Understanding spring solstice vs spring equinox (including spring equinox and vernal equinox) and 15 spring equinox lesson plans (vernal equinox lesson for kids), solstice and equinox lesson plans and STEM activities.
Here are some spring equinox facts you can discuss with the kids before getting to spring activities for kids.
Be sure to read through it because it covers common questions, especially on spring solstice versus spring equinox.
Let’s take a closer look at the spring equinox definition…
What is spring solstice?
Spring solstice is actually called spring equinox. (People mistakenly called it spring solstice sometimes.) It is when the sun crosses the equator going north. In the northern hemisphere, the sun’s rays are directly over the equator and making it have 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night (an equal amount). It marks the changing of the season to spring.
What are the solstices and equinoxes?
What is the difference between a solstice and an equinox? An equinox happens when the amount of day time is equal to the amount of night time. It happens twice per year — as a spring equinox and a fall equinox. A solstice happens when it is the longest day of the year (summer solstice) and the shortest day of the year (winter solstice). A solstice happens when the sun’s zenith is at the furthest point from the equator.
When is spring equinox this year?
In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring equinox occurs on Thursday, March 19, 2020.
What is the exact time of the spring equinox?
The spring equinox will occur at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on March 19, 2020.
What is the beginning of spring called?
The first day of spring is called the spring equinox. It is also called the March equinox or the vernal equinox.
What is the spring equinox called?
In the Northern Hemisphere, the spring equinox is called the vernal equinox.
According to Merriam-Webster:
“Equinox comes from the Latin words aequi, which means equal, and nox, which means night. The vernal equinox is considered the first day of spring: finally, the day and night are of equal length.”
How do you celebrate the spring equinox?
Here are 13 fun ways to celebrate the spring (vernal) equinox with kids:
- Read a book and learn more about spring equinox.
- Talk a nature hike.
- Create a spring bird feeder.
- Plan a garden to plant later in the year.
- Visit a farm where baby animals were just born.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Make and hide kindness rocks during a spring equinox walk.
- Make some baby chick cupcakes.
- Pick or plant some flowers.
- Make a recipe with seasonal spring vegetables or fruits.
- Get organized with spring cleaning!
- Plant a container fairy garden.
- Go on a signs of spring scavenger hunt.
SEE OUR FULL LIST OF SPRING EQUINOX ACTIVITIES AND LESSON PLANS BELOW. KEEP SCROLLING!
It seems like every year I see parent and homeschooling groups trying the “egg stand up on the equinox” trick and then being amazed.
Let’s learn more about standing up an egg on equinox…
Does an egg stand up on the equinox?
There are claims that during the equinoxes you can stand an egg on end because of the pull of equal gravity toward both the North and South. However, the spring or fall equinox egg balance is actually a myth. You can, however, balance an egg any day of the year with some practice!
You May Also Enjoy:
15 Spring Equinox (“Spring Solstice”) Activities, Crafts, and Lessons for Kids
- Watch a video about equinoxes and solstices
- Read a book with a multicultural perspective of spring equinox
- Watch the video Happy Equinox!
- Learn about the earth’s rotation in the roll of equinoxes
- Get solstice and equinox lesson plans (grades 6-8)
- Use the interactive map to learn why we have seasons
- Make your own solar system model to practice seasons
- Make a hand flower craft
- Talk about the egg balancing myth and then try balancing an egg!
- Start seedlings indoors to transplant outside or to a container garden later in the season
- Do a lesson plan on the seasons.
- Learn about farm animals (many are born in the spring!)
- Read I Am Spring to learn about what happens during the season
- Grab a free spring poetry writing lesson
- Dye some eggs (eggs are a spring symbol of rebirth!)