Summer Solstice or Litha or Midsummer’s Day is a celebration of the longest day and shortest night. The sun is at the highest point in the sky so we do a lot of sun and sunflower-related crafts and activities to celebrate. You do not have to be pagan to celebrate summer or do any of these activities.
Before a celebration or a holiday of any sort I try to spend a few weeks leading up to it preparing my toddler to understand what is going on. With books, any related tv shows, songs, crafts we hang up and decorate the house with and explaining to her what we are doing and why.
Here are some things I did with my toddler to start preparing/celebrating:
We tried some sunflower painting crafts I found on Pinterest. The one’s I did or have her “help” me with are much clearer and more successful than the ones she did herself. But, I always let her try one her way to experiment and be creative as well.
We painted a sunflower using a fork for the flower petals and using a regular brush for the middle and the stalk and leaves.
I also tried to do a hand print sunflower with a foot print stalk. Bee’s is a lot more clear than Po’s, he had no idea what I was doing to him. They both were so ticklish and laughed hysterically as I painted their feet and hands to do the prints. Even at 5 1/2 months I still try to include Po in things too and he thought it was really funny so I am glad I did!
Sunshine Sensory Bin
Next I tried my hand at a sensory bin. I know these are really popular but I have never done one with Bee so this was all new to me. I decided on a “Sunshine” theme and went around the house looking for a bunch of yellow things I could put in the bin. I found a Tupperware bin, used yellow food dye to die some old rice I had used to try and restore an old iPhone that went through the wash (it sadly did not make it). I added yellow pom poms, a pipe cleaner I spiraled, ducks, plastic links, a pretend mustard, and lemon from her kitchen, etc. and put the whole thing together.
First, I wish it was not raining so we could have done it outside, it was MESSY! I put a table cloth down, but still there was rice everywhere, prepare for a good clean after. Bee loved scoping up the rice with the yellow cup and star toys and pouring it into another bowl. Po enjoyed playing with the other items and putting it in his mouth as he does with everything just now. Eventually Bee thought it would be funny to throw the rice at Po, so we put it away to play with another day (preferably outside). Overall it was a success though, it’s great practice on her motor skills learning to pour and scoop, and even Po loved feeling the different textures of things.
Next activity I am trying is sun medallions. Bee loved hunting eggs so much on Ostara and Easter that I know she will love the chance to find all these medallions hidden around the yard (hopefully it will be nice enough).
First off we made salt dough. Here is a basic recipe, 1 cup salt, 2 cups flour, ¾ cup water, food coloring. I added yellow food colouring to the water before I added it to the dough to tint it better. I added it all in the kitchen aid to mix it up. Then rolled it out and used small circle tea light holders to cut them out (Bee helped of course). I used the bendy part of my straws to make circles that look like suns, a knife to draw suns, and a fork (inspired by our sunflower painting craft) to make suns on them too. I left a few with no designs at all so Bee could paint them. I put it on a cookie sheet and left it to dry.
On Summer Solstice morning Bee and I (with Po watching from the deck) went out with her pink basket to look for the sun medallions. She had so much fun! Although this is a sun holiday, the sun is nowhere to be seen today, but even running around in the rain looking for the medallions was entertaining. She ran all over the backyard looking for them, then got distracted by her Bat Cave outside (that my sister made) and every medallion then went into the kitchen sink. After she found them all she played in the kitchen making “cookies”, breaking them, and making “Dinner”. Overall it was a great success and I think we will definitely add this activity to our family Summer Solstice festivities.
How is your family celebrating summer or the Summer Solstice?