It’s cold out!

Many homes in the Northern Hemisphere are covered in snow, and as the winter solstice is upon us we are taking this opportunity to actually teach a little about how the seasons turn.

Teaching the four seasons to a first grader I’d say has to be pretty fun, maybe more fun than other subjects, as they are finally able to start connecting the dots, and mine will send a globe whirling and stop it randomly with a finger stating it is ______ (insert season here) wherever her finger lands depending on the latitude of the globe and where she’s pointing at.

Fun things to teach include (but of course aren’t limited to:

  • The tilt of the earth creating the seasons.
  • Other cultures and how they marked the solstice.
  • Native Americans/Indigenous North American people planted prayer sticks on the Solstice
  • In China they celebrate with a big feast called “Dong Zhi” which means “The Arrival of Winter.”
  • Long ago Germans honored “Hertha” who was a goddess of the home. They would make a fire of pine boughs for her on the Winter Solstice.
  • Scandanavian families did what my own family (of Celtic and Danish descent) did out of practicality – they put their shoes by the fire, in hopes of living harmoniously all year long.

For my own children, it marks the beginning of winter activities including sledding, making snow angels, trying to make our own ice skating rink in the driveway (that never goes well with Daddy for some reason ;) ) and other winter sports. This year potentially skiing… you never know.

What does Winter Solstice mark for your family?

The Winter Solstice, First Grade Style

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