light itself.

  • 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.

  • Show the children examples of solid colored 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 colors and shapes.

  • Cut out paper from the colors chosen to create the lighthouse. Glue the colored paper either in a pattern or randomly to the paper towel tube. Whether you choose random colors or patterns will depend on the age of the children.

Tips & Warnings

  • 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 colors and the pattern for the lighthouse.

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  • Photo Credit Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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  • "The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter"; Arielle North Olson and Elaine Wentworth; 2004
  • "Lighthouses"; Metro Books; 2001

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