Showing posts with label solstice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label solstice. Show all posts

Winter Solstice

On Saturday winter begins where we live although with the weather this week, I think winter is already here. We have had two snowstorms since Saturday. Hazel has made her first snowman of the season! However the snow was a bit icy to make snow angels at least in the first storm. The second one she has not gotten to play as much since she got sick (after playing in the first snowstorm). We have been talking about the shorter days. Of course Hazel is trying to figure out what that means--are there less hours in the day?

Picture of Our Back Yard This Afternoon
To get ready for the first official day  of winter, I thought we would read some winter books and try a few crafts. After reading some winter books, Hazel decided we needed to make some paper snowflakes. This is one of her favorite things to do.

Then we read some more books. We went to the library and found a huge selection of winter books and here are some we got as well as some of our favorites from our own collection.

Although I keep explaining about there being less sunlight on the winter solstice, I am not sure Hazel gets the concept yet. I hoped some of these books would help her. The first two books in this collection are about multiple seasons. The third, Winter is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer may sound confusing, however the story is told by a boy who explains how his world becomes warm (for example, hot chocolate instead of cold milk, pajamas with feet) because of the cold temperature outside.

We also had to look at some books about snow. After all that is the best and the worst part of winter.  Red Sled by Rita Judge and The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats are two of our favorite snowy/winter books.

Three of these books have activities and/or crafts in them. The top two are just about crafts and activities. It's Winter by Linda Glaser has some winter activities and explorations to do at the end of the story. It goes through what the animals are doing while it is cold outside. In the Seasonal Crafts series, Winter by Gillian Chapman has crafts for many holidays and events. The craft we decided to do was make construction paper finger puppets to go with stories that the Inuit women tell on winter nights to pass the time.

Now the Inuit people live in the Arctic. As we can imagine their winter days are long and dark.  To pass time they shared stories. Many were about the animals they lived with and ate: the caribou, the walrus and seals. Then of course there are stories about the sun, moon and the Aurora Borealis. The Inuit traditionally lived in igloos in the winter.

Iglu 1 1999-04-02
Source: By Ansgar Walk (photo taken by Ansgar Walk) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
 How would you like to live in here for the winter?

Addition on the Winter Solstice: We read the best book for the winter solstice tonight. It is The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson. It goes through history on how the winter solstice was celebrated as well as giving an experiment to try to understand the seasons. I highly recommend checking this one out!!


Looking for more winter ideas check out:
Winter Solstice
Let It Snow! Winter Wonderland Tea Party
A Wonderful Winter Book: Red Sled
My Winter Pinterest Board

Summer Solstice Shrinking Sun Lesson

When I was a child I loved Shrinky Dinks. If you do not know what they are, you should check them out. They are some plastic sheets that you can trace a picture and color and then you put them in the oven for a minute or two and they shrink to a hard plastic. Well I have been thinking about the summer solstice and a craft to talk about it and thought this would be perfect.

We started by printing some sun pictures from Microsoft Word. Here is a link to the pdf of the ones we used. I then traced them with a black Sharpie marker.
Then we colored them with some color pencils. The instructions said to sand them first, but we didn't. I did find it mattered which side you colored on though.
Then I cut them out and punched holes in them so we could hang them later. We put them on parchment paper in the warm oven (350 degrees) for two minutes. I put a chair in front of the oven so Hazel could watch them shrink. They curl up and shrink right in front of you. 

Then they flatten back out. You have to wait until they are completely flat before you take them out. Take them out and let them cool for a few minutes. They are much thicker and much smaller.
Once cool you can put a string through the hole to make a necklace (we did this with Hazel's name) or to hang up somewhere. Or you can glue them on as a decoration to something.

We had the whole discussion about how the summer solstice is the longest day of the year in terms of sunlight and how now each day will be getting shorter so there will be less (or smaller amounts of) sun. Thus our shrinking suns. Then we hung them on her seasonal tree.
This is where I share...

Getting ready for winter solistice

Today, Hazel seems to be on the mend. Her fever is gone! Her nose is not as runny and we haven't given her any medicine today. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to want to nap, but we are having quiet time right now. We'll see if it works. I don't think it will.