The longest day of the year is nearly upon us! It is known as the summer solstice, and it marks the first official day of the summer season in our part of the world. This year, the summer solstice is on Friday, June 21, and it’s a great time to celebrate summer with your child.
So, What Is the Summer Solstice?
At the same time, the Southern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, which means colder temperatures and the beginning of winter there.
Over the next six months, the earth will slowly tilt in the other direction, bringing colder temperatures here until the winter solstice in December marks the beginning of winter in our hemisphere, and the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Did you know that the North Pole experiences what is known as a “six-month summer”? Because of the tilt of the earth, the sun stays in the sky over the North Pole for virtually the entire day during the summer! In contrast, because the South Pole is tilted away from the sun during our summer, it’s dark for nearly the entire day there.
Looking for ways to turn the changing seasons into an educational opportunity? Below, we’ve listed 10 activities to get your children excited about summer. Happy learning!
10 Summer Solstice Activities for Children
Sunny Monoprints: Welcome summer with these fun prints of the sun. Using a few household items and paint, your children can officially welcome in summer with their own artistic creations.
Create Your Own Sundial: Have your children learned how to tell time using the sun? This template from NASA walks children through every step in the process of making their own sundial.
Four Seasons Handprint Tree Art: Young artists will love this activity. Working with different color palates on each square, your child will capture the colors and mood of summer, fall, winter, and spring.
Make a Flower Crown: Your children will love picking their own flowers use on a crown that celebrates the arrival of summer! These simple instructions walk you through the whole process using fake flowers, but you could also use real wildflowers from your area.
Summer Coloring Page: Rusty and Rosy from Waterford UPSTART want to help get your kids excited about summer! This coloring page shows the two characters as they head out for a fun day at the beach.
Cosmic Suncatchers: This fun craft uses glue and food coloring to make an out-of-this-world creation—a colorful suncatcher that children will love to display around the house.
Make Your Own Kite: Parents, children, and magical nannies alike will love building their own kite. These simple instructions will get you flying in no time!
Summer Bucket List: Before it’s too late, put together a bucket list of your must-do activities this summer. These can include travel activities, learning activities, backyard fun, and so much more.
Homemade Ice Cream: Nothing says “welcome summer” quite like ice cream. With this easy recipe, you can whip up your own delicious treat in a resealable plastic bag.
Sun Prints: Teach your children about the power of the sun’s rays in this outdoor activity that’s perfect for celebrating the summer solstice.