EXPLANATION OF THE HOLIDAY
These books give a scientific explanations of the Summer Solstice, and a bit of history about how it’s been celebrated.
- “The Summer Solstice” by Ellen Jackson (for ages 9-12), or
- “The Longest Day” by Wendy Pfeffer (for ages 4-8)
Look for these sun and summer themed books at your library.
- “When the Sun Rose” by Barbara Berger (for ages 4-8)
- “Summer’s Vacation” by Lynn Plourde (for ages 4-8)
- “Midsummer magic : a garland of stories, charms, and recipes” by Ellin Greene
- Make sun-colored God’s Eyes. Most adults know how to make this classic camp craft. Some ancient cultures thought of the sun as a sky god’s eye.
- Make herb crowns. Midsummer is traditionally a time for gathering herbs. See my Bealtaine article on making daisy chains. The same method can be used to make herb (or herb & flower) crowns.
- Make a sun crown.
- Make a solstice sun shirt with tie dye, a homemade stencil, and fabric crayons.
- Make burnable sun symbols. How many ways can you think of to make a burnable sun symbol? Fold or weave plant materials into a circle, or draw, color and cut out a sun from paper or cardboard. You could also use my method of making tissue paper sun faces (kind of like paper snowflakes), or simple accordion-folded sunbursts. Sacrifice your masterpiece to the midsummer bonfire.
- Make a salt dough sun plaque.
- Look for he June 2008 issue of Family Fun magazine at your library. It has some great Midsummer crafts: Swinging Comet Tails (attaching a glow in the dark tennis ball to a string and spinning it around in the dark- it makes glowing circles!), Fireless Tiki Torches (adapting a flashlight to look like a torch), Cricket Chirper (make a wooden instrument to call the crickets).
- While you’re at the library, check out “EcoArt: Earth-Friendly Art & Craft Experiences for 3- to 9-year-olds” by Laurie Carlson. Some crafts from that book that I think are “Solsticey” are: Solar Art (p.94), Rose Petal Beads (p.96), and an Herb Pillow (p.100).
GAMES / ACTIVITIES
- Have the Sun Coin Treasure Hunt from “WiccaCraft for Famalies” by Margie McArthur. This is one of the best ideas I have seen for celebrating the Summer Solstice. The basic idea is that you make little disks of clay or wood or what-have-you and draw/paint/or etch sun symbols onto them. The book gives many examples of designs you can use. Hide them and have a treasure hunt! (Although making them is more than half the fun!) You can even get all complicated and make a treasure map and such- details in the book. (Use easy-to-make sun-colored bandana drawstring bags to carry your sun coins.)
- Make the sun piñata from “Circle Round” by Starhawk, Diane Baker & Anne Hill. Coat a big balloon in papier-mache, let dry. Pop balloon, seal opening with more mache. Attach newspaper cones for sun-rays and add more layers of papier-mache. Let dry. Paint. Cut a door to insert prizes and candy. More elaborate instructions can be found in the book. You could even make individual ones for each child (see my article on making Papier-Mâché Ēostre Eggs.) How many different kinds of sun-themed goodies can you think of to fill the piñata?