Winter solstice is upon us! Is it something you celebrate or give recognition to in your classroom? If you don’t, you should start! It’s a great time to teach kids a little more science, culture, and history. Here are a few videos you can use in your classroom to give some background context on what winter solstice is.
To bring culture into the equation, here’s a cool video put out by CBS on Ask An Elder.
Overall, the celebration of the winter solstice is based on an appreciation for the winter season. This means lighting Yule logs, sipping on hot cocoa or cider, and enjoying a candlelit evening during the darkest night of the year.
These are all activities you can incorporate in your classroom, or even in your home! A simple (battery-operated) candlelit lunch in the classroom is an easy, doable activity that can make a big impact on your students.
A Yule log craft can also be a great conversation starter.
You can bring Stonehenge into play as well by diving deep into how it relates to the winter solstice and maybe even work as a class or in small groups to build a replica.
A simple walk outside to take in the winter air and point out things everyone appreciates about winter can teach them the importance of winter solstice as well.
Winter solstice celebrations focus so much on light because it’s the darkest day of the year. Creating paper lanterns, making or sharing candles, or putting together candle crafts is a great way to celebrate.
The past month I’ve been writing articles on picture books for winter holidays beyond Christmas. I realized that a Christmas book list was always on my mind come December, but I was being one-track-minded and not recognizing that there are plenty of people in the nation and the world that celebrate many other holidays during the winter season.
It was fun to put these different book lists together and learn more about each holiday. I’ve been able to teach my own children more about different holidays as well! Here is the full list of each holiday I covered.
Winter Solstice! The day is known by many as the shortest day of the year but celebrated by the Pagan religion. Here are my favorite picture books to celebrate the day.
Wintercake: A cute story about a bear teaching why holiday traditions are important.
This cute YouTube story about the winter solstice and the tradition this small family has
A Solstice Tree for Jenny: A book about Jenny, who’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, so they adopt the celebration of Winter Solstice instead. It’s great for including many different winter celebrations beyond Christmas!
The First Day of Winter: This book doesn’t explicitly teach Winter Solstice, but it’s a fun, catchy book that can be the lead for great conversations about what the first day of winter is.
Snow Party: Such a fun book to visualize snowmen coming together to party on a snowy night!
Winter solstice is such a fun holiday that deserves representation in picture books too! What are some of your favorite picture books to read for Winter Solstice?
Friends, I’ve written a lot of posts about Christmas picture books, but there are many, many people who don’t celebrate Christmas and have a different holiday they observe. And while finding book lists for Christmas is easy, it’s a little more difficult to find picture books for other holiday celebrations such as Hannauka or Diwali. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be blasting you with book list after book list for these other holidays.
Typically, I don’t like to recommend books unless I’ve held them in the flesh or even on an eReader and read every page to know if it’s something I really want to share with friends. However, our little, local library has limited access to some of these holiday books. I made a friendly suggestion to our children’s librarian that we should add some of these new titles and she agreed and promised to do what she could!
Because of this, I have had to get creative and watch read alouds on YouTube or do research on Goodreads on some of these picture books to make sure it is something I truly want to recommend to you.