In the lead up to Summer Solstice and Christmas I continued our new tradition of celebrating Litha with a Solstice calendar and activity string. Last year I made a separate calendar and string which held activities written on scrolls, but this year I decided to combine the two into one. I was also a bit more organized than the year before and started our calendar on the first day of summer, the calendar ending on the day of the solstice, the 21st. Each day we started our celebration by lighting a candle and saying this verse by Ch. Morgenstern
I am the sun and I bear with my might,
the earth by day, the earth by night.
I hold her fast and my gifts I bestow,
to everything on her so that it may grow.
Man and stone, flower and bee,
all receive their light from me.
Open thy heart, dear child to me,
so that we together one light may be.
Then the children alternately opened the day of the calendar for each day of summer. Inside each sun was an activity for us to share and a little, corresponding hand drawn picture.
Our activities for the 21 days of summer were:
1. Make a recycled globe (I got this idea from Celebrating our Great Mother. The original idea is a Salvaged Globe made from rubbish but I decided we’d make it our of recycling instead. We talked about how we are helping to prevent waste by recycling, what it would be like if no-one recycled and other ways we can reduce waste).
2. Rock hopping at the river
3. Make Solstice cards (to send to grandparents with lots of sparkle and shine! We talked about how this is a time of giving and how at this time of the year when we receive so much from mother earth it is important to give as well).
4. Make lemonade ice blocks
5. Make dried orange sun decorations (a simple but effective activity and one we’d never tried before).
6. Full moon crystal charging (this was a big favourite!)
7. Picnic at Judbury park (our closest park but one we’d never picnicked at before!)
8. Make Sun God’s eyes
9. Bake cookies (hey, they’re round like the sun right?)
10. Play a board game together
11. Give a gift for the ABC tree (again this activity was all about the importance of giving).
12. Make dragonfly peg tree decorations (I was inspired by this activity but we pegged our dragonflies on our tree).
13. Put up our Solstice/Christmas tree and decorate
14. Yoga – Sun Salute (honouring our bright burning sun with our bodies)
15. Walk to the river and collect rubbish (we talked out the importance of honouring mother earth and how as well as appreciating her gifts we need to care for her too).
16. Make sun poi’s (a very fun activity, I found some simple instructions here).
17. Make banana smoothies
18. Plant a no-dig potato patch
19. Paint a huge Father sun together
20. Make a time capsule to look back on next year
21. Solstice picnic at the beach! (We also gave each of the children a new sleeping bag for our Christmas camping trip).
After opening the calendar for each day I read a summer or sun related story, including picture books I borrowed from the library, mythological stories, and fairy tales, and we put out our candle.
After the solstice we got ready for our little Christmas escape to the Bay of Fires, east coast Tasmania.
We stayed at the beautiful Dora Point campground
The children were very eager to head straight down to the beach after a day spent in the car
Beach antics 🙂
Laska loved playing in the shallows but has forgotten how to swim again! It’s just a bit too scary.
Deep conversation on the rocks surrounding our campsite.
Each evening the crabs came out to eat, Anusha faced her crab fears,
braving all the little claws.
Our little camp Christmas tree,
Christmas camp lunch,
and enjoying new gifts.
There was exploration and treasures found (‘jellies’ were a favourite).
New tastes were explored too.
We went for a walk and found new beaches,
sought the shade when it got too hot,
And made the most of the quiet.
By the end of the week we were all ready to return to our little home, we just had to convince Laska to get in the car 🙂