Wondering what is summer solstice or how to teach about summer solstice to kids? Here are fun ways to celebrate the longest day of the year (and learn the science behind it!), learn the difference between equinox and solstice, discuss solstice traditions and rituals, and get crafts and activities to do with kids on this first day of summer!
WHAT IS SUMMER SOLSTICE?
Summer solstice happens when an earth pole has fully titled toward the sun and the sun travels the longest path in the sky. In the Norther hemisphere, it marks summer, or the longest day of the year when sunlight is available. In the Southern hemisphere, it is actually creating the winter solstice, or the shortest day of the year.
Summer solstice is also called estival solstice or midsummer.
When is summer solstice?
In the Northern hemisphere, summer solstice happens on Sunday, June 2o, 2021.
What’s the longest day of 2021?
Is the summer solstice the longest day of the year? Yes, in the Northern hemisphere, the summer solstice, or June 20, 2021, marks the longest day of the year.
Is summer solstice always the same day?
You may be wondering is the summer solstice always on June 21 or June 20th? The summer solstice is not based on a specific date. It is based on when the sun reaches the northern most point from the equator. This generally happens around June 20, 21, or 22, but may vary each year.
How long does the summer solstice last?
The summer solstice 2021, the longest day of the year, will last about 17 hours.
What is the difference between an equinox and a solstice?
Equinox happens when the daytime and nighttime hours are almost exactly the same length of time (“equal”). There are two equinox happenings—fall and spring. Solstice happens when the sun reaches the highest point (the longest day of the year), or the lowest point (the shortest day of the year). There are also two solstices—one for summer and one for winter.
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What happens during a summer solstice?
Why do we celebrate summer solstice?
Many people celebrate summer solstice as the longest day of the year and the true start to summer, with warmer weather and longer days for summer activities. For others, it holds a more important meaning centered around the sun, light, and summer solstice rituals. Some think that a summer solstice celebration is a pagan celebration, but there are summer solstice celebrations around the world for many different reasons. Some celebrate nature on that day and others celebrate it as a religious or pagan celebration.
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What Is Summer Solstice: Children’s Activities, Lessons, and Learning
Have fun with these summer solstice children’s activities!
- Learn about the summer solstice at the Egyptian Sphinx, where the sun sets between two of the Great Pyramids
- Learn about the summer solstice at Stonehenge and watch the Stonehenge 2021 Live Stream Event
- Bake sun bread (or any round bread to represent the sun)
- Spend time outside enjoying the sun
- Enjoy a nature’s bounty meal straight from your garden or the local farmer’s market
- Have a bonfire
- Plant sunflowers
- Check out an image comparing summer solstice vs winter solstice
- Make a sundial
- Watch a summer solstice video explaining how solstice works
- Watch a video explaining how earth’s rotation works
- Learn about Native American summer solstice rituals and how others celebrate
- Learn about Native ceremonial sundance often practiced during Summer Solstice (better for older kids)
- Have a picnic outside
- Enjoy a family and friend pitch-in
- Learn about solar power and how the sun provides it
- Do solar crafts
- Make sun paper art
- Make a flower crown (and then wear it!)
- Create nature garland out of flowers, greenery, and herbs
- Create your own sun dance
- Read The Reasons for Seasons
- Start a kids’ garden
- Learn about nature’s insects and their importance
- Stay up late and watch the solstice sunset!