The Winter Solstice is upon us! Also known as the shortest day and longest night of the year, the winter solstice usually takes place on December 21st or 22nd every year in the Northern Hemisphere. Many cultures around the world celebrate the solstice by holding festivals, and holidays. These celebrations were created to celebrate the return of light, and the joy of each day growing longer and longer.
The earth, as it turns out, has an axial tilt and daily rotation around the sun. As the Earth follows its orbit around the sun it slowly tilts. The earth also has two hemispheres: northern and southern. When one hemisphere faces toward the sun (summer) the other hemisphere faces away from the sun (winter.) This is because the two hemispheres face opposite directions along the earth’s axis. Now you know the science behind it. How about some activities to celebrate the solstice?
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Winter Solstice Activities
The children and I made orange pomanders. Oranges symbolize the return of the sun. They are also lovely for decoration and the smell of cloves helps to freshen any room! All you need are a few oranges and whole cloves.
The cloves were a bit difficult for our daughter to push into the oranges so I helped her quite a bit. Our son, on the other hand, enjoyed this activity immensely. He took to making shapes with the cloves like spirals, leaf shapes, and even a pony!
Winter Solstice Activities
Solstice Sun Bread
We took our favorite bread recipe but in honor of the winter solstice, we shaped our loaf of bread into the shape of the sun!
Dried Orange Slices for Garland
Remember, citrus fruit symbolizes the sun.
Did you know you can dry orange slices and use them for decoration? If you have an electric dehydrator, then, by all means, use that. But a good old fashion oven works just as well.
Just slice your oranges and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a wire rack.
Set your oven to 200 degrees for 4-5 hours until the rinds are hard.
We also took our orange end pieces and added them with a couple of cinnamon sticks and water to slow simmer on the stove all day. The aroma reminds me of the holidays of my childhood!
Once your orange slices are hard, you can use them for garland, ornaments, and other decorations!
Winter Solstice Chalk Pastels
Celebrate the winter solstice with your kids with chalk pastels winter-themed art! They are easy and fun for the whole family.
With the Chalk Pastels Clubhouse, you have access to ALL of their winter-themed art along with 600+ other art lessons? It’s true! Here are just some of the winter art course lessons you can do with the clubhouse membership:
- Fireplace (A Simple Start)
- Frost (Winter)
- Icicles (Winter)
- Frozen lake (Winter)
- Winter forest scene with deer (Winter)
- Stonehenge winter solstice (World Landmarks)
- Bird in snow (Winter)
- Northern Lights (Essential Oils)
- Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening (Master Classes)
- Winter Tree Reflection Acrylic (Master Classes)
- Snowman (Preschool)
- Skate (Winter Games)