We at Nature Families think it is really fun to create Nature-Based Family Traditions with your families and friends that reoccur with the seasons every year. These traditions are something that keep childhood exciting and magical. Winter Solstice is a perfect opportunity to create an alternative to the Christmas obsessions with items and materialism. Consider reconnecting with you family on the solstice by spending time together instead of rushing around buying things for each other! Here our our top ten ideas for fun activities to celebrate the solstice. If you have other ideas you have tried with your family please share! Lets keep this list growing and add to our traditions from year to year! Happy Solstice!
1. Wish Gardens, the child writes their goals/wishes for the coming year on a small pieces of paper. They then bury (plant) the wishes in soil and then decorate their garden with rocks, little bits of shell, glitter, anything found in nature. Place tea candles on the top of the wishes and light, have the child remember what their wishes were as they blow out the candles. As the smoke rises, so too do their wishes.
2. Build Pine cones encrusted with peanut butter and bird seed, and orange slices hung in the trees for the Chickadee’s and Flickers.
3. Faceted Crystal hung to catch the sun and bring back the colors.
4. At sunset on Solstice toast in the “return of the Sun”, ring bells, and light candles and lanterns.
5. Cut a pomegranate to represent the seeds of coming spring.
6. Hide a golden foiled chocolate orange to represent the Sun, break and share on Solstice.
7. Prepare a Solstice Feast! The food can be shaped like the sun or the color of the sun. Talk about how all the food in the feast is connected to our Sun.
8. Read a solstice story: Here are a few great choices…
“Fireside Stories: Tales for a Winter’s Eve” by Caitlin Matthews and Helen Cann
“My Mama Earth” by Susan B. Katz and Illustrated by Melissa Launay
“The Winter Solstice” by Ellen Jackson and Jan Davey Ellis
9. Make a fire outside and roast marshmallows and sing songs…or consider making a fire inside with led tea lights and blocks…a real fire outside is better, but not when it’s 40 degrees and raining!
10. Construct lanterns out of old milk jugs or soda jugs, glue thin pieces of crate paper on the outside for a stained glass effect. Use a dowel or stick as a handle and connect it with a string. Use a battery operated tea light inside. After dark have a parade of lanterns around her yard or neighborhood! Maybe your family solstice tradition can bring cheer to your community as well as your family!
Happy Winter Solstice From Nature Families!