There’s a reason for each season and around here we are quickly approaching the Winter solstice. But what is winter solstice and what are the winter solstice traditions? Below you will find lots of great kid-friendly winter solstice activities and winter solstice crafts to celebrate the day. The darkest day of the year brings about wonderful winter activities for everyone to share together, at home or in the classroom.
WINTER SOLSTICE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
WHEN IS THE WINTER SOLSTICE?
In order to truly celebrate the winter solstice, you need to understand what is called the winter solstice and how the seasons work.
Remember we talked about a reason for the season? Well, the tilt of the Earth and it’s relation to the sun as it spins around is what creates our seasons. When the northern hemisphere is approaching the winter solstice days, it is actually tilting away from the sun.
On December 21st, here in the northern hemisphere, we experience the shortest day of the year and inevitably the darkest day of the year. This is called the winter solstice. After the winter solstice, we start to get back our sunlight little by little until we make it to the summer solstice.
WHAT ARE SOME TRADITIONS OF WINTER SOLSTICE?
This goes ages and ages back, but one of the main reasons for the winter solstice celebration is to celebrate what will be the return of light after the darkest day. Now I think that’s something to celebrate too!
These specific winter days are celebrated by different religions and cultures for many reasons. Winter solstice celebration ideas are about celebrating light, celebrating outdoors, and celebrating with food and feasts. I can get behind all of that!
WINTER SOLSTICE ACTIVITIES
There are many great traditions and activities that have been passed along with the preparation of the winter solstice. I chose some particularly interesting winter solstice activities for the classroom or at home. Everyone can enjoy participating in them together!
1. SOLSTICE SYMBOLS
There are 3 major structures and buildings associated with the winter solstice. They include Stonehenge, Newgrange, and Maeshawe. Make sure to take a closer look at each of these places and read more about their connection to the winter solstice.
It is believed that these three places are aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice. Click on the links above to read more on each of the structures/buildings. My son and I had a great time researching these places to share with you.
2. WINTER SOLSTICE STEM CHALLENGE: Build A Replica Stonehenge!
You will need Cardboard, cards, Dominoes, cups, index cards, woodblocks, and even LEGO! Check the recycling bin too. Use your design skills to come up with your own version of Stonehenge.
3. BURN A YULE LOG FOR THE WINTER SOLSTICE
Learn about the rich history that connects the yule log to the winter solstice here. You can use your own log or make this yule log decoration. Maybe you can even burn your log in an outdoor fire pit while roasting S’mores as your feast and celebration. Did you know the tradition of the yule log carries on in the form of a yule log-shaped cake!
4. MAKE WINTER SOLSTICE LANTERNS
The tradition of making luminaries and lanterns for the winter solstice can be very fun for kids to light up the dark day. You can try our super simple paper cup luminaries or these Swedish Snowball Lanterns. Grab a few battery-operated tea lights and mason jars. Try white paper bags and cut out designs. Then add a battery-operated tea light.
5. DECORATE THE OUTDOORS
Spend an afternoon making our popular and super easy bird seed ornaments to hang around your yard or even along a favorite hiking trail. Build a DIY bird feeder to share with the winter animals and birds. Make simple ice ornaments to hang on your trees.
6. CREATE BEAUTIFUL WINTER SOLSTICE CRAFTS
- Make a Crystal Snowflake for winter science that doubles as a pretty window decoration.
- Build a snowflake for a fun winter solstice STEM project
- For your next winter solstice feast, craft a Paper Snowflake Table Runner to set a beautiful scene.
- A very simple painting technique using tape resist creates a beautiful piece of winter solstice artwork.
- These woven craft stick snowflakes are gorgeous for hanging all around this winter.
- Create these colorful coffee filter snowflakes.
- Make these fun snowflake ornaments from popsicle sticks.
Celebrate and learn about the winter solstice with your kids! It’s not only an educational experience, but it’s also full of traditions and beautiful winter crafts and activities for kids and families to do together this winter season.
CELEBRATE WINTER SOLSTICE FOR KIDS THIS YEAR!
Click on the photo below for even more winter activities this season!
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