My little dilophosaurus is 3, nearly 4, and this Summer Solstice will hopefully be spent, at least in part, on our allotment. We have a dry stone altar there so if the weather permits we will pack up a seasonal picnic and take it with us, decorating the altar with nature bits my 3 year old finds and other trinkets to symbolise the festival. We will give thanks to the sun for its warmth and helping everything to grow, making it a bit of a game taking it in turns to suggest something.
We go past at least a dozen elder trees on route to the allotment and my little dilophosaurus loves to stop and smell the flowers on the lowest branches, we will harvest some and make a special solstice elderflower drink together with them. We will also bake a sunny marmalade cake.
I’ve downloaded some lovely sunny solstice pictures for my little dilophosaurus to colour and a template to dot paint a sun too. Another decoration we will have a go at is making a paper plate sun. We will also read a solstice story or two.
Manager, Children & Families Team
Summer Solstice especially when the weather is nice is the most wonderful thing to celebrate. The world around looks glorious and vibrant, and it is a good day to really feel alive. Most of the time we will celebrate on the day but sometimes the solstice falls on a family birthday in which case we will switch our celebration to 24th June which is the date of Olde Midsummer.
Some people like to watch the sunrise but that is a little early for us, so we enjoy the longest day and watch the sunset. We like to visit a body of water somewhere to have a picnic, the beach is a great choice, but we usually stay local to a nearby stream, river or the canal. We include water as like the sun, water is a symbol of life, and we feel it is an important aspect to honour especially during the summer.
Our theme is mostly yellow and some blue to represent the sun and water and circles to represent the sun. Yellow plates are crammed with sunny goodness like tomatoes and peppers and any food coloured red, orange or yellow. Carrot and orange salad is always a favourite and lemonade with orange or lemon slices.
In the evening we will have a barbecue and spend an enjoyable time relaxing, having fun and laughing and eventually we will watch the sun as it sets on the horizon. A beautiful end to a fabulous day.
Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team
Summer Solstice is always an especially lovely festival to celebrate with the family. The long light evenings are perfect for a trip to the park or the woods and we always enjoy looking at the abundance of plants growing and the bees and butterflies. Personally, I tend to get up for sunrise but having finally got past the super early starts of the toddler years (my children are 8 and 11 now) I tend to leave the children to sleep and celebrate later in the day with them!
And of course, there are plenty of fun sun crafts to make to decorate the garden or the house. A favourite in our house is paper plate suns, easily made by cutting points around the edge of a paper place and wrapping them with yellow, orange or gold yarn. You can add long ribbons to stream in the wind and hang them in trees or in the window. With all the faery lore associated with Summer Solstice, magic wands are another favourite craft. We like to choose a really magical looking stick and then decorate it with ribbons and yarn, keeping them nice and long so they stream out behind you when you run along.
London District Liaison, Children & Families Team
When my kids were small, all our celebrations revolved around getting out into nature, good food and fire in the back garden. This has not really changed now they are older but usually now they take over my fire, are not especially marking a celebration and often have their friends with them.
Having said that, Summer Solstice is one celebration that does seem to be taken at a slower pace, is still more family orientated and involves us getting together and sharing our time. A nice fire is always a good draw!!
As smallies, my kids would spend time picking flowers and making flower crowns, often forgetting to stop and making necklaces instead. There wasn’t much around for kids when mine were little, and I relied on Circle Round for inspiration and stories.
We have been to Stonehenge near Solstice but not on the actual night/morning and I know this is something one of my kids would like to do at some point.
Despite living close to woods and hills, our garden was important to us throughout the year to feel connected to nature. We would enjoy eating salad veg straight from the pots. One year, I made hanging baskets with Tiny Tim tomatoes in. The vines grew well, and I was very disappointed that no tomatoes grew, especially as I was very conscientious with watering and feeding.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that my kids confessed that every time a tomato turned red, they ate them, I was told they were delicious!!!
Deputy Manager, Children & Families Team