For hundreds of years, Winter Markets have been held in Germany and other parts of Europe as a means to celebrate the Christmas season and bring light to the darkest days of the year. To find out more about some of these markets and to see pictures of the best markets in Europe, visit this website. http://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/christmas-markets/
Out and About:
To find one such market closer to home, visit the Christkindl Market in Downtown Denver. This German style market comes to Denver every year and is located on the Skyline Mall across the 16th street mall from the clock tower. This market is open daily until December 23rd. Check their website (http://www.denverchriskindlemarket.com) for hours, vendors, entertainment, as well as a brief history of these specifically German markets. They also have a story time for children under 12 every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 during the run of the market. To get the full German holiday market experience with all its sights, smells, tastes, and sounds, visit the market with your family before it closes.
As I visited the Christkindl Market this year, and walked through the rows of tiny houses filled with the wares of the vendors, I was reminded of the little plaster village, my mom puts in the bay window of my parents’ house every year.
Plaster houses are hard to come by this time of year/so close to Christmas (I’ve checked everywhere- next year before Thanksgiving you can check Michaels or other craft store to see if they have them. I’ve also hear rumors that they could be found at Dollar Tree once upon a time), so instead you can create your own light up village using only a glass jar, some craft materials, and a LED tea candle.
To do this project you will need the following supplies:
- Glass or plastic jar- the larger the better
- Copy paper or some other medium weight paper in the color of your choice
- Mod podge (Mod podge can be found in your local craft store in the glue section)
- Foam brush or regular paint brush
- Scissors (or Exacto knife and rubber cutting mat for older children with adult supervision.)
- Pencil and eraser
- LED tea light or other candle (if using a real candle, be very careful when lit)
To make your lantern:
- On your paper, draw out the shapes of houses or buildings (my sister helped me out with this project, and as you can see, she decided to make tall buildings) you would like to put on your jar. Try to keep these shapes fairly simple so they will be easy to cut. Also, make sure the houses or buildings aren’t too big for your jar. If they are, cut them down so they will fit.
- Once you are satisfied with your houses or buildings, cut them out with scissors. Older children may be able to use an Exacto knife with a rubber cutting mat underneath (with adult supervision of course).
- When all of your houses or buildings are cut out, glue them to your jar. To do this, paint one side of one of the paper house or building shape with the mod podge using your foam or regular brush.
- Stick that shape onto the jar with the mod podge side down.
- Do this with all of your houses or buildings. Make sure that there is empty space between each house or building. This will allow the light to shine through the holes. Windows and doors in your houses or buildings are also great because they let the light through.
- Once all of your shapes are glued to the jar, paint a thin coat of mod podge over the shapes to seal them in.
- Let jar dry
- Once the jar is dry, put your candle in it, and wait until it gets dark.
We here at Inquisitive Lantern would love to see your and your children’s projects. Please share them and your feedback at the end of this post. Please note though that Inquisitive Lantern will approve all posts for their family friendly content before they become public.