Summer Solstice is one of the most ancient of human festivals. Each year, it occurs on or around June 21 — the midway point in the year when sun is highest in the sky and the days are longer than the nights. In ancient times, people all over the northern hemisphere would celebrate this time with bonfires, games, and feasting. Here at Sparkle, we really enjoy honoring the change of seasons and encourage your family to do the same. We have a whole list of activities, crafts, recipes, and stories to help your family make the solstice a special time too.
In our house, we celebrate both solstices — winter and summer — with equal fervor. We have a calendar which I made with little cards, much like an advent calendar. Each card contains an activity to do for that day to explore summer and the long days. Your family can celebrate for the whole month (like we do), for just a week, or even only the day of solstice.
Here are a few of the activities you can do:
Read summer-themed books.
Books are a great way to set the mood for the seasonal change. Martin and Sylvia do this in the the story, "Christmas Books". Here are some of our favorite summer books:
- The Longest Day by Wendy Pfeffer
- Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey
- One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
- Summer by Gerda Muller
- The Curious Fish by Elsa Beskow
- Stella Fairy of the Forest by Marie-Louise Gay
Listen to Summer inspired Stories:
Create a summer nature table.
If you have been following along with the four-part seasonal series, you probably already have a spring nature table on display. Now is the time to change it to summer. Bring in lots of greenery and flowers. Make drawings and nature art to inspire you — and don't forget to add something sunny!
There are so many different kind of sun catchers. You can make ones with wax paper and flowers or wax paper and crayons. You can take it to another level and make our beaded window catchers.
Summer days should be spent outside as much as possible. These flags with bring a bit of celebration to any backyard.
Create a sundial to keep track of the time and notice how short the shadows are on the summer solstice.
Have a cookout! A great way to make the summer solstice a special time is to cook something seasonal and delicious. We like to have a cookout, much like the one we have on the Fourth of July. We build a bonfire and roast or grill all kinds of foods. Here are some great Sparkle recipes to try.
Have a bonfire and stay up late! No Solstice celebration would be complete without a bonfire. For thousands of years people have celebrated the longest day with a bit of fire. If you live in a place that doesn't allow bonfires light a few candles.
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About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.