Summer is finally here! Now, wait a minute. School’s probably out for the summer, swimming pools are open, and temperatures are decidedly balmy. Kids are bound to ask, how on earth has it not already BEEN summer? The answer to that is a little phenomenon called the ‘summer solstice.’
That’s the day when one of the earth’s poles is tilted as closely as possible toward the sun. When it’s the North Pole, our summertime begins! When it’s the South Pole, our friends in Australia, South Africa, and other regions down under get to enjoy summer break. (It makes you wonder how Santa Claus dresses when making his rounds on a hot Christmas in the Southern hemisphere.)
Here are 6 entertaining ways to commemorate the first day of summer using activities and articles from Cricket Media’s array of award-winning children’s magazines!
Celebrate the Solstice
Kids may be excited to learn that the summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the day when the sun appears highest in the sky! Getting into complex discussions about astronomy may be over some young children’s heads (no pun intended), but this fun article explains exactly what the solstice is in a kid-friendly way. Read and download it here.
If your children are more the literary type, this sweet poem from SPIDER may help them remember to look forward to winter solstice in six months!
Make a Permanent Sand Castle
The first day of summer is always so full of possibilities, and the summer seems like it will stretch on forever. Unfortunately, that feeling doesn’t last for long, and the rest of the season zips by in a hurry. This cool craft from SPIDER Magazine, Forever Sandcastles, is a reminder of summer fun that will never go away. It makes a perfect playroom decoration!
Cool Down With a Homemade Treat
Ice cream and summer go hand in hand. Get a sneak peek into our upcoming July/August issue of SPIDER with this frozen dragon fruit treat that you can make at home. Is dragon fruit new to your kids? Make sure that they know that according to legend, the dragon fruit was created by fire-breathing dragons during battle. If the dragon was slain, the soldiers would collect the fruit and bring it to the emperor. No one knows where this legend is from. It probably came from people trying to sell more dragon fruit!
The longest day of the year is the perfect time for playing catch! But what if, like Spider and the Gang, you’re a bug and don’t have any hands? Or perhaps you just want a more creative twist on a classic game? These Buggy Ball Catchers are sure to add excitement to a game of catch. You can even decorate them in the colors of your favorite baseball team.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Summer evenings are often filled with the sounds of wildlife. With a later sunset than any other day of the year, the first day of summer is a great time to explore nature in your own backyard. Make discoveries of animals that are active by day or by night, or just keep a record of all of the beautiful summer flowers in your neighborhood! This nature notebook from CLICK Magazine is easy to print, fold, and carry around!
Share a Summer Story
Wind down the day by reading a funny bedtime story together. When Sammy’s best friend Wally has to spend his summer with family far away from home, both friends promise one another that if they can’t have fun together, they won’t have any fun at ALL! “How To Ruin Your Summer,” by Tori Telfer with illustrations by Jimothy Oliver, appeared in SPIDER Magazine.
How did your family spend the first day of summer? If you tried any of these activities, feel free to share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!