What is the Summer Solstice?

As our earth revolves around the sun, our daylight hours get longer and shorter depending on its orientation. Here in the North Country, we’re in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means that Saturday, June 20 is our Summer Solstice — the longest day of the year! This is the day when we get the most daylight hours of any other day in the year.

Below are some fun videos, resources, and activities to help teach your children about what the Summer Solstice is and how we can celebrate it!


The Science of Summer

Get ready for summer by exploring the science behind some of your favorite summer activities. Discover the physics of sailing, the chemistry of campfires, the science of blowing bubbles, the mineral composition of sand, and the forces that allow humans to ride bicycles and roller coasters.

Why Seasons Make No Sense

Day by day, country by country, we tend to measure seasons differently. This video explains why we divide the years into seasons here in the Northern Hemisphere, how it lines up with the weather, and where the practice has its roots.

10 Picture Books that Inspire Outdoor Exploration

As we approach the summer solstice, the sky is light longer, and kids may want to spend more time outdoors. These selected titles will spark your child’s wonder in the world around them and maybe inspire their next summertime adventure.


Summer Solstice Grade 3 Crossword

Learn about the Summer Solstice with this interactive puzzle filled with little facts about the Earth and the season.

Make Your Own Sundial

Following the movement of a shadow during the day is a way to track time, and it was the main way to tell time a long time ago. A sundial may consist of a round plate with a vertical stick that casts a shadow on the dial. On the plate of the sundial are numbers for each hour of the day, and the stick points to the time. Try it yourself by making a sundial!

Jet’s Solar System Game

Fly through the solar system with Jet using this printable board game activity. You’ll need scissors and crayons to create the game, and there are learning opportunities along the way.

Play “Mindy’s Wheel of Planets”

You’ll need scissors and crayons for this one too. Help your child learn about the planets in this out-of-the-world activity! Watch the “Solar System Song” from Ready Jet Go!, then ask your child or children about the planets. This activity can be played with one child or a group. If more than one child is participating, each should have their own printables!

For more information, visit https://www.pbs.org/parents.