Book Club: The Lonely Firefly and glow in the dark FIREFLY LANTERN!

When I was a kid, during the summer we would collect fireflies at dusk and put them in a glass jar (with holes in the lid) in order to create a firefly lantern. A magical moment during hot summer evenings which would end with the release of the fireflies in an explosion of twinkling light. In downtown Milan, this is a little more difficult. Inspired by these memories I decided to insert the lovely book, The Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle into our Book Club curriculum. We combined the reading with a lovely little glow in the dark FIREFLY LANTERN with is doable even in a big city! Not sure how to run a book club? Remember to read this explanation before starting!

You will need:
The Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
Glow in the dark paint
Small glass jar with a lid
White paper
Wood beads

Vocabulary development: eyes, candle, cat, dog, night, to glow, fireworks, lightening bug, flashlight, jar, headlight, lantern, lightbulb, lid, sunrise, paint brush, paint, beads, chenille stem, wings

Need flashcards? Remember to download, print and make into flashcards before holding the book club. (The Lonely Firefly Flashcards – 1, The Lonely Firefly Flashcards – 2).

Let’s get started:
Step 1: Paint the lid of the jar red.

Step 2: Take a chenille stem and thread with beads. Poke two holes in the lid and insert the two ends of the chenille stem through to the inside.

Step 3: Reinforce the chenille stem on the inside of the lid using two buttons. I found that the handle fell over if I did not do this.

Step 4: Paint the inside of the jar with glow in the dark paint. Given it a really generous coat. Let dry. Add the lid and you are done!

We had to keep the kids busy while the paint was drying so we decided to make a cute little tag to personalize our FIREFLY LANTERN. I used a firefly die cutter but you could also just cut out the needed shapes.

Have the kids use markers to color the pieces of the firefly.

Glue onto a paper tag and use to personalize the FIREFLY LANTERN.

By the time we had put together our FIREFLY tags our lids were dry and we were able to finish up! The best part is that it really glows in the dark!


Not quite the same as the real thing but not bad and lots of fun!

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