Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is almost upon us, and I'm happy to say that I've found a few good books and activities to help kids understand the science and cultural heritage of solstice celebrations.  Weny Pfeffer's The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice is a detailed yet pleasant exploration of Midsummer that T and I both like.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mermaid Dance is a fantasy tale with pretty illustrations of mermaids having a party.

Under Alaska's Midnight Sun is a cute rhyming book about a girl who wants to stay up until midnight on the solstice in Alaska. It's a pleasant read, and the best solstice pick for younger picture book readers in my opinion.

The Summer Solstice by Ellen Jackson is the most detailed (and wordy) picture book I found.  Best suited for elementary age kids.

Both the first and last books mentioned had great scientific explanations of the earth's tilting, descriptions of historical celebrations, and art and craft activities at the end.  Making sun tea or smores, for example, or painting rocks to look like the sun and creating a home-made sun dial are some of the ideas I found.

I also like the paper plate and handprint sun at Enchanted Learning .

Here's a sunshine fingerplay I found at Step by Step along with a number of other sun-related pre-school activities:

    Sunshine Fingerplay - by Terry H.The sun makes the outside a warm place to play (arms above head in circle) It makes the flowers grow each day (holding up hands wiggling fingers) The sun hides its face during the night (cover face with hands) But during the daytime it shines - oh so bright (arms above head in circle)

Crayola has a nice coloring page with the earth and sun on it.  I'm still trying to find one that shows the whole earth rotation, with tilting for the seasons.  Do let me know if you find something like that!

Feeling extra motivated?  Try building your own stonehenge with your older child.

I hope to get pictures up soon, but we've been traveling and it's tough.  Come back again next week for some Daddy Deployment stories, crafts and activities!

No comments:

Post a Comment