Summer Solstice

June 20-23 is Summer Solstice. I've always enjoyed celebrating the seasons and it's something I love sharing with my children.
Here are some links and ideas for activites and rituals that can be used with your own children. If you know of any others, feel free to share in the comment section. :-)

Go outside:
Go outside and experience the summer. Watch some sunrises and sunsets together as a family. Make it a special event. Prepare a special meal for the occasion. It doesn't have to be fancy, perhaps just a special treat. While the kids may be on summer vacation, many of us still have to work. Nevertheless, try to take some time to spend a day under the sun at the beach or the park. Summer weather is the perfect time for outdoor activities. Help your children get in touch with nature. Look around you. What's different? What birds are in your area now that weren't there a few months ago? Which flowers are blooming? Go hiking, explore, and learn about your local wildlife. Visit a farmer's market and pick up some seasonal fruits.

Make solar images:
Bring the outside in and let creativity flow. Making round, golden shapes that mimic the sun is a wonderful, old tradition. You can help the kids make wreathes decorated with flowers and bright ribbons. Make little suns out of clay from your local craft store. Use toothpicks or chopsticks to make rays and happy faces. Make suns out of paper plates, construction paper, or paint wooden disks. The possibilities are endless and the only requirements are that they be round and that colors evoke the sun's radiant splendor. Hang them around the house afterwards.

Have a bonfire:
Midsummer celebrations have traditionally included bonfires to keep away bad spirits and to encourage fertility, purification, health, and love. Having a bonfire in the backyard makes for a great family evening. Play drums and other instruments, sing songs, and tell stories of the sun, the Gods, and heroes. Burn the remnants of your Yule tree or a Wicker Man that you've created out of dead branches tied together with cotton twine. If your fire in small and your children are big, they can leap over it for good luck.

Play with fairies:
Midsummer is a great time for fairy magic. Older children interested in divination might enjoy being introduced to a tarot deck with a fairy theme. Smaller children will get a kick out of building a fairy shelter. It's easy and fun. All you need is a small box that is open on one end (a shoebox will work). Paint it or decorate it with ribbons and whatever you can find in the yard -- sticks, feathers, flowers, leaves. Place it outside and leave out some milk or honey for the fairies. Little kids always get very excited to find the offerings gone and the fairy house turned upside down from their wild parties. You can also leave a small gift for your child as a thank you from the fairies -- a shell, a flower, a pretty rock, or perhaps a small trinket that had been "lost" around the house (everyone knows they faeries love to play tricks).

Decorate the altar:
Cover your altar with flowers and other greens. Roses are symbols of the Goddess at this time of year. Add fruits of the season, images of the suns, sunflowers, and other symbols of the summer.

Let go:
Letting go of things and people is never easy and it doesn't have to mean you're getting rid of something. It's another step towards change and growth. If you've been putting off your spring cleaning, now is a good time to do it. Give away the items that you and your children have outgrown -- toys, clothing, books. Give them to friends or donate them to charity. Just as the Sun King begins to lose his strength, the summer solstice reminds us that nothing last forever. We are part of a constant cycle of life and death. It is the Wheel of the Year.

A solar summer solstice project

Celebrating the sun

Solstice ideas

Scroll down for recipes and crafts

Related Tags: ,