Pagan Parenting

Easy Children’s Activities for Celebrating Summer Solstice

One of the least celebrated holidays is Litha better known as the Summer Solstice. I think due to school being out finally paired with family vacations and this holiday can come and go without so much as a nod!

The Summer Solstice is a well known holiday for pagans and nature-lovers and witches though. It is one of the eight Sabbats and is tied with the movements of the sun.

One of the best Litha celebrations I ever had was an indoor day if you can believe it! Warm sun, refreshing tea, and some sun and nature-themed coloring pages and I felt entirely in the zone. I feel like there’s something spiritual about having a simple craft to focus on. Coloring pages are proven to have a meditative and calming effect on the mind.

Celebrating a Sabbat holiday should be that simple. Low-stress holidays is the name of my game. Often times though, celebrating with our kids isn’t so easy. Sometimes, they want to just play rather than sit and listen to tales of old. Other times, the weather doesn’t really cooperate so a picnic or walk isn’t feasible either.

In here, you will find 4 different activities that will let you teach and celebrate the summer solstice with your children. Each activity is designed to be interactive, fun, and fairly doable even if the weather (or kids) don’t cooperate.

So What Are The Myths Surrounding Summer Solstice?

A common myth about this holiday is the story of the Oak King and the Holly King. On every solstice they battle and one prevails. For Summer Solstice, the Holly King will challenge the Oak King for his spot and will win. Each day from there, the sun will fade until the Oak King rises again to defeat the Holly King at Winter Solstice. The days will grow longer until Summer Solstice, and so the Wheel turns on.

The biggest theme of this holiday is recognizing and giving thanks to the Sun who will now begin to wane. We also celebrate the full Mother Goddess who is ripening and strengthening the crop for harvest. Anything that we planted, physically or magically, is still growing and gathering energy.

Food, Drink, and Libation

I always love to celebrate any holiday with a specialty food or drink. Food and drink can be given as a libation to your home spirits or any earth spirits you live with. A libation is a small sacrifice of your own “feast” to show gratitude for the blessings in your life.

Drink: Honey Lemonade with Mint

Since the Summer Solstice is incredibly hot where I live. (Texas!) I like to have a very cool and refreshing drink for this holiday.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice (about 8 or 9 lemons for fresh squeezed)
  • 2 lemons, sliced into thin rounds
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
    (Alternative: 1/2 cup of blueberries)

Instructions:

  • Heat 1 cup of water on the stovetop over high heat until steaming.
  • Remove from heat and add honey, stir until dissolved.
  • Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add to a quart pitcher, chilled honey mixture, remaining water, fresh lemon juice, lemon slices, and mint leaves.
  • Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Add ice to individual glasses, if desired.

The first time we made this we only had about 1 cup of lemon juice that squeezed out. So, we had to get creative! We ended up putting blueberries in the mixture as well since it was the only fruit we had left in the fridge that day.

Learning to be flexible seems to be a life long lesson for me.

Libation

My family and I have a couple of small dishes that we like to use for libations. Think really small like a soy sauce dish! We only have a couple so far, but we try and choose one that really resonates with the holiday. For summer solstice, we use a bright yellow dish.


Sun Motif Craft

In this section, we will discuss making a sun ornament. I love creating these because

  1. The house smells wonderful when we are done.
  2. Its a sun motif and protection item all in one.
  3. It has very few ingredients and its super easy for children that are about 4 years old and up to handle.

What you will need:

  • 2-3 Oranges large size and firm
  • 1 or 2 spice containers of whole cloves (not the powder)
  • String
  • Baking sheets

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. With the rind on, slice your orange into thick disks.
    Note: The thicker the disks the longer it will take to dry but if it’s too thin the cloves won’t hold as well. It may take a try or two before finding the happy medium.
  3. Take some cloves and press them into the flesh of the orange and rind.
  4. Place on a baking sheet in the oven for about 2 hours or until orange is dry.
  5. Poke a hole through the flesh of the orange and thread some twine or string through and knot.
  6. Hang them in the window, or in front of a fan.

These disks smell great and catch the sun’s orange rays very well. These ornaments are really popular for hanging on a Yule or Christmas tree.

Fairies and spirits also love these trinkets as gifts as well.


The Oak King and the Holly King

In several Celtic based traditions, there is a legend of a battle between the Oak and the Holly King. Each is said to be two parts of the whole of the Horned God. Both fight for and rule over part of the year. The Oak King rules over the “light half of the year” from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice and the Holly King rules the “dark half of the year”, from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice.

To emphasize this, we let our imagination and intuition guide us on coloring an oak leaf and a holly leaf. Once done, we cut them out and glue the holly leaf on top of the oak leaf and hang them on either our art wall or we’ll set it on our altar.

Click Here to download our free Oak King and Holly King coloring pages activity.


Coloring Meditation

Remember how I said it gets crazy hot? For an indoor activity, I like to have some arts and crafts time. Similar to the Oak King and the Holly King, we have put together a small coloring book of Summer Solstice symbols.

Drawing motifs of the sun and of flowers and animals is usually a hit. But if you are feeling overwhelmed or not very artistic? Using pre-made coloring pages helps facilitate a meditative state and won’t be nearly as stressful. Plus it saves a ton of time for parents of multiple kids.

At this time of year, we give thanks to the Sun who will now begin to wane and we celebrate the full mother Goddess who is ripening and strengthening the crop for harvest.

Giving a libation, spending quality time together, and talking about the themes of the Summer Solstice is a simple and great way to spend this pagan holiday with your children.


Don’t forget to click here for our Oak King/Holly King activity! It should open in a new tab as a PDF.

Happy Solstice to you!

One Comment

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